How To Remove a Bathtub

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Need to remove a bathtub? No problem. Be it cast iron, fiberglass, or metal, follow these steps to success:

1 – Disconnect Plumbing

Worker unscrewing bathtub overflow cover.
Remove overflow valve

First off, there is no need to turn off the water supply. The bathtub is connected to the plumbing at the drain and overflow. Disconnect the overflow using a screw driver. You may need to remove a second set of screws under the overflow cover plate.

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Worker using pliers to unscrew bathtub drain flange.
Remove drain flange

Next, unscrew the drain flange using a needle nose pliers or a drain wrench.

2 – Cover Drain

Worker covering bathtub drain with blue tape.

Cover the drain with tape to prevent debris from falling into drain pipe. This is vital if you are breaking out the tile.

3 – Expose Tub Flange

Remove the lower row of tiles to expose the bathtub flange. Here I’m breaking out the tiles using a 5 lb sledge hammer. Next, remove any fasteners holding the flange to the wall studs. This tub was secured with only two nails through the flange.

4 – Remove Tub

Worker lifting bathtub up from floor.

At this point, if the tub cannot be lifted out, it can be cut out. A metal or fiberglass tub can be cut out with a metal blade on a reciprocating saw or a metal cutting disc on a grinder. A cast iron tub can be broken into pieces with a sledge hammer.

Worker hauling old bathtub out of bathroom using a dolly.

If you are removing a metal bathtub, a hand-truck makes easy work of hauling it out.

5 – Plug Drain

Bathtub drain coming up through concrete floor.

Lastly, be sure to plug any openings in the drain pipe to prevent sewer gas from leaking into the house.

Congratulations, you did it. 🙂

See me remove mine here:

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