How to Replace a Bathtub

Learn about bathtubs including how to remove and replace one.
From:

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Bathtub Anatomy and Removal

Bathtub dimensions can vary, so before you buy, check the dimensions of a new tub so that it will fit in the same spot as the old one. Another consideration with very large tubs is whether you will be able to maneuver it through your home to the bathroom. Room to work is also important—especially in smaller bathrooms. It will sometimes be necessary to remove the other bathroom fixtures in order to remove an old bathtub and install a new one. Before you begin to remove a bathtub, make sure you have enough room to fit the bathtub through the doorway. Turn off the water supply. After the water has been turned off, open a faucet below the tub level to drain the water supply lines. Remove the faucet, the drain, and the spout. If your bathtub is sandwiched between two walls, with the faucet and shower head located on one wall, you may be able to disconnect the piping and then pull the tub out. If this doesn’t work, you may have to remove a section of the wall around the bathtub, cut the piping, and remove the bathtub through the wall. If your bathtub is freestanding, removal is somewhat easier. After disconnecting the piping, you should simply be able to lift the tub out.

Installing a New Bathtub: Measuring and Positioning

Before installing a new bathtub, make sure that your selection is an exact fit into the old bathtub space. Make sure it is apron-styled or drop-in, and that the drain is on the same side, because bathtubs can have right-hand or left-hand drains. If the bathtub is not an exact fit, the piping will have to be modified for the new bathtub. If it is an exact fit, you’ll follow the same steps for removing the old bathtub, just in reverse. You may need to repair the wall surface so it rests on the flange of the new tub. Always use cement backerboard under tiles in the bathtub or shower areas for moisture protection and to prevent a possible mold problem. Regular drywall is not rated to handle extreme moisture. To begin, measure and mark the location of the bathtub’s ledger.

Installing a New Bathtub: The Ledger

Attach the ledger board, which will support the bathtub’s ledger.

Installing a New Bathtub: Connecting the Drain

While the tub is on its side, dry fit the drain and water supply pipes.

Installing a New Bathtub: Overflow Tube

Install the rubber gasket on the bathtub overflow tube, and attach it to the tub.

Installing a New Bathtub: Prepping the Stopper

Use the fittings provided to attach the stopper retaining bracket.

Installing a New Bathtub: Prepping the Drain Flange

Apply a ring of plumber’s putty around the drain flange.

Installing a New Bathtub: Drain Installation

Attach the drain to the bathtub, using screws to secure it in place.

Installing a New Bathtub: Stopper

Use needle pliers to connect the stopper chain mechanism to the stopper fit.

Installing a New Bathtub: Stopper Installation

Route the chain from the stopper fit through the bathtub, adjacent to the retaining bracket.

Installing a New Bathtub: Secure the Stopper

Secure the stopper fit in place using the fittings provided.

Installing a New Bathtub: Place the Tub

Lift the bathtub in place and insert the drain and water pipe assembly into the drain.

Installing a New Bathtub: Securing the Tub in Place

Nail the flange to the wall studs.

Installing a New Bathtub: Level and Finish

Make sure the bathtub is level, then finish the surrounding walls.

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