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Author Topic: Anyone ever replaced a bathtub?
Snaggy

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Icon 5 posted March 29, 2007 07:53      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm going to be replacing a bathtub with a large acrylic shower base, then tiling the walls to create a shower area... anyone out there ever done this kinda thing before?

I've replaced sink drains and toilets before, but not bathtub drains. Any tricks I should know about? (besides calling a plumber. [Wink] )

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2007 08:20      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hehehehehe.

Back in ye olde days when me and the missus were renting a place she had asked the landlord to replace the tub as it was filthy and worn. He reluctantly agreed and booked a time to come over and do it.

He showed up and there was much banging, clanging and swearing coming out of the bathroom. At one point he had a sledge hammer and was beating the walls of the tub, I figured I'd go and investigate. When I went in there, he was covered in sweat, looking tired and distressed and had a hard covered book in his hand; "Time Life - Basic Home Plumbing" He pointed to a line in the book:

quote:
"Once a tub is installed it is virtually impossible to uninstall it"
He spent the next two days cutting walls and bashing the tub until he finally got it out. The reinstall went much easier.
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BooBooKitty

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2007 08:45      Profile for BooBooKitty     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I say check out hgtv.ca. With a plethora of home-reno shows these days there's got to be something in there on bathroom renovations! Oh, catch a few episodes of Holmes on Homes. There's usually a bathroom involved at some point. ;-) very important to install the necessary membranes and such to prevent leaks, etc.

Good luck!! [thumbsup]

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Snaggy

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Icon 11 posted March 29, 2007 08:45      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ha ha... yeah I can't wait to try to get the old one out. Meethinks I'm going to have to open a hole in a wall. With the ceramic tubs, you can smash them, but this one is metal. [cry baby]
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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2007 09:08      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For the tiling buy the tiles that are attached to each other with mesh. It will make your life much easier.

--------------------
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2007 09:47      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A couple of things to be concerned about.

Foundation.
If you have a raised foundation (basement, etc.) and one story, the process is very easy. Solid concrete foundations and second stories are a very different matter. A worst case scenario is having to chop a new channel for the drain, re-routing, patching concrete. Or opening up the first floor ceiling and the second story floor. Then repairing the sections.

Getting the old stuff out.
This can be bad too. Depending on the size of the tub you are removing. Remember many of those items are mocked while the walls are still coming up. So they have left sections of wall open until after the tubs and such were placed in the room.

Your ability.
It is not impossible, but if you are inexperienced or in a hurry you could ask for a lot of trouble.

If you have a plan of attack to get the plumbing in order and are good enough with tools, a sawz-all is your best friend removing the old tub. You can cut that thing down into manageable pieces very quickly.

A couple things that will help you out in the long run.

1. Create an access door. Build an access panel that can be covered. This is a blessing if you ever need to get into the plumbing areas to repain a drain. Plus once you have opened a smallish section, you can disconnect the existing lines.

2. Plan. Know the basics of how your place is set up. Where the plumbing is routed. They types of pipe you will need to deal with. If you are dealing with copper lines, do you know how to sweat pipe, or can you get a hold of the materials that old plumbing is made from. And of course building codes to be concerned about. It sucks to try and sell a house to find out your work is a liability and not an asset.

3. Back-up plan. If it does go wrong, have an out. You don't want to create a mess that you can't get out of. Financially or physically.

4. Patience. Do not rush in any project you have never done before. As with anything, there is a damn good reason that a quality contractor costs and arm and a leg.

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Snaggy

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Icon 7 posted March 29, 2007 10:21      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks Shroom!

Access to the drain plumbing will be a drag, and the previous owner was a mr. fix up guy who finished the basement with all kinds of bookshelves and closets, so I'll have to remove those and a finished ceiling out. [Mad]

I just read somewhere else about using a Sawzall on a metal tub... awesome tip. [Smile]

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2007 12:50      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Snaggy -

Sounds like you're over a basement which will make life a lot easier.

Most porcelain tubs are actually porcelain over cast iron; in fact, I never run into one that wasn't. there were also a number of plastic or "dura"-coated cast iron tubs installed a few decades ago.

I don't know what kind of metal your tub is, but if it is cast iron, a sledge is your best friend - a sawzall won't cut it. If you end up using the sledge hammer, swing like you mean it and beware of rebound. In fact, make sure you "aim" beyond the actual contact point between the face of the maul and the tub.

It is not nearly as difficult as it seems before one starts and, once you get rolling, the demolition part is sorta fun.

Good luck.

gg

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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canadiangeek
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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2007 15:38      Profile for canadiangeek     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've replaced around a half dozen tubs (most of which were cast, or enameled steel).

Demo is fairly easy (if you don't want to salvage the tub), and plumbing is USUALLY not too bad. As for tiling, it's all math, patience, and choosing the right materials

Is there any way you can take a couple of digipics and e-mail them to me (it's hard to give advice without some feel for what you're getting yourself in to).

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2007 16:43      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Snaggy ____________________ One of my drinking, riding buddies is a Plumber Contracter when I approached him about tearing out a cast Iron tub. He told me dont do it, fix the walls and keep the tub, better resale. His quote to take out fix the walls and retile $2400 Amer. The Mrs and my self did the job over three days and spent about $1000 on materials.

If you are going to do the job any way, If you can get the tub out in one piece it should have value in the second hand market, You can't get Cast Iron tubs anymore.

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted March 29, 2007 16:54      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MoMan... it's not a nice cast iron tub, just a regular one from the 1960's, in pink. :-)
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2007 17:07      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Snaggy __________________ Take a swing for me, I haven't hit anything for a while.

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted March 30, 2007 10:35      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Reno update!

Wh00T! The tub is out! It lifted out fairly easily once I had removed enough tile and drywall. It wasn't even screwed down anywhere!

So now to clean off the walls and install new vapour barrier/wonderboard, and fit the new shower base insert, and somehow figure out the drain. [tired] [Big Grin]

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2007 15:07      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Make sure it's all natural! [Razz] [Smile]
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Maggs
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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2007 18:12      Profile for Maggs     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Snaggy:
I'm going to be replacing a bathtub with a large acrylic shower base, then tiling the walls to create a shower area... anyone out there ever done this kinda thing before?

I've replaced sink drains and toilets before, but not bathtub drains. Any tricks I should know about? (besides calling a plumber. [Wink] )

My parents are doing it right now, so far the bathroom redo, has taken 3 weeks, and 3 more to go. Grout on the tile is a pain, use a citric acid on it if you want to reuse the tiles later.

The bathtub will have to be sledgehammered out in most cases, and your going to need new drainage.

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted April 08, 2007 18:41      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just an update... as I mentioned before, the tub came out like a dream. I Wonderboarded the walls (concrete board), and put blue drywall (blue is the new green) on areas the tile wasn't going. Durabond 90'd and cemented the joints, tried to get everthing as square as possible.

The drain turned out to be not too much of a problem. Once the tub was out I figured out the plan of attack. I had to make a tricky cut in a hard to reach place, but after that was done, I was able to add new pipe from the drain on down to the trap. So far so good, no leaks.

Tiling went OK, not the best job in the world, (it was my first time tiling) but pretty good. I bought a tile hole bit, and a cheap tile cutter, they both worked OK. I liked the latex-based premixed super tile cement I used. I'll be starting the grout Monday or Tuesday, then re-assembling the taps and adding back the grab bars.

(This is for my mom... I've replaced her hard-to-get-into tub with a large shower stall.)

So all in all, it's taken longer than I'd hoped, but so far so good, and it's looking pretty darn good. [Big Grin]

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted April 08, 2007 20:05      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I installed a toilet and a shower stall once (me being the "with help" for someone else).

Daunting task! Huzzah that you're chugging along nicely. If you get the remodel done in less than a year, that's better than a lot of people!

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