How To Remove A Cast Iron Tub Swiftly And Efficiently

Cast iron tub can be rather heavy and difficult to remove if you are inexperienced. In that case, you can learn how to remove a cast iron tub in this article.


The average cast iron tub can reach over 300 pounds in weight which mean removing it is no walk in the park. Even with multiple people and an assortment of tools, you may find yourself struggling for hours around the tub with no result. Knowing precisely how to remove a cast iron tub before you attempt it is the only key to success.

How to remove a cast iron tub swiftly and efficiently

How to remove a cast iron tub swiftly and efficiently

It’s totally possible, as long as you have the necessary item and strictly follow the procedures, it can be done. Down below are the preparation and step by step instructions how to get rid of the stubborn cast iron tub. Read through them carefully and then you can carry it out on your own.

The preparation

It’s going to messy here so ensure that you are properly equipped with protective gear. A pair of goggles, gloves and facemask are strongly recommended while you are working with the tub.  Safety is number one priority so don’t risk anything and pay attention to what you are doing at all time.

For the tool, the usual stuff in your house should be sufficient such as pry bar, wrench, sponge, screwdriver and sled hammer. Some pieces of cloth or rag can come in handy to protect the tub and its surrounding from potential flying debris. If you have plastic sheet or tarp on hand then it would be even better.

When you got everything, let’s get into it.

The procedures

  • Step 1: Cut off the water supply

The first thing you have to do is to completely disconnect the tub from its water supply. You can do this either at the main shut off valve or the tub piping lime. Open the tub drain to remove all the current water and wipe out the remains with the sponge.

Next, detach the tub drain assembly from the house drainpipe through the access panel behind the tub. In case that you can’t find it, go to the floor below or the basement and see if the pipe is there. If it’s nowhere to be found, a portion of the wall must be removed to reach the pipe.



Stuff a piece of cloth or rag into the drainpipe open end to seal it tight. This is to keep the debris, fragment or foreign material from entering it that could happen in the removal. Move on to the next step when you are done.

  • Step 2: Take down the fixtures and expose the tub frame

To prepare the working space, remove all bathroom fixtures in the tub vicinity which is also to protect them. Unscrew or loosen any faucet, shower handle, water valve, etc you can find and put those away using screwdriver and wrench. Clear out the close proximity tiles and wallboards as well or if you intend to install a surround unit, take them all down.



The pry bar and the sledgehammer will come in extremely useful here to remove the caulking and the tiles. However, try to be careful or you can easily damage the drywall in the process by mistake. Apply only moderate force and stop one in a while to exam the state of your work then make adjustments if needed.

  • Step 3:  Cover the tub and pull it out or start hammering          

Arrange several layers of cloth or tarp on top and around the tub to shield it for the upcoming work. If you want to reuse the tub intact, there are sets of nails or screws that help secure the tub into the wall studs. Deal with them and you can roll the tub out and transport it away, it’s quite heavy nerveless so ask someone to assist you.

In the case that you just want to get the tub out as fast as possible, use the sled hammer and crack it open. Get a firm grasp on the sled hammer handle and remember to keep the swinging under your control at any given time. Start in the middle of the outer portion and work toward the tub side wall to break it apart.


Should everything go smoothly, you can remove a large portion of the tool after each swing without any problem. Prepare several plastic bags on hand to dispose of the cast iron piece later when you are finished. You may feel that is quite some work but it’s the fastest way to remove everything and only require one people to execute it.

Things could get rather hectic here so again, make sure that you don on your protective gear.

  • Step 4: Break the inner portion of the bathtub

Collect the cast iron pieces that fall into the tub and throw them out so you have the room to work. Suitable clearance is needed on the inside of the tub so be thorough and clean all the pieces before you continue.  After that, aim for the area that is roughly a foot to the end which faces the drain then simply hit it hard.

Break the inner portion of the bathtub

  • Step 5: Finish and clean up

Finally, after all the swinging, the cast iron tube has been split into 3 or 4 primary sections that are easy to carry.  All you have to do now is gather all the cast iron fragments and pieces then put them into the plastic bags. Along with any used up supply and redundant material, throw them all into the trash can for disposal.

However, there might be several small and sharp pieces left on the bathroom floor even after the cleaning. For the time being, use sandal and slipper whenever you use the bathroom just be safe. Until you can be sure that there is not a single piece of cast iron left, take caution and play it safe.


And that should cover most of the main points on how to remove a cast iron tub, not too difficult, right? In fact, it quite simple and straightforward so almost everyone can do it as long as they do it correctly and safely. Follow the step above and you can remove your old tub in no time.

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