How To Remove A Cast Iron Tub – Do It Yourself

How to Remove a Cast Iron Tub - Do It Yourself

Anthony Barnes

Need to Hire a Plumber?
Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Cast iron tubs are great for soaking your feet or relaxing after a long day at the office. They also provide a sturdy base for your toiletries.

Unfortunately, they can be quite heavy and cumbersome to move around.

If you want to get rid of yours, you might consider hiring a professional to take care of the job.

However, if you don’t mind doing some elbow grease, you can easily remove a cast iron tub yourself.

All you need is a pair of pliers, a hammer, and a screwdriver.

Cast iron tubs can be pretty heavy and bulky. If you want to remove one, you might consider hiring someone to do the job.

But, if you don’t mind getting dirty, you can easily remove it yourself.

Here’s how to do it.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Safety Glasses
  • Pipe Wrench
  • Hammer
  • Working Gloves
  • Saw
  • Utility Knife
  • Flange removal tool
  • Nose Pliers
  • Flathead Screwdriver Angle Grinder

Planning

Turn off the water in the tub before removing it. Also, turn off the water to your whole house.

How to Remove a Cast Iron Tub

Open the valves at a lower level in case the pipes burst. Drain stoppers usually come off easily.

A tub drain wrench is used to unscrew the drain flange. Screwdrivers are used to disconnect the waste and overflow valve covers.

Remove the tub spouts, since they will be on a portion you’re cutting away.

Some spouts have a set screw that holds them in place; if you don’t find one, you should just turn it counterclockwise.

Don’t unpack the tub until you’re ready to use it.

Cast iron tubs are heavy, so be careful when moving them around. A 7.3-kilogram hammer is recommended.

Important Things To Remember

Tub drains can be disconnected by removing the access panel behind the wall or cutting away the drywall and repairing the hole later.

An access panel is usually located behind the wall, and if there isn’t one, you can cut out the drywall and repair it later.

You can remove the drain from the bottom of the tub instead.

Put a new drain under your tub. Use a penetrating lubricant such as PB Blaster to loosen the joint before removing the old drain.

Eye protection is a must, and ear protection is highly recommended.

Wear long pants, and wear long sleeves.

Work gloves protect your hands while working with porcelain. Flying porcelain pieces can cause serious injury.

Step-By-Step Guide

Bathtubs can weigh up to 300 pounds, but they’re easy to remove.

Cast iron tubs have a number of features that make them hard to move, but they can be removed easily.

How to Remove a Cast Iron Tub

If you need help getting rid of a bathtub, get some help from your family or friends.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

You will need a pair of pliers and a hammer. You should have these tools on hand in case you encounter any problems while removing your bathtub.

A screwdriver is optional but helpful. It will come in handy when you start breaking down the old parts of the tub.

Step 2: Find The Drain Pipe

The first thing that you need to find is the drain pipe. This is where all the water drains out of your tub. To locate this pipe, look inside the tub.

There should be an opening in the bottom of the tub with a small hole.

This hole leads into the drainpipe.

Before you start removing a bathtub, make sure the water supply to the tub is turned off. Turn off the tap that supplies water to the tub.

Then open the drain of the tub to remove the water. Clean up any remaining water with a wet cloth or sponge.

Step 3: Break Down The Tub

Once you have located the drainpipe, use the pliers to break open the connection between the pipe and the tub.

Now you can see how the drain pipe connects to the tub itself.

Remove the plumbing connecting to the bathroom tub including plumbing fixtures, faucet, drain lever, shower diverter, and water valves with pliers and a crescent wrench.

Inspect the area under the tub for any damage or leaks.

Cover your tub with a drop cloth. Cast iron could fly off when you’re casting. Protecting your tub from damage is important.

A sledgehammer is used to break a large piece of metal.

To get started, grasp the handle of the sander firmly with your two hands, and then swing the tool down in the middle of the side of the tub.

Keep hitting the tool down on the tub until it breaks into smaller pieces. Wear safety goggles and gloves while working with this tool.

Step 4: Pull Out The Tub

Once you have broken away the connection, you can now pull the tub up by using the pliers.

Keep in mind that the weight of the tub may make it difficult to lift. Use the hammer to help push the tub upwards.

A pry bar should be used to remove caulk around the tub frame. Then use a sledgehammer to break out the wall.

Hit the side of the tub. There should be some space left on the inside of the tub. You need to clear out the area, so you can get your tools in there.

Hit the side of the bathtub again.
Hit the side of the tub again. Don’t clear out the area yet. Hit the tub again.

Step 5: Unscrew The Hinges

After pulling the tub up, you will notice that there are hinges attached to the side of the tub. These hinges allow the tub to close.

However, once you pull off the hinges, the tub will no longer close. Tub surrounds are usually made out of fiberglass.

You should wear safety glasses when working with them. Use a utility knife to cut out sections of the wall around the tub.

Step 6: Remove The Legs

Now that you have pulled the tub out of its place, you can start taking apart the legs.

Start by unscrewing the bolts and holding the legs onto the floor. Once you have loosened the screws, you can gently pry them off.

Step 7: Lift The Tubs

Now that you have removed the legs from the tub, you can lift the tub itself. Use the pliers to grab hold of the top of the tub.

Then, slowly raise it up until it is completely free of the ground. A helper should hold the tub up while someone else removes the stringer supports.

Once the tub is removed, a helper should slide the tub out of the hole. Clean the area around the tub and remove any remaining nails or debris.

Step 8: Place On A Truck Or Trailer

If you plan on moving your tub, you will probably need to hire someone to help you. Otherwise, you will have to carry it on your own.

Either way, you will need to transport the tub somewhere else. For example, you can drop it off at a local home improvement store.

Alternatively, you can leave it outside at your house. Just remember not to let anyone walk over it as it could damage the tub.

The first step is to break the tub into four pieces. Then, you’ll need to carry each piece out of your house.

Bathtubs should always be disposed of properly. Cast iron tubs should be broken up with a hammer.

Wear protective gloves and eye protection while doing this.

Be careful when removing a bathtub because the tub could break apart if you’re not careful.

Other tubs might be taken away whole.

Bathtubs made of porcelain-enameled steel should be disposed of whole too. Steel, composite, or fiberglass ones should be cut into pieces before being thrown away.

Is It Worth Refinishing A Cast Iron Bathtub?

Refinishing is done in many places around the country. Resurfacing is done in many places throughout the country.

Sinks and tubs are rescued every year. Painted porcelain is repaired using acrylic urethane resin.

A professional refinisher can make an antique fixture feel new again.

How To Remove Dry Wall From A Cast Iron Tub

Mud is water-soluble. Painters and drywall contractors wash their tools after use. Mud doesn’t dissolve instantly when water touches it.

Once the mud dries, it takes time to remove.

Drywall compound contains silica, quartz, and mica. Scrubbing with a plastic paint scraper is safe. Use caution when scraping mud from the tub.

Don’t use too much pressure and avoid using a long stroke. Cleaning the bathroom should be done regularly.

Remove dried pieces by hand so that they don’t wash into your sink or toilet, which can cause clogs.

Repeat this process until all dried mud and residue are removed. Then rinse the tub thoroughly.

Rub in areas where the mud has made the finish dull, using an automotive-type polish. Wax the tub with liquid wax.

Final Thoughts

Cast iron tubs are durable. They last for decades.

However, they are heavy and difficult to move. If you want to keep a cast iron tub, you may want to consider getting a replacement one.

There are some good options available online. You can also find them at hardware stores and home centers.

Need to Hire a Plumber?
Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area.

Recent posts

Need help with a repair or install?

Free Online Quote

By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age