A bathtub is a well-loved feature of a bathroom, but when your bathtub needs replacing, you're less likely to want to sit down for a nice long soak. Replacing your bathtub can be expensive if you hire a professional, but you might be able to replace it yourself. Learn the steps on how to replace a bathtub.
How To Replace A Bathtub
If you live in a home that has a bathtub, you may be the envy of many people you know. Not only is a bathtub utilitarian but it can provide a soothing environment for those who need to relax after a long day.
Some people who have tubs in their homes rarely use them because they aren’t comfortable or are in need of replacement. If you would like to get more use out of your bathtub, replacing it may be your best option. While you could call a plumbing professional, why not learn how to replace a bathtub on your own?
We will tell you when it’s time consider replacing your tub and the steps you need to take to replace one so that you can enjoy a nice and relaxing soak in the comfort of your own bathroom.
Signs That It Might Be Time To Replace Your Bathtub
When people think about updating their bathrooms, they often change up the paint color on the walls, change the hardware on the cabinets, or even add a tile backsplash to the bathroom sink. Replacing the bathtub is often a more significant step than most people are willing to take, but sometimes there are telltale signs that indicate that you should consider replacing the tub.
Aside from wanting a new bathtub, here are some signs that may tell you that you should replace your tub:
- Your bathtub leaks every time you use it
- There’s heavy staining that you can’t clean
- It’s uncomfortable to bathe in
- You rarely use it because of its current state
- The size seems too large or small for your bathroom
- Should You Refinish Or Replace Your Tub?
Depending on the type of tub you have, how it’s situated in your bathroom, and the budget you have to work with, replacing your bathtub may not be your best option; in fact, some people will tell you it’s not worth the trouble.
While learning how to replace your bathtub is not as easy as other bathroom DIY projects, it can be done if you have the time, patience, tools, and money. Like most home projects it all comes down to your personal preference.
Even though this article is dedicated to replacing a bathtub, we will give you a few reasons why you may want to consider refinishing your bathtub. If you have an old tub, like a clawfoot bathtub, you may want to invest in a professional reglazing the surface. If you love your tub, but it needs a little TLC, it refinishing it may be ideal for you. There are DIY kits available, but the results rarely turn out as well as if you hired a pro.
If your tub is newer or beyond repair, reglazing isn’t the best option. If you don’t like your tub at all, there’s no point in refinishing it; it’s best to replace the bathtub with one better suited for your needs.
Things To Consider Before You Replace Your Bathtub
As we already mentioned, replacing your bathtub on your own is definitely a possibility, but there are some things to consider before you learn how to replace a bathtub. Your easiest option is if you’re replacing your tub with a similar model or something smaller.
If you are replacing your standard tub with jacuzzi style tub or even adding a shower feature to your bath, you might need some professional help.
Make sure that you have time and money to before you replace your bathtub. If you have more than one bathroom in your home, you can afford to stretch out the project over the course of a few days, but if you are limited to one bathroom, it’s best to work quickly. It’s also important to consider how much it will cost to replace your tub.
Some experts think it’s cheaper to do it yourself while others think it’s worth hiring a professional. Since we’re giving you the basics of how to replace and install a tub, we think that you can make it work on a budget. You definitely need money for the bathtub, but you’re likely to save some cash by doing the labor yourself.
Replacing Your Bathtub
Ready to get rid of your old tub and put in a new one? We will give you the basic steps to learn how to do it, but keep in mind that the instructions might differ a little depending on the type of tub you have.
Before you get started, and assuming that you already have your new tub purchased, you will need another person to help you. There are many DIY home projects that are easily accomplished with one person, but replacing a tub requires at least one other person.
Here are some of the recommended tools to have on hand while you’re replacing and installing your bathtub:
As with any home project involving tools, you should wear gloves and safety glasses.
Now that you’re ready to replace your tub, it’s essential to shut off the water supply. If there is no separate valve for your bathroom, you’ll need to shut off the water to the whole house. To relieve any excess pressure in the water lines, open a valve in the lowest level of your home.
Before you can take out your old tub, you’ll need to remove the drain, spout, and overflow valve cover. Depending on the style of your tub, the removal process may be a little bit different, but you should be able to unscrew and remove these with relative ease.
When you’re ready to disconnect the drain, you will most likely need to do it from under the tub, behind a wall, or from the floor below the bathroom. Again, depending on the setup, this may be an easy step or a little complicated. There are plenty of videos online (that are worth checking out) that can help you with a specific process.
Assuming that you have a standard bathtub that is flush with the wall, you will need to cut out a section of your drywall (about six inches above the tub on all three sides). Measuring and making clean cuts will make the wall repair much easier.
Keep in mind that you want to have access to the studs. Remove all nails, screws, trim, and caulk from the area. When you put in the new tub it should fit snug into the spot (assuming you’re replacing with the same size of your old bathtub).
When you’re ready to remove the tub, have one person lift the front edge while someone else puts a few 1 x 4x underneath the tub; you’ll use these to help lift it off of the floor without too much difficulty.
Most modern tubs are lightweight and easy to lift with a few people. Depending on your waste removal service, you may need to cut up the tub; call your local sanitation service for more information.
Until you’re ready to install the new tub, you should keep it in its packaging to keep it protected. When you move your tub into its new spot, you’ll need to make sure it’s level; you shouldn’t need shims, but you may need them to ensure that it’s level.
Once it’s level, mark a line on all the walls. This is an essential step because you’ll need to move the tub again (before you install it permanently).
When you’re ready to install the overflow valve and drain, you’ll need to put the tub on its side and follow the directions according to the manufacturer. As you put in the drain and hook up the pipes, you’re basically just doing the removal process but in reverse.
Your final steps should consist of double-checking that the tub is level, replacing the drywall, baseboard, painting, and any moulding around the tub. You will also reattach the spout and any other hardware.
Now that your tub is replaced, you can enjoy a long and relaxing soak as a reward for all the hard work you put in during the tub remodel project.
Keep in mind that while we gave you some of the basics steps on how to replace your tub, you should be able to decide whether or not it’s the DIY project for you.