How To Demo And Install A New Bathtub

Is it time to upgrade your bathtub? If you’ve been thinking of replacing your old model with a new design, you’ve come to the right place. We have put together this easy guide on how to demo and install a new bathtub.

Step 1: Prep the area.

Bathroom renovations can be scary whenever demolition is involved — even the mess itself can be overwhelming. To prepare for your demo, bathroom vanities and other furniture should be draped, and carpet runners should be placed to maintain dust and debris. Protecting other parts of the room that you’re not working on will make cleanup easier later.

You will also want to take this time to turn off the water supply, either in the bathroom or through the entire house.

Step 2: Disconnect the drain, overflow and spout.

Your first step after the area has been prepped will be to disconnect the drain, overflow and spout. To remove the drain, unscrew the stopper and then the actual drain flange. For the overflow and spout, a screwdriver should be all you need. If your spout isn’t screwed on, it should disconnect by turning it in a counterclockwise motion.

Step 3: Remove existing walls.

You will need to eliminate the existing walls (this will typically include removing the tile and cutting out the drywall) or at least the area of the wall connected to the bathtub. It is necessary to remove walls to expose the edges of the bathtub so that it can be lifted out.

Step 4: Remove the tub.

After you remove the wall you should see that the tub is nailed down and attached to the studs. You will need to remove this with a pry bar, as well as any trim molding and caulk.

To lift the tub, it is recommended that you seek the help of a friend and a couple 1 by 4’s. While one of you lifts the end of the tub the other should slide in a 1 by 4, and then repeat on the other side. Use the 1 by 4’s to slide the tub away from the wall so that it will be easier to remove it from the room.

Step 5: Clean up debris.

Before you install a new bathtub you will want to clear out the debris from the old one. Remove any nails or chipped drywall around the area.

Step 6: Size up your new bathtub.

For easy installation choose a bathtub that is the same size as your existing model and one that has a drain opening that matches your setup. Carefully lay your bathtub in place so that the leveling pad is aligned on the subfloor, and check that the tub is even.

Step 7: Install the new bathtub.

Once you know that the tub fits and is aligned, remove it so that you can install the stringer and reattach the drain and overflow. At this point it is okay to place the tub back and secure it so that you can rebuild your walls and reattach the spout. 

Need some more DIY inspiration for your bathroom? Follow our RTA Bathroom Vanities and Bathroom boards on Pinterest.