Our 30-year-old home as a 30-year-old yellow cast-iron tub that's gross.

What's the best way to go about swapping it out for a modern plastic or acryllic one? It's currently set into the wall by about 1cm on two sites (the front where the taps and drains are and on the long side) and it has brickwork has been built up on the 3rd side to match the height and make a small shelf, which has then been tiled.

The new baths we're looking at are almost the exact same length and depth, but they're slightly shallower (height).

  • There is probably no easy way to do this, most times old tubs are removed as part of a larger renovation. Surgically removing a tub like this is very difficult, you will encounter at least some collateral damage. – Tester101 Jul 28 '10 at 12:00
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    Yeah I think this is a call to redo the whole bathroom. I have a suspicion the waterproofing isn't up to scratch, which will require a re-tile at the very least. Thanks. – Mark Henderson Jul 28 '10 at 22:30

Honestly, It can be a giant pain in the butt.

You start with covering it with a thick blanket or two and smashing it with a sledgehammer to bust it up into pieces (yeah, that's really how it's done). The blanket is to prevent getting yourself cut up by flying pieces of cast iron and porcelain. You might also have to bust out the tile/brickwork as well, depending on how things fit together.

To get the new tub in, you might just be able to get it in the door, but many bathroom doors in older houses are of the 24" variety and you can't fit a tub through them - especially if it's a one piece shower/tub system. If that's the case you will probably need to take the door out, cut out a stud on one side and bust up the wall a bit to get the new unit in. Then of course rebuild it all once you got the new tub in.

I would strongly consider re-glazing your existing tub. It can really make a crappy old tub look like brand new.

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  • Ear defenders too, as smashing one up makes a lot of noise. – Umber Ferrule Mar 10 '11 at 14:01

My wife restored an old clawfoot tub in our 130 year old home. It's beautiful, and as tub experiences go, we wouldn't dream of replacing it with a "modern" shallow plastic or acryllic excuse for a tub.

These tubs are irreplaceable. Try changing your perspective, find the beauty in the thing, and maybe, just maybe, you'll spare yourself a whole bunch of blood, sweat, tears, & collateral damage by restoring it in place, rather than smashing & tearing it out.

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