How to Remove & Install a Bathtub

Things You'll Need

  • Eye protection

  • Ear protection

  • Large blanket or tarp

  • Sledgehammer

  • Screwdrivers

  • Level

  • Silicon sealant

  • Hammer

  • Galvanized roofing nails

Installing a new tub can be difficult but quite rewarding.

There are many reasons to change out your bathtub. The current tub may be broken, too small or you may be redoing the whole bathroom or house. It is relatively easy to remove and install a bathtub. When selecting your new bathtub make sure to select one that will fit into the same space as the one you are removing. Bathtubs also come in what are called left-handed and right-handed fixtures and drains. Right-handed tubs have fixtures on the right side, when you are looking at it from the front side. Left-handed tubs have fixtures on the left. Choose a new tub with the same handedness as the old one. Also if your tub has a bathtub surround (the sheeting that covers the walls) or tile you will need to choose a new tub that is the same height.

Step 1

Put on eye and ear protection. You will be destroying the old tub and taking the pieces out.

Step 2

Remove the faucet. This is usually accomplished by removing a small screw in the center of the faucet controls and one screw underneath the faucet. You may need to unscrew the faucet by grabbing it and rotating it as you would a screw.

Step 3

Cover the old tub with the blanket or tarp to minimize the flying shards of material.

Step 4

Strike the tub with the sledge hammer repeatedly, breaking it into many small pieces. Clean up the pieces.

Step 5

Check the slab that was under the tub to make sure that it is level and strong enough to support the weight of the tub, a person and water. Also check to make sure the faucet and drain of the new tub line up with the plumbing. If not, you may have to fix the plumbing first by switching out and sealing pipes.

Step 6

Position the tub into the space and use the level to make sure the tub is sitting level.

Step 7

Attach the overflow valve to the new tub on the front. On most tubs, the valve is attached with two screws.

Step 8

Put together the mechanical stopper. Connect the weight to the arm. Adjust the arm length by twisting the metal fitting on the top of the arm until the length , so that it is the same height from the drain hole to the overflow opening.

Step 9

Slide the whole assembly into the overflow hole, weight first. Connect the arm to the stopper switch and screw into the tub.

Step 10

Tighten all plumbing connections as tight as possible.

Step 11

Apply a thick line of silicon sealant to the underside of the drain fixture. Firmly place the drain fixture in place and test to make sure it is water tight.

Step 12

Hammer the galvanized roofing nails into the wall studs a very small distance above the rim of the tub. Hammer these nails so that the head of the nail holds the rim of the tub to the wall.

Step 13

Screw in the faucet fixture.


Use eye and ear protection when dismantling your old tub.