Bathtub Replacement | How to Install a Bathtub | The Home Depot

Bathtub Replacement | How to Install a Bathtub | The Home Depot


Before removing the tub,
shut off the water supply. If your bathroom doesn’t
have a separate cutoff valve, you’ll need to turn off the
water to the entire house. Open a valve at a lower
level in your home to relieve any remaining
pressure in the lines. Tub drains will have
different components that first need to be removed. This one has a stopper that unscrews,
providing access to the drain flange at the bottom of the tub. The flange itself will need
to be unscrewed using a tool designed for tub drain removal. Now, use the screwdriver to disconnect
and remove the waste and overflow valve cover on the side of the tub. It’s also important to
remove the tub spout, since this will be on a portion of
the wall you’ll be cutting away. Some spouts have a set screw
that holds them in place. If you don’t find one, your
spout should just twist off by turning it counterclockwise. To disconnect the drain, you’ll need to
get access to the underside of the tub, either from behind the wall or through
the ceiling below the bathroom. Use a pair of Channellock pliers
to disconnect the pipes below the T where the drain and overflow valve meet. If your fittings are galvanized steel,
you may need a penetrating lubricant, like PB B’laster to loosen the joints. Once you’ve loosened the nut
connecting the drainpipe, unscrew it the rest of the way by
hand and lift out the entire section. You’ll need to cut out
a section of drywall approximately 6 inches above the
tub on each of the three sides. To make repairing the wall easier,
measure a standard distance up from the top of the tub
and use a straight edge to mark a guideline all the way around. Cut along the line with
a drywall saw, and then remove the section between the line and
the tub all the way down to the studs. Remove it on the sides
of the tub as well. Once you’ve cleared everything
away, you should have access to the screws or nails attaching
the tub flange to the studs. With a pry bar, remove these all the
way around the top and sides of the tub. Before removing the tub, you
need to take off any trim molding from the sides of the alcove. Finally, cut away any caulk between
the tub and floor with a utility knife. You’ll need a helper for
these next few steps. One of you will lift up
the front edge of the tub, while another slides a couple
of one-by-fours underneath it to get it off the floor. Slide the tub out of the alcove
using the one-by-four as a skids. Finally, remove any stringer
supports left on the wall. With the alcove now
exposed, clean the area and remove any nails or
debris that’s left over. How you dispose of the old tub
will depend upon the type it is. Cast iron tubs should be
broken up with a sledgehammer. Because of the sheer weight, you’ll
want to do this in the bathroom so you can remove it in sections. And because the pieces
can be sharp, you’ll need to wear ear and eye
protection at a minimum. All other types of material
are relatively light, and the tub can be removed
whole with a little help. Steel, composite, or fiberglass tubs
can be cut up with a reciprocating saw. Porcelain over steel tubs
should be disposed of whole. Check with your local sanitation
company for specific details on disposing of your tub. Additional fees or
restrictions may be involved. Measure the width and
depth of your alcove. Most bathtubs are 5 feet long
and either 30 or 32 inches wide, and they come in two
different configurations. As you face the alcove, if the
drain opening is on the left side, you’ll need to purchase
a left drain tub. If it’s on the right, you
need a right drain tub. If the tub you’re putting
in is a different size or orientation than your old one, you’ll
need to relocate the rough-in plumbing. Otherwise, make sure it’s in good
shape, and replace any components if you need to before installing. Also, check to make sure the
subfloor is level, and if needed, use a leveling compound
to even out the surface. Remember, a space that’s
level, plumb, and square is the key to a successful installation. Because the porcelain can fracture,
keep the new tub safely packaged until you’re ready to install. Cut out a section of the cardboard
to set inside the tub to help protect the surface against
scratches and dropped tools. Now, remove the rest of
the cardboard packaging, check the tub over, and report
any damage to the manufacturer. Cut out a strip of cardboard and
tape it to the exposed porcelain side to protect that as well. Many tubs have a sound deadening
and leveling pad on the underside, and this needs to rest
fully on the subfloor. With your helper, carefully
set the tub onto the skids and slide it into place in the alcove. Check to see if the tub is level, and
if necessary, use shims to even it out. Take a pencil and mark a
reference line on the studs all the way around on all three sides. Now, take out the tub and set it aside. A stringer is a cross-piece support,
which will sit below the tub flange on the long side of the wall. Since you’ve already marked the top
edge of the flange on the studs, you’ll need to allow for the height
of it when you install the stringer. Measure that same distance below
the reference line on each stud. This new mark will serve as the top
edge of the stringer you’ll install. Cut a two-by-four the
length of your tub, and use deck screws to attach it to
the studs on the new reference marks. Turn the tub on its side, and
install the drain according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Take a bit of plumber’s
putty, roll it in your hands, and place it on the underside
of the drain flange. Position the drain shoe on
the underside of the tub, and screw the drain
flange into the threads. Tighten it down completely with the
drain tool and remove any excess putty. To connect the overflow valve, place the
rubber gasket onto the overflow elbow and position it behind the tub. Attach the cover plate inside
the tub to the overflow elbow and gasket behind the tub. Connect the overflow pipe and drain
pipe with a T where the two meet. Finally, install the drain
strainer onto the flange. Carefully move the tub back into place. As you do, make sure you don’t disrupt
the drain assembly you just attached. When it’s in position,
the flange should rest on the stringer that was just
installed along the back wall. Make sure the drain and overflow
plumbing coming out of your tub is aligned with the rough-in
drain outlet in your bathroom. Connect the pipes together
and tighten them down snugly, but don’t overtighten. Make sure the top of the flange
lines up with the reference marks you established earlier. Attach the tub flange to the
studs with roofing nails. Do not drill the flange. Instead, use the head of the
fastener to hold the flange down. Secure the flange on all three walls
as well as the sides of the tub. With the tub in place, finish off
the wall with drywall and paint. Reinstall the baseboard and finish
molding around and in front of the tub. Finally, reattach the spout, and the
new bathtub installation is complete.

15 thoughts on “Bathtub Replacement | How to Install a Bathtub | The Home Depot

  1. Check out our How to Remove and Replace a Bathtub guide for a full list of tools and tips you'll need for this project: https://thd.co/2GTdDQs

  2. Important to note when marking reference marks of tub it should NOT be on top of the skid boards that are on the floor.

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