How to Remove a Tub Enclosure

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In order to repair or replace a bathtub enclosure, the old enclosure must be removed.
A myriad of natural and man-made materials used for tub enclosures are available to consumers, from cast iron to marble, porcelain on steel and acrylic.
Many commonly found tub enclosures are made of fiberglass or plastic and are glued to the wall. Tub enclosures are typically one-, two- or three-piece fiberglass components.

Things You'll Need

  • Pry bar Screwdriver Hammer Razor knife for trimming caulk or sealant away from the enclosure seams Access to proper waste disposal for debris

Removing The Tub Enclosure

  • Turn off all water supplied to the bathtub. This can be either water-main valves or at the water supply. Turn off any electrical connections to the unit, or disconnect from the electrical ground.

  • Remove all accessories such as towel bars, shower curtains, soap dishes, hooks, faucets, and hot and cold taps. Some of these items may be held by screws, bolts or glue.

  • Look for mechanical clips or brackets that will need to be removed before using the pry bar.
    Because most tub enclosures are made of fiberglass or plastic and are mounted with glue, cut all caulking or glue away from the seams using the razor knife. After all seams are cut free, insert the pry bar to loosen the enclosure from the wall.

  • To remove a three-piece assembly, start with the tap and opposite end side panels. These will be the smaller panels. Often these pieces hold the back panel in place.

  • Once the sides are loosened, remove them as well as the back panel. Needed repairs to wall surfaces or flooring should be made before installing the new tub enclosure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep enclosure pieces as intact as possible as this makes cleanup easier. The drain should be closed or covered so debris does not fall into it.
  • Water shut-offs are essential to avoid water flooding or damage to other surfaces in the bathroom. Safety glasses and protective gloves should be used. Wearing a respirator is a good precaution against mold or dust. Remove clean towels and personal items from the bathroom prior to beginning work.

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