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Bathtub Replacement Remodeling

A Quick Overview Of Bathtub Replacements

Although bathtubs can last a long time, they’re not eternal. Sooner or later every tub needs to be replaced, and if you’re doing a larger bathroom remodel your bathtub’s time might come sooner. Get a feel for how the bathtub replacement process works with this general guide.

Planning Ahead

The best way to make a bathtub replacement more difficult than it needs to be is by charging into it without planning. Start off by carefully measuring the existing space and the tub you’ll be removing. Getting a tub out of a small bathroom can be a challenge; you may need to remove other fixtures (e.g. toilets and sinks) to get clearance.

This is also the time to size your replacement tub to make sure it fits in the space available. If you’re installing a smaller tub, you’ll need to build out a section of wall to secure it. Check the material used in the tub surround (tile or drywall) and make plans for replacing it in a band immediately above the tub.

Disconnecting The Existing Tub

Unhooking your old tub from the plumbing is the first real step. This may require some specialized tools, especially a strainer wrench to disconnect the tub’s drain. You also need to disconnect the waste and overflow unit that connects the tub to the plumbing. This will be done through the wall or from beneath the floor in second-story bathrooms.

Remove spouts and control handles that might get in the way of the tub replacement process. As a rule of thumb, anything that’s less than a foot above the tub should be removed. The wall finish above the tub needs to go too. Remove six to eight inches of material (tile or drywall).

Use a utility knife to remove the existing caulk around the tub, then use a crowbar to pry it away from the wall. Lift the tub out of its alcove with a friend. Cast iron tubs can be broken up using a sledgehammer to make them easier to remove; most other materials are light enough to remove in one piece./p>

Installing Your New Tub

Start by dry-fitting the new overflow unit to both your existing plumbing and the new tub. After you’ve confirmed that it will fit properly, attach it to the tub as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Now take a look at the tub alcove. Check the floor with a level; you should use a leveling compound to ensure proper drainage if it’s uneven. If the alcove is bare down to the studs, consider installing water-resistant backer board.

Slide the new tub gently into place, taking care to position the overflow unit properly. Hook up the plumbing lines and install the drain. Test the water tightness of your work by running a little water through the drain and checking the line for dampness.

With the plumbing hooked up, screw the tub flanges to the walls according to the manufacturer’s directions. Use a level throughout this process to make sure the tub does not develop a slant. Seal up all seams with silicone or tile caulk. Reinstall your old spouts and handles or new ones.

Finishing The Installation

You now have a working bathtub again! To finish things off, you simply need to replace the wall finish around the tub. You can fit a basic tub surround in place or use tiles to fill the gap in the finish. If you’re aiming for a continuous drywall finish right down to the tub, painting the entire tub alcove is the best way to get a consistent look after you’ve replaced the drywall.

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