Removing an old bathtub and installing a new one is actually simple. However, the process might require that a bathroom wall be taken out. Before commencing any major construction, a homeowner should contact experienced Rockford contractors for advice and assistance. These professionals will be able to determine whether a wall is load-bearing and can be removed safely.
Taking Out the Tub
To remove the tub, disconnect the plumbing. This is easy if the tub comes with an access panel. If not, the wall where the pipes are needs to be knocked out. Remove the spout, drain flange, and overflow plate, and chip away 8 inches of tile around all sides of the tub. Cut a 6-inch wide opening in the drywall above the tub with a drywall knife to reveal the tub flange. Remove the nails and screws that attach the flange to the wall studs, and pry the tub away from the wall. Use a pry bar to pry up the outside edge of the tub. Easing two greased or soaped planks beneath the tub helps ease it away from the alcove. Then, pull the tub out. This will take at least two people. If the tub can be broken up, an easy way to remove it is to break it into pieces. If the tub is made of steel or cast iron covered with enamel, just take the whole structure out.
Installing a New Tub
Installing the new tub is a lot of work, so it is a good idea to use the services of professionals, such as the Rockford contractors at Quality Design Inc.. The old faucets can be used again, but the homeowner should buy a new waste and overflow system kit.
First, the tub needs to be supported on a 2 by 4 ledger fastened to the wall. The floor needs to be level. If it is level, push the steel or cast-iron tub into the alcove until its back edge is on the ledger. If the tub is made of acrylic, it will need to be placed in a mortar bed. Check to see if the tub is level, and add shims if it isn’t. Attach the flanges to the wall studs. Some have clips or predrilled holes. Then, install the overflow and waste pipe in the access panel behind the tub. Someone will need to hold it in place while the spud, or drain flange, is installed. Then install the rest of the plumbing. After the new plumbing has been installed you are ready to path the walls and your new bathtub is installed.
Once the wall has been patched you can enjoy your handwork and your new bathtub!