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What is the process for replacing a bathtub?

If your Phoenix home has a bathtub that seems to date back to the 1800s, you’re probably considering getting a bathtub replacement. By upgrading your bathtub, you can enjoy everything that 21st century bathtubs offer–including multi-speed jet settings, digital controls, and even resonant speaker panels for music. Needless to say, there are plenty of reasons why you should install a new tub. That means only one questions remains: how do you replace a bathtub?

Do It Yourself?

An enameled steel bathtub can weigh 75 pounds; cast iron can weigh over 300 pounds. Because many tubs are very wide, tubs are often installed before the door is cased out. To take a tub out, you may need to break it into parts or remove the door and doorframe.

Due to the difficult steps that are involved, most Phoenix homeowners opt to have professionals remove the old tub and install a new one. If you insist on doing the job yourself, the steps are straightforward and will likely take a full weekend to accomplish, learn how to replace a bathtub below.    

How to Replace a Bathtub


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  1. Turn off the water leading to the tub.
  2. Remove the tub stopper and drain.
  3. Remove the overflow valve cover.
  4. Remove the tub spout.
  5. Disconnect drain and overflow valve pipes below the T-joint and remove the pipe section.
  6. Measure up three inches on the three walls surrounding the tub and cut away the drywall.
  7. Remove the screws or nails holding the tub to the stringer.
  8. With two or three 1x3s ready, use a pry bar to raise the front edge of the tub.
  9. Slide the 1x3s underneath the tub.
  10. With a helper, slide the tub out of its alcove and onto the 1x3s.
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Break it up


Cast iron tubs can be sledgehammered into pieces in the bathroom. Make sure to wear ear, eye and hand protection. Cut up steel and fiberglass tubs that do not fit through the bathroom door. Remove the old stringer on the studs and clean the alcove.

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  1. Measure and Install
  2. Measure the tub alcove carefully and note if you need a left drain or right drain tub.
  3. Ensure the alcove is plumb, square and level.
  4. Protect the new tub using the cardboard box it came in.
  5. Use the same 1×3 skids to slide the new tub into place.
  6. Check level and mark the studs for placing a new stringer.
  7. Slide the tub out.
  8. Measure the new tub’s flange and install the new stringer below the stud lines by the height of the flange.


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  1. Attach the overflow and drain pipes to the new tub.
  2. Slide the new tub into place.
  3. Secure it to the stringer.
  4. Attach the drainpipes.
  5. Replace the drywall and paint.

Who to Call for Bathtub Installation Help

While removing and replacing a bathtub is routine work for the home renovation experts at Ace Home Services, you may not be comfortable tackling the job yourself. Contact us today at (602) 428-3341  to learn how much trouble we can save you and how quickly we can update your bathroom.

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