How to Remove a Cast Iron Bathtub

cast iron tub
  • 3-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 60-150
What You'll Need
Plastic sheet or tarp
Sledge hammer
Piece of cloth
Protective eye gear
Heavy working gloves
Pry bar
Tub tools

Removing a cast iron bathtub can be a daunting task. A cast iron bathtub can weigh as much as 300 pounds; if you have small bathroom, working in a constrained space could be challenging. With the proper materials and the help of your family members or friends, removing a cast iron bathtub may be carried out with ease.

Step 1 - Turning Off Water Source

Prior to starting the removal process of the cast iron bathtub, ensure that the water source to the bathtub is shut off. Turn off the water valve that supplies water to your bathtub. Open the drain of your bathtub to remove the water. Wipe any remaining water with a sponge.

Step 2 - Disconnect Plumbing Fixtures

Remove the plumbing leading to the bathtub including plumbing fixtures, faucet, drain lever, shower diverter, and water valves with a crescent wrench and tub tools. At this point, you need to have a good look at the area under the tub to be able to inspect the drain trap.

Step 3 - Covering Drain Hole

Cover the drain opening with a cloth to ensure that no other debris falls into it.

Step 4 - Break the Bathtub Frame

Use a pry bar to remove the caulking and the first rows of tiles that frames the tub. Using a sledge hammer, break open the walls until the studs are exposed.

Step 5 - Protect the Bathtub

Cover the tub with a drop cloth or a heavy-weight cloth or tarp. This will protect the tub and its surrounding areas from getting hit or damaged from any flying cast-iron debris during the working process.

Step 6 - Breaking Cast-Iron

Get a firm hold of the handle of the sledge hammer with both hands and whack hard the tool onto the middle portion of the outer side of the tub. This motion will split away a big portion of the cast-iron. Continue whacking the sledge hammer towards the middle of the tub’s side wall direction to open it apart. Continue the breaking process until the cast iron is broken into small pieces to be discarded.

WARNING: Put on safety glasses and gloves before you start using the sledge hammer.

Step 7 - Breaking Inside Tub

Hit the side of the tub in the new location which is about a foot to the end facing the drain. Clear the area of any broken pieces from the cast-iron to give way for enough clearance to work on getting into the interior part of the tub situated alongside the wall. Hit on the area again.

Step 8 - Clearing Cast Iron Pieces

Continue the breaking process until the whole tub is dismantled in about 4 sections. When this is done, it will be easy to carry the cast iron bathtub from the bathroom.