How to Remove an Unwanted Bathtub

Has your old bathtub outlived its use? It may be time for a replacement. Before you can install a new tub or shower unit, you’ll need to remove your existing bathtub. The following is a basic rundown of the steps involved in bathtub removal. 

Turn Off Water Connection

Before you get started, you will want to turn off the water connection to your bathroom. Some homes will have shutoff valves that allow you to do this for the bathroom only, though others may not—in which case, you will need to turn off the water connection to your entire house. With the water turned off, open a water valve at a lower level, such as an outside spigot, to remove any remaining pressure in the line. 

Remove Tub Stoppers & Drains

Before moving the tub, all connections to drains and water sources will have to be completely removed from exterior plumbing. First, remove the drain covers as well as any outward hardware. Any water sprouts and hardware should be completely removed appropriately. To disconnect the drain, you will need to access where the tub drain connects to the drain line below it. This is usually accessible from behind or below the drain. Using a set of channel-lock pliers, you should be able to disconnect the drain and overflow valve from the drain pipe. 

Getting the Tub Loose

Before the tub can be moved, use a utility knife to cut away all of the sealants or adhesives that seals the tub to the wall or floor. Work a prybar into the edges of where the tub connects until you discover any nails, screws, or bolts that keep the tub in place. Any of these elements should be carefully removed. The edges the bathtub can be carefully pried until it is evident that the tub has been wholly unsecured from the floor or walls. 

Sliding the Tub Away from the Wall

Next, you will want to gently pry up the front of the tub, being careful not to damage the floor if it is to be maintained. With the help of a friend, have one person lift up an edge of the front of the tub while someone else slides a few 1”x 4” planks of wood between the tub and the floor. Once the bathtub is lifted from the floor, it can be slid away from the tub alcove using the planks of wood as skids. 

Tub Removal & Cleanup

Once the tub has been pulled away from the tub alcove, it can be removed from the bathroom. Depending on the material of the tub, you may or may not need to break up the tub with a sledgehammer for easy removal. After the tub is removed, make sure to clean up any water or debris from the area. You may also need to remove any additional support beams that helped secure the tub to the wall.

Sound Like a Lot of Work?

Removing a bathtub is a reasonably straightforward job, though it can be somewhat messy and strenuous. If you’d prefer to leave your bathtub removal to the professionals, you’re invited to learn more about the demolition experts from DT Wreck-It Specialized Demolition Services—proudly serving the Greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area.