Tub Demolition

Removing bathtubs is not rocket science.  But it is noisy, dusty,
shattering work.

Cast iron tubs:

If the existing bathtub is cast iron, then usually it is smashed to
pieces with a sledgehammer.  This is a relatively quick operation, but
will shake the house.  Pictures hanging on walls, or knick-knacks on
shelves should be relocated.

Cast iron tubs typically have a porcelain coating, and during the
smashing process this glass-like substance shatters and flies all
over the place.  If you try this at home, wear full cover laboratory
safety goggles.  And work gloves.

Steel Tubs:

Steel tubs are probably the most problematic to remove.  They can’t
be shattered and they’re a nuisance to cut.  Taking them out in one
piece is difficult because it can’t be done without destroying much of
the surrounding walls (which may not be desirable) and because
usually the wall framing is so tight against the tub.

One method of removal is to cut off the head of the tub (down one
side, across the floor and up the other side) just behind the drain
hole.  By thus shortening the tub, the larger portion can be pulled up
and out in one section.

The best tool for doing this, in my opinion, is an angle grinder with
an abrasive metal cut-off disc.  Be prepared for the dust; goggles
and a respirator mask are good ideas.

Fiberglass Tubs:

Fiberglass tubs are often accompanied by their matching wall unit
ensemble.  Both the tub and the wall units are cut out of their
moorings by means of “sawzall” and rough cut carpentry blades.

Not much of a challenge, but TONS of fine, fine DUST.  Goggles and
respirator are a must.  Segregate the work area from the rest of the
house because the dust travels.  Move the toothbrushes and
contact lenses to some other place.
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