How to Remove a Bathtub SAFELY!! (Step-by-Step) — by Home Repair Tutor

How to Remove a Bathtub SAFELY!! (Step-by-Step) — by Home Repair Tutor

So I’m still working on this 100-year old
bathroom. We’re doing a complete DIY bathroom remodel, and Steve came over and installed
this brand new Kohler Archer bathtub. How did we get to this point, right? There was
obviously a tub here before this was installed. So today I’m going to show you how to remove
an old bathtub including the fiber glass surround. It was a total mess, just a total mess. You’ll
see in today’s video. And I’ve got a great power tool giveaway for you in the end, so
don’t miss out on that. You’re going to learn a whole bunch of great skills and get
an opportunity to randomly win this awesome power tool, which is right around the corner
here. So you don’t want to miss out on that. Let’s dive into the video right now.
I’m placing some duct tape over the drain so that the debris doesn’t fall down into
it. Just made sense to me. The next step is to turn the water off in the house. So in
this case, the shutoff valve was in the basement. Just turning it completely to the right or
clockwise and then draining all of the water out of the home system. I did this in the
kitchen. You can also do it in the laundry tub. Turn the electricity off in the bathroom.
Then remove the shower curtain. Fun times! And the shower head. Now if you are keeping
the shower head, you can place a cloth or rag over it and just unscrew it with channel
locks or some type of pliers. And that’s what I’m doing here. I’m not going to
keep the shower arm, so I’m just removing that with the channel locks, turning it counterclockwise.
This is a three-stem setup, so I’m taking the screw out of the handles and then removing
the handles off the stem and remove the handle body. Now here’s the stem. You want to turn
that counterclockwise using some channel locks or pliers. Just as a side note, if you have
a leak in your tub or your shower, this is most likely the culprit if you have a similar
setup. So as you can see here, it didn’t take all that much time to do that. And then
spinning off the tub spout. That gunk you see is plumber’s putty, which is pretty
nasty, especially like after 15 years. Now here’s the tub surround. Here’s what
it looks like. And you definitely want a respirator and some safety glasses when you do this,
especially if you’re cutting through fiber glass. So I just took a wonder bar or super
bar and wedged it between the wall and that surround, which is just Marlite, actually.
And then I cut the remaining portion with my Sawzall and just the demo blade. And you
want to do this in all the corners, and cut any of the silicone that is holding that to
the remaining portion of the tub surround. And then pull it off the wall. So having a
Sawzall makes this super easy. And then in this case, there was drywall and all sorts
of crazy stuff behind the wall and the framing, so I had to remove that. And if you have plaster,
like I have plaster in this bathroom, there’s really no other way to do it than just pound
it off the lathe. There’s wood lathe here. You can see this is what it looks like after
I removed all the plaster. And then the front and back walls, I basically
did the exact same thing I did for the main wall. Cut the silicone. Wedge my super bar
between it. Make sure if you’re pounding through wall, you don’t pound through the
secondary wall if you’re going to keep that. So I just did this for the front and the back
wall. Cut the silicone. Tore off all the fiber glass surround. So again I just had some plaster
over here, and they patched together some drywall for whatever reason behind that as
well. So in this case what I wanted to do is remove
all the plumbing. I’m using my favorite tool for this, which is my Autocut tool. You
just clamp it onto the copper pipes and cut away. And I placed some shark bite fittings
onto the copper pipes while I had to take a break, and this shut off the water to the
house. And to make life easy, I’m going to remove
this waste overflow pipe on this side of the tub. That way this will pull out, and I can
just simply remove it. So what I’m going to do is cut the nail
for this ledger board on this side and then just cut the ledger board on this side. Just
cut it out. Or not. Maybe I can just pull this out. Yeah. Now I’m just going to cut
this 2×4 right here. I’m going to cut it down here, actually.
Oh, let’s see what they did. So they actually nailed the tub to this metal bracket here,
which then was attached to this stud, to this piece of framing.
Here is one of the issues why I was not completely sold on keeping this tub. This piece of rubber
here, this is what was keeping all the moisture from flowing behind the tub and down into
the framing. As you can see, it’s a terrible setup. I’m sure 15-16 years ago it was fine.
But now it doesn’t look so good. What I can do is just lift up the tub, pull
out of the waste pipe, I think. All right. Solve that. So as you can see, this tub is
connected to this metal bracket here. I’m just going to break it off by twisting the
tub. You know, I completely forgot. The tub is
actually still connected to the drain, so I have to undo that. It’s hard to see but
there’s a nut here connecting the tub drain to the drain that is in the house. So al you
have to do is this little nut right here, you just have to loosen it, pull the tub out,
and that’s all there really is to it. You just simply pull it out of the space.
Because this is a whirlpool tub, I had an electrical line going to it. So I cut that
electrical line out of course after turning the electricity off to the house. And I capped
them. So we’ll have to move this down into a junction box or an electrical box to make
sure we’re the code. This is just a side note: Never ever try to
salvage old plumbing parts. This looks terrible. All the plumbing parts look terrible. Just
buy brand new. So now I’m going to take this tub down to
the street. This should be interesting. It’s tight up here. Probably not a bad idea to
get a friend to help you. Mission accomplished. All right. This is what we’re left with.
Ugh! One thing I want to point out is there’s a P trap here, and that’s great. If you
have a P trap, awesome. If you have a drum trap, you may want to replace that with a
P trap. The important part about the P trap, especially when you remove your tub, if you’re
not installing your tub on the same day, is make sure that it’s full of water. Otherwise,
sewer gas will come up through and create a disgusting smell in your bathroom and the
rest of your house. So make sure that this P trap is full of water.
All right. So now you know how to remove an old bathtub and the fiber glass surround.
Now for the surprise tool giveaway. Now I hope you got some great tips today, but the
surprise tool giveaway will help you out with your project for sure. So what is it? Well
it’s Milwaukee’s brand new M18 Fuel Sawzall kit. You know in this bathroom remodel, I
have tools everywhere. I got my camera, I got corded lights, corded compressors, corded
Sawzalls. Going cordless in a tight space can really help you out. So that’s why I’m
going to be using Milwaukee’s brand new M18 Fuel Sawzall, and we’re going to be
giving away one to a random lucky winner here on YouTube. So why is this a great tool? It’s
a great tool because it cuts faster than corded Sawzalls. It has up to 2x more run time than
other Sawzalls, and up to 5x longer tool life than other Sawzalls, which is great because
when you buy one you don’t want to be replacing it anytime soon, right? So we’re going to
be giving away one of these. How do you enter into the giveaway? Well down in the comments,
tell me what project you’re working on and why you need the M18 Fuel Milwaukee Sawzall
kit. It’s really that simple. So I want to say thank you to Milwaukee for
sending this to us and for sending one to a random lucky winner that will be picked
via the comments here on YouTube. So that is it for today. I hope you liked
the video. If you’re doing a DIY bathroom remodel and you want professional looking
results with your tile or your tub installation, I know you’d really like Bathroom Repair
Tutor. So check out But I’ll see you down in the comments.
Take care. We’ll talk to you soon.

100 thoughts on “How to Remove a Bathtub SAFELY!! (Step-by-Step) — by Home Repair Tutor

  1. Just started a complete home remodel (removing kitchen, bedroom and bathroom walls) and a cordless sawzall would very handy. Thanks

  2. Have a bathroom to do and thinking about putting up a deck… I'm sure I could find a thing or two to cut

  3. well there is two reasons that i could use this sawzall. One being that it would come in handy at work as a Electrician. And two it would be nice to have as i am fixing my grandmas deck post and need to cut out the old ones.

  4. Hi I'm replacing a leaking toilet that has rotted the subfloor due to a cracked pvc flange. Sure could use the help of Mr Sawzall from Milwaukee. Thanks

  5. Another awesome an informative video!

    Any tips for fence building (and would a sawzall be helpful or should I just get a circular saw)?

  6. I would love to win that reciprocating saw because I have to replace two exterior doors and do some pruning around the yard.

  7. That would come in handy for demoing some weird temporary walls the previous owner had in the basement of my new house.

  8. This would be amazing tool to have to help with the fence repairs. Cutting out the old posts and putting in the new. Would love to have something like that.

  9. I have a fiberglass shower wall panel setup like the one you just ripped out. That kind of sawzall would come in handy.

  10. I will be remodeling my parents kitchen in the months that come and that would really help with the demo

  11. I'm always working on projects around the house and projects for other people. I've always been interested in diy/woodworking , and I think this would be a great tool to have in my shop.


  12. This would be really helpful with my kitchen remodel, I am trying to do as much of the work myself as I can to keep the costs down !! Please !!

  13. Excellent video (except for some parts with fading sound). The saw seems to be notonly handy and helpful – but necessary for tight spots and for a variety of cutting tasks in "REMODELING my bath room" (which seems to require removing the part of the ceiling with a touch of mold).

  14. We are going to be replacing a beam and posts on our backyard patio. I'm going to have to cut through a lot of nails to get that done, so a new M18 FUEL sawzall would be very handy. Thanks for your videos by the way, always good to see the process before I tackle it myself.

  15. A Sawzall sure would be handy for the bathroom remodeling and redoing a basement I have coming up. Good videos!

  16. I'm a newbie first-time homeowner, with lots of projects. That Sawzall would come in REAL handy. Might use it tear up my kitchen and add a dishwasher!

  17. You sent an email asking what kind of bathroom job I'm doing. I clicked on the link and I''m here? So, I guess the reply will be in with the comments.

    I'm gutting the upstairs bath and plan on cutting up the fiberglass tub. Then install, a yet to be purchased Jacuzzi like tub. I can go through the wall as there is a big closet there for the other components for the tub.

    With smaller pieces of the tub, etc, I can throw them right out the bathroom window, which will be removed and replaced. That will all go into a dumpster.

    The wood floor is coming out as it has soft spots around the tub. Wall tile will go to the ceiling. 4 inch tiles above the tub so I will never need to paint there again. Nobody remembers to turn on the fan as they get cold in the winter.

  18. I never knew a humidity sensor existed. Good idea.

    However, if it has an on/off switch, I know family members will switch it off. Just the thought of a breeze will bother them. You should hear them argue about turning the thermostat up 1 one degree or not in the winter. I don't want the hear it.

    But, I'm still going to tile the ceiling over the tub.

    I used 4 inch shinny surfaced black tile on the other bathroom ceiling over the shower/tub. From the doorway, it looks like just a shinny surface and not black. Hard to explain. I don't think it looks kinky.

    Of course, I'm going Wedi now. I did not know that existed either.

  19. Bathtub and surround are all one molded piece (tub and all 3 walls). Need to cut it all apart. Acrylic/fiberglass tub/surround in a mobile home.

  20. I could us the sawzall for a deck job. We moved in to a new house and there is a deck off the garage. It was very badly made and I need to just tear it off and start new. Thanks for the videos and the give aways!

  21. needs a total gut job… we bought the house off of a older lady a little over a year ago. would like to do a tile floor and shower with multiple heads

  22. Jeff my wife and I want to thank you for all your help and for saving us tons of money ๐Ÿ˜„. We currently purchased a fixer upper home and will be remodeling our kitchen, both bathrooms, and replacing the windows. I'm sure that saw will be perfect and get a lot of tlc being a new family member lol

  23. About to start first of many projects including two bathroom remodels from 1980s and demo old deck and redo the back yard. Sawzall is on the tool list.

  24. Hi Jeff I Would Like the Milwaukee Saw becauae Ihave been working on remodeling my first nurseryroom I am a first time father and first time remodler. lol I wanted to do it myself instead of hirong a contractor because I will keep this memory forever. I hope I get the sawsall but either way thankyou for the great videos these videos have motivated me to be a do it yourselfer. tThanks again.

  25. Would love to win the saw. I still have a WEN model 1600 saw. You can see it in my photo. It's the red one in the top left of the pic. My dad gave it to me and it's so old I have difficulty finding blades for it. I don't want to get rid of my WEN. After all my dad gave it to me. But it would be great to move into the 21st century. Also it would be my first cordless tool. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I'm currently building a mobile workbench on wheels; which obviously involves a lot of cutting. The cordless Sawzall would make things go along a lot faster!

  27. Let's see, tearing out 2 bathrooms. 1 with a tub & 1 with shower only, The tub 1, like yours has plaster. The shower 1 has drywall. I don't own a sawzall, corded or otherwise. Great video with great advice. Thanks

  28. Also, like you did, when I removed my cast iron tub, I did not remove the floor drain. ( this was during a remodel about 5 years ago). Glad I planned on using a new 1!

  29. Awesome vid, good info. Would love to win that sawsall for making some bookshelves in our tiny NYC apt.

  30. 7:47 – What I don't get is that lip around the outside rim of the bathtub. Maybe I need to wait for the install the tub or finishing around it, but it looks like whatever extends down into that lip would really get soaked constantly in water??

  31. Still working on the bathroom – got the toilet hooked up and good to go, now we need to replace (2) tubs. Great tutorial. The sawzall would come in handy for getting everything out of there ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I am doing the exact same project, tearing everything out of an original bathroom (four different shades of pink tile) and rearranging and updating the appliances (I plan on trying to reuse the cast iron tub).ย  My Milwaukee Sawzall is great but a bit old and not cordless.ย  The new saw would be a great help to this project!

  33. I would use the saw zaw to remodel my bathroom. I have to remove the bathtub and cut out the surrounding acrylic/plastic walls. We've had leaks in the bathroom, so i'm not sure if have to cut out any rotting wood. I was thinking of tiling the walls and the floors as well. Thanks so much for the awesome tips video.

  34. Thank you Jeff. Got my sawzall today. This tool is a beauty and will come in handy. Its battery powered with two batteries which is great. Thank You again.

  35. Hi Jeff, I live in condo and turning the water off might be difficult unless I want to turn off the water for everyone around me. can you remove a bathtub without turning the water off to the entire complex? None of the pipes need to be replaced as they are in good condition. Just the waste and overflow with the bathtub will.

  36. Thank you this is so helpful!! My husband and I recently bought our first home and there are so many projects and repairs that need to be done around our 1974 home! I started a recaulking job around our jetted tub. Unfortunately it was about 6 layers of disgusting mildewy caulk! It is now obvious that there has been extensive water damage behind the tub with a couple of layers of plywood added over the rotten sub flooring ๐Ÿ˜ฉ My bathroom as this super cool mirror tiling on all of the walls. Do you have any tips on how I could preserve the mirror tile behind the tub?

  37. I am actually doing D&R, Demolish and Remove the bath tub which has been installed since the house was built in 1976. I saw your work using this saw in removing the old bathtub, and I know it will be very helpful in doing my project. Also, I cant afford purchasing a new saw, which I need badly. I had plans to just hammer most of the tub out. But with this saw it will make my job so much easier. So hopefully I will be the lucky one to receive this saw. Thank you

  38. My husband and I are planning on removing a large fiberglass tub that has green marble background. We moved in this older home last year and honestly it's been non-stop repairs and elective remodeling and very costly. My husband would really find this tool very useful and will save a ton of work.
    thanks for your great videos they have become very useful when doing DIY projects
    C & R

  39. Hey Jeff u would like to use the M18 for the plan demolition I have very soon and need to remove a jacuzzi and need to do very quick so they can start the remodeling for the bathroom

  40. hey by there way, use a full face respirator. those half face one's do not do ANYTHING. I worked hazmat removal and OSHA does not approve half-face.

  41. man.. i have to point out.. Using a saw to get through a wall without knowing what is behind it is really not a great idea. electrical, that piping could have been over there… Also, twisting the tub to break the bracket? risk breaking that stud. Just use your sawsall to cut the nails between bracket and tub. ARGGGGGGGGGGGGH

  42. Good clear videos, very helpful. Iโ€™m doing the opposite. Replacing my tub with a whirlpool tub. Hope I wonโ€™t regret it. (Not cheap)

  43. Hello J,
    May I ask you something? After finish installing the bathtub………do I have to remove the shut off valve, or can I leave it there for future use?

  44. I am re-tiling an entire bathroom …. Walk in shower, around and behind jacuzzi, walls and floors, there is alot of demo work and that saw would do wonders for me

  45. Thank you, for giving me the courage to take out my jetted tub which I hate, and try to convert it into a more useful storage space.

  46. I have to remove a steel tub without disturbing the existing wall and floor tiles in a tight space with an existing stud in the outside corner of the tub where it has to be lifted. Lots of cuts with care have to be made in the removal process. You know that there is a woman involved with this one.

  47. Among many DIY clips, this was a great one Jeff and thank you for listing it. We had a tenant that we had to evict because she broke the lease agreement by several accounts. In leaving she vandalized the place so we are having to go in and replace several things, rugs, lamanent flooring and other things. We had a leek in the guest bathtub; I was replacing the hardware and the drain plug was stuck. Since this townhome was built in the 80's an easy out would not pull it out and I accidentally cut into the drain pipe using a sawzaw so here I am researching how to replace the tub.

  48. I sure would really appreciate that fine saw, I'm about finished a year kitchen remodel, next needed project is an upstairs bathroom that looks about same as the bath you have in video, not on cement tho, so I figure gonna need do plenty of wood work before tile and probably a shower vs tub. I'll be looking see if any videos on adding a shower to a small restroom on cement slab, next year project, would it be easier to cut tub into pieces to bring down flight of steps?

  49. Great video really informative, working on my bathroom remodelling and as you have shown I have similar setup in my bathroom and pretty old.

  50. Hi, Iโ€™m replacing my tub and replacing rotted studs, etc., then will remodel my bathroom up stairs too!, and I could really use that M18 !.
    Nice video, keep up the good work!
    Thank you !

  51. Hi. I really liked your video. You were detailed even in such a short video. It was to the point, and I liked the way you did it yourself. I'm going to be replacing mine, cause everything in nearly thirty years old in my home and my tub now how a crack in the fiberglass. I've got to get a cordless for sure. Thanks.

  52. Remodeling two bathrooms. Removing a Jetted tub to put a shower only, and finishing a shower in the other bathroom

  53. Great video Jeff. I am replacing my tub (old one was a heavy jacuzzi type). The new one is a simple drop in design with a separate skirt. Having a lot of problems getting the tub to correct height to slip in the skirt, and then have it barely resting on the surrounding support ledge. I am working with cord powered tools, so moving to cordless would be great and certainly something to consider, especially because they are a lot lighter and a lot of the work requires single hand operation. thanks again for the great video.

  54. We have never take out or replace a tub before so I wanted to get the professional way of taking out a bath tub. The video was great in showing me and my husband how this should be done. When we finish I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks Jeff

  55. Hello. I just got married this past weekend and the first thing on the to do list is repair our subflooring and remove our tub and install a shower stall. It's a first time DYI major project and we could use that M18…or any help!

  56. I am amazed that american houses are made of cheap wood. Must cost about a fiver to put together. Surely wall noise is absolutely terrible?

  57. Camp fire survivor. Helping elderly parents get their new home livable. All tools burned to ash in camp fire out of California. Paradise. Really help to get the saw. Thanks.

  58. This video is amazingly helpful. It is very similar to the project in working on. I have to remove the whirlpool tub in my very first house because the walls are completely rotted. That saw would make an amazing difference that the hand tool i have to use. Keep making these awesome videos, I have a lot of work to do lol.

  59. I will be replacing a walk-in tube with a new regular tube and it's surrounding. I sure would be nice to own that reciprical saw with out a chord

  60. I need this M18 Sawsall because I inherited my mother's ancient concrete block house in the country. I want to live here, but the bathroom is disgusting. I put a tub surround in it back in1983 trying to improve the looks for her. She jus passed away July 8th…94 years young. Anyway, the water does not turn off. The tub is rusty in spots so I know it's probably cast iron and pure ugly. I can't afford to pay to have this done. With a Sawsall and You Tube, I can do this! I'M ONLY 64 AND FEMALE, BUT HEY…I'M NOT SCARED! HOOK ME UP AND HELP ME OUT. I'LL MAKE A VIDEO!

  61. Hi Jeff . I am a single woman who just purchased my first home all by myself. My bathroom needs a remodel as it is very old and I am on a tight budget and have to learn and do many things on my own . I thought your video was outstanding and easy to follow so thank you for sharing it. I am not very strong so the sawzaw you use would be a miracle for me as I do have to demo my shower and tub on my own . Not in the budget to hire someone because I will have to purchase a new tub and wall liners and hire someone to install it. I canโ€™t tell you how much I would appreciate a proper tool for the many projects I have ahead. Please consider me for this giveaway and thank you for the video. Sincerely, Lisa . I am in PA and can be reached at 579-590-8156 . Only have until end of month to get out of my apartment and need a working shower .

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