Removing an Old Tub or Shower


In most cases, removing an old tub or shower is a project homeowners who are handy with a few common tools can do themselves. Removing an old tub or shower is a labor intensive project, and often involves some demolition of the area around the tub. Showers and tubs can be heavy, so you’ll want to have someone help you when it comes time to take the unit out of the bathroom.





Step 1: Turn off Water

Step 1: Turn Off WaterTurn off the water at the shut off valves. These valves can usually be found in the basement, utility closet or crawlspace, or in a closet behind the bathroom wall that holds your tub’s plumbing fixtures and accessed via a removable panel. If you don’t have an access panel, you can turn off the water at the main water supply.

Step 2: Disconnect Drain

Step 2: Disconnect Drain1. Remove the drain strainer and/or tub basket using a screwdriver or basket
wrench.2. If you are working on a bathtub, use a screwdriver to remove the waste and
overflow valve.

Step 3: Remove Locknuts

Step 3: Remove LocknutsBathtub: Gain access to the tub from behind the wall where the plumbing assembly is located or through the ceiling below the floor under the tub. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the locknuts connecting the tub’s drain, waste and overflow pipes.Note: This is a good time to check the underside of your tub and determine the material it is made of so you’ll know how to remove it in Step 7. 

Step 4: Remove the Spout

Step 4: Remove the SpoutBathtub: Unscrew the set screw on the underside of the spout, then grasp the spout and wiggle it towards you. If there is no set screw, insert a screwdriver into the spout and turn it counterclockwise until it comes off.Shower: Remove the showerhead and arm by unscrewing them counterclockwise.

Step 5: Remove Handles

Step 5: Remove HandlesThe handles need to be removed if they are on the tub or an enclosure wall. If not, proceed to Step Six.1. Pry off the handle caps.2. Remove the screws holding the handles in place and take off the handles.3. Remove any screws holding the decorative trim in place and slide off the
trim’s caps.

Step 6: Separate Tub/Shower Enclosure from the Wall

Step 6: Separate Tub/Shower Enclosure from the WallScrape away caulk where the tub or shower enclosure meets the floor, then:Bathtub1. Cut at least six inches of drywall away from the tub on all sides.2. Remove any screws or nails holding the tub flange to the studs.

3. Use a pry bar to lift up the front edge of the tub and slide 1 X 4s beneath the tub.

4. Pull the tub away from the wall using 1 X 4s as skids.

1. Take off the shower doors.

2. Inspect the edges of the enclosure. If they are attached to studs and covered with
drywall, use a keyhole saw to cut the drywall from the edges.

3. Remove all nails and screws and use a pry bar to remove the surround.

4. Score grout lines around tile with a scoring knife or grout saw.

5. Pry off any loose tiles with a cold chisel by tapping the chisel beneath the tiles with
a hammer. Tiles attached with mortar may need to be broken with a hammer to be

6.  If necessary, use the pry bar to remove the shower pan.

Step 7: Remove Tub or Enclosure

Step 7: Remove Tub or EnclosureRemove the tub based on its type of material. If the tub is made of:
• Solid Porcelain – Cover the tub with an old wet blanket or tarp and use a
sledgehammer to break the tub into pieces.• Fiberglass – Use a reciprocating saw to cut the tub into pieces.• Cast Iron/Porcelain on Steel – This type of tub cannot be broken and
should be removed in one piece.

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