Let’s update the Bath Tub and Shower

As long as we are going to remodel the Bathroom… let’s go ahead and replace the old pale tub and shower with a new one…


Old Tub And Shower

This would have to rank up there with let’s replace the old flooring. However, it did need to be done and as long as we were going to take the adjoining wall down to the studs, it made sense to go ahead and take it down past the studs.

Back of old tub

Tub Closed In

Initially we thought for a brief moment we would just walk the tub out the door into the hallway and out the front door. It only took a few quick measurements and several puzzled looks before we determined that we would indeed need to remove the wall. Not a big deal, just a few 2X4s and we are ready to go. But I have to admit the thought crossed my mind more than once… What genius set the “average” tub width 2 inches wider than the average bathroom door? Not trying to be judgmental or anything, just wondering that’s all.

Removed Studs to Remove Tub

Studs Removed

Next for the plumbing. So how do those bathtubs connect to the floor anyway? After several on-line searches, I finally hit one graphic that showed me the plumbing connections I needed to undo in order to remove the tub. First the secret wrench you need to find is called the “Dumbbell Wrench”. I figured that was a good sign. If the wrench is a dumbbell, what do they call the guy operating it. At any rate, I proceeded yet again to Lowes and promptly asked the first intelligent looking employee where I could find a dumbbell wrench. I was half expecting a smart response from the guy, like “probably in YOUR tool box”, be he showed great restraint and with a smile walked me right to the location of the highly desired dumbbell wrench. The selection was simple, cheap price and cheap made, or a couple dollars more and a whole lot better made. We went with the higher end $12.95 version.

Tub manifold - dumbell wrench work

Threaded Drain Pipe

Now the use of the Dumbbell wrench is a simple application. Stick the end of the wrench that fits into the drain and turn the wrench. You may have to remove the drain cover first. But once you pop that out with a screw driver or some other convenient implement, simply stick the wrench in and turn until you have the entire drain loose and laying in your tub.
Now for the faucets. Some people might take a more sophisticated approach than I chose for this piece, but I figured this tub had served it’s purpose here on the Earth and I was willing to allow it to join the yard debris at the local dump. That as a starting point greatly freed me from any timidity in removing the rest of the tub. I simply removed the knobs and pulled the front outside corner down until it broke off over the faucet area. I then pushed the tub through the opening in the wall. I would recommend a mask as the fiberglass does tend to fly in the air when it breaks open. However, with a little ventilation and a breathing mask I figure the risk was worth avoiding learning another plumbing lesson on faucet removal. Be to perfectly honest, I had already replaced one of these faucets previously and I had no desire to crack it open again.

Just Push the Tub Out

That’s it for the tub removal. As simple as 1,2,3. I would give this job a difficulty rating of 6. There are a few things that need to happen, but most do not require great physical exertion. The tub is heavy and hard to move. I used old boards for skids to move it out and then made use of the piano dolly to move it around once free of the wall.

Push the tub out of the wall


Tub Removed – Cleaning Up

All Removed And All Cleaned

Now installing the new tub and shower is an entirely different story, but one filled with danger and adventure. We’ll try to post it soon.

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