Bathtub replacement is not a simple do-it-yourself job. For starters, three different trades are employed in the process: a licensed plumber, a tile setter and a carpenter. With that in mind, you might be better off attempting a bathtub restoration, or having someone come in and restore it for you.
Or, consider your reasons why bathtub replacement is the way you want to go. It is a good idea to obtain quotations for the work that needs to be done, and ask the tradespeople for advice when they come in to take a look. That way, they will give you a fair indication as to whether you can do some of the job yourself or if it is best left well enough alone until they return.
Depending on the original installation, the state of repair, or disrepair, of the internal plumbing, and the condition of the tub itself, it may just make no sense at all for you to be messing around with its removal.
Not For Renovation Newbies
If you are planning to make over your entire bathroom, then damage to the existing tiles will not be a problem. The situation becomes more complicated, obviously, if you intend keeping the tiles and therefore need to work around them, taking care not to scratch, chip or break them. Similarly, if you intend to rearrange the design of the bathroom and knock down walls and/or erect new ones, then you need not be too concerned about damage caused to the existing ones.
Of course, you need to be aware of any electrical wiring that could be behind the walls you are working with, and also be mindful of the plumbing therein. In many ways, considering the above, the first half of a bathtub replacement job is not too difficult. After all, an inexperienced handyman cannot make too serious a mess out of making a mess, right? If your old tub is a heavy cast iron one, you are definitely going to need someone to help you lift it out, since the average 5 foot cast iron tub will weigh in at over 200 pounds. Some tubs even require cutting in half to get them out!
Installing the new tub is a whole different story, and this is where it has to be done correctly, without doubt. There is plumbing to consider, the shape and size of the tub to fit exactly in the space created, new tiles to set and all manner of things to ensure are done correctly. Bathtub replacement is one of those jobs that, if left to the professionals, frees you up to concentrate on simpler projects.
There are plenty of tasks you can involve yourself with, while allowing the pros to get to work. If you are renovating other rooms in the house, busy yourself with those because the likelihood is that they will be less specialized than the bathroom.
Go out and buy fixtures for your bathroom, or if you have not yet chosen tiles, do that. Help keep the workspace clear and tidy for the tradespeople. While your bathtub replacement is in progress, there will be some chaos so being on hand to keep things in order will be greatly valued. Removing trash, sweeping up and tidying are all helpful. Meanwhile, you can watch the pros at work and score some tips.
Renovations can be stressful and exhausting. Be sensible about the kinds of jobs you take on yourself and those you delegate to paid tradespeople. Bathtub replacement is a specialized task and can wind up costing you significantly more if you attempt to undertake it and then have to call in a plumber, carpenter or tile setter to rectify your errors.