How to Cut a Door on the Side of an Existing Regular Bath Tub

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The standard bathtub can be a relaxing escape from the everyday world; just step right in and immerse your body in the warm water. However, as people grow older, getting in and out of the bathtub becomes more of a challenge. Many bathroom equipment manufacturers offer specialized bathtubs for premium prices, but the new tub requires a major overhaul of the bathroom itself. An alternative is cutting a door into the existing bathtub for easier access. Customized door kits are available to make the new access point watertight.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Straight edge
  • Bath door kit
  • Reciprocating or jig saw
  • Respirator
  • Rags
  • Waterproof caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Measure the length of the bathtub with a measuring tape. Divide that length value in half and mark the halfway point on the bathtub with a pencil.

  • Measure 1 foot to the left of the halfway point with the measuring tape. Mark this 1-foot point with a pencil on the bathtub's surface. Measure another 1-foot distance to the right of the halfway point with the measuring tape. Mark this next point with a pencil on the bathtub.

  • Measure 10 inches down vertically from the top edge of the bathtub with the measuring tape. Mark this 10 inch point with a pencil on the bathtub. Depending on the bathtub's dimensions, the mark should be approximately 4 or 6 inches above the bathroom floor.

  • Draw a straight line directly vertical, with a pencil and straight edge, from the left side 1-foot mark to the level of the 10-inch marking. Repeat for the right side 1-foot mark. There should be two vertical lines approximately 2 feet apart from one another.

  • Draw a horizontal line, with the pencil and straight edge, to connect the two vertical lines drawn in step 4.

  • Place rags into the bathtub's drain and faucet. Place rags at the bathroom door's bottom opening. Keep all windows closed and all fans off. This process prevents any debris from infiltrating the home during the cutting phase.

  • Put the respirator on the face. Make sure it is fully covering the nose and mouth. Plug in the reciprocating or jig saw. Turn it on.

  • Cut into the bathtub with the saw by following the pencil lines.

  • Remove the cut bathtub piece with the hands. Do not touch the cut edges or injury can occur.

  • Gently wipe the bathtub's cut edge with a rag to remove any debris or dust. Place a thick layer of waterproof caulk on the edges of the bath door kit by using a caulking gun. Press the door kit onto to the cut portion of the bathtub. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours.

  • Photo Credit Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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