How to Replace A Bathtub (Step By Step)



hey what's up it's dan perry and in this video you're going to learn how to replace your bathtub step by step but more specifically how to do it from the top without having access to plumbing from underneath alright let's go ahead and get started so before I walk you through this process step-by-step let's get familiar with some basic tub components alright so here I'm drilling this diagram for you and right here you have the bathtub looking at from the side view or the front view whatever you want to call it and bathtubs are pretty straightforward they're usually in one piece and they usually have this little flange right here that's used for two purposes number one to keep water from getting back into the wall and number two so you can attach the tub to the studs to secure the tub in place okay and you're going to want to have the tub installed in a nice flat surface and then you have the finished substrate which is your tile or whatever you're putting on there to finish the walls that actually hangs over top of the tub so any water that might get on the walls or whatever just drains down and then goes into the tub and is able to drain out through the tub instead of causing moisture damage to your home okay and then you have the tub assembly which is this area over here which is composed of basically two drains you've got your primary drain and then you've got your overflow drain and then they those both connect with this little t-connector which feeds into a p-trap which then connects into your normal house plumbing okay so the water would flow down here through here this tub drain assembly actually comes in a kit and that kit includes everything from the tub drain itself that you see with the finished material like brush chrome or just Chrome or whatever it is and then it comes with these little elit these elbows here this t-connector and then the pipes were here so this whole area right here is usually cut usually comes in a kit okay and then you would just be hooking into your existing plumbing that probably already has a p-trap if you're going to replace your bathtub so when you go to purchase your bathtub you're going to want to pay a 10 to do a couple of things number one you're going to want to make sure you know the length of your bathtub now typically most bathtubs come in five feet lengths okay they're just five feet you know they build houses standard sizes to fit these bathtubs it's usually 5 feet the second thing you're going to want to know is your drain side which side is your drain on it is on the right side as you see here or is it on the left side so you need to know the length and right or left drain the second thing you want to consider is the material the tub is made out of tubs come in all kinds of different materials from cast iron to plastic now cast-iron tubs are typically gonna weigh about 300 pounds or even more so that's usually going to be pretty challenging to install for one person or even a group of DI wires right you might want to get a pro to do that but you can also get like a lightweight plastic bathtub there's some really good options for that and you can get a steel bathtub that's powder coated but just consider the weight of that bathtub before you purchase it and finally you're going to want to consider the quality of the bathtub okay some plastic bath tubs are really cheap and have been known to crack if you when you tighten this drain down now obviously that's not ideal because in order to replace your bathtub you have to rip out the finish material which could be really expensive tile or whatever it is either way it's not going to be ideal it's not something you're going to want to have to replace you're going to want to make sure to get a quality bathtub so check online reviews read up buy a quality brand as you may have guessed there's more than one way to install a bath tub so the normal way the most common way is to first connect to this entire drain assembly to the bath tub and then you basically install that entire bath tub in in place make sure it's nice and flat and level in many cases especially if you're using like a cast-iron tub you'll actually pour a mortar bed down here before you set the tub and that mortar bed will actually support the bath tub then you basically come up from underneath and then you hook up the plumbing so you'll at sometimes you'll have to like cut into the ceiling if there's a floor below that or you'll have to get in the crawlspace or whatever you have to get underneath after the tub is installed to connect these pipes okay now obviously that's not ideal you don't want to cut into your ceiling down below and do a bunch of drywall in pairs and get your house all dusty but in this video I'm going to show you how to install your tub completely from the top so you don't have to come up from underneath to connect these pipes later after the tub is installed so hopefully that's helpful let's go ahead and jump right into the installation to remove your old bathtub you'll first need to remove any tile or other finished material around the tub which I've already done here then to remove the drain grab a tub drain remover and twist it out this tool isn't always necessary but it certainly makes the job a lot easier you can find a tub drain remover at most improvement stores and by the way for a complete list of tools and materials required and links to products that you can buy online visit DIY with Dan comm forward slash bathtub then use a screwdriver to remove the overflow drain cutter next remove the stud that secures the side tub flange on the side of the tub that is opposite of the drain this will give you the room necessary to actually remove the bathtub and install the new one now this stud is usually installed perpendicular to the other studs and it's usually not a support beam it's there specifically for the tub installation so there's not gonna be a problem if you remove it and then also make sure to remove any nails or screws that are securing the tub to the wall then you should be able to lift the tub right out by lifting this tub the side of the tub that's away from the drain and lifting up at an angle and then pulling the tub out that way now you can prep for the installation of the new tub so first you're going to want to make sure the cutout for the drain is the proper size and is in the proper location according to the installation instructions that came with your new bathtub make any adjustments as necessary then you'll want to level the floor okay this is important because it'll allow proper drainage from the tub and ensure a strong foundation to the tub so it doesn't crack or creak while you're stepping in it now there are two options to level the floor you can pour a betta mortar and then set the tub while the mortar is still wet or you can level the floor as you see me doing here this takes more time but it allows you to remove and reinstall the tub if you have a leak or if the plumbing doesn't line out I'm using an underlayment patch and skim coat by Henry to create a flat and level surface as you see here once the floor has been leveled go ahead and test fit the bathtub if your tub is surrounded with three walls it's going to be a tight fit so purchasing a lightweight tub like the acrylic tub you see here makes the job a lot easier your tub should have solid contact with the ground on the entire surface and it should also be level on all four sides you don't want your tub sloping in either direction however just pay attention to the top of the tub because it's not completely flat you know which is necessary for drainage so make sure when you put your level on that you put it on both edges of the tub as you see here remove the tub again and make any adjustments as necessary until the tub is level and has consistent contact with the ground once the tub has been successfully test fitted it's time to build the drain assembly start out by installing the drain onto the tub and then the overflow drain if you'll be setting your tub and a bed of mortar and connecting the plumbing from underneath then you want to use a sealant to permanently attach the drain assembly right now however that's not what I'll be doing in this video these tub drain assemblies are sold in kits that come with all of the plumbing fittings you need to build a drain you can find these at most home stores you will need to cut the pipes in order to make them fit this is easily done with a miter saw but you can also use a hacksaw if that's what you have here I'm using a razor knife to clean off any burrs created while cutting the pipe now it's important to make sure the pipes and fittings are clean and free of burrs before you look once you've dry fit the drain assembly take some ABS glue and glue the drain assembly together by using the applicator to liberally apply glue to both the inner surface of the fittings and the outer surface of the pipes you'll want to work quickly since this glue sets up fast and you will also want to hold each connection for about 30 seconds to make sure it has a solid bond make sure the drain fittings are installed in the right direction as well so the water can drain easily and then wipe off any excess of glue let it sit and you're ready to move on so in order to position our drain correctly we're first gonna want to install a temporary piece of wood that we'll use to mark the location of the drain then put the tub back into place and Mark the location of the drain on that piece of wood try to be as precise as possible you also want to measure from the top of the temporary piece of wood to the bottom of the tub where the drain will contact it so you know how high to install the drain remove the tub again and transfer the drain location to the floor as you see me doing here then measure the height of the drain based on your previous measurement while the tub was in place and make sure to consider the height of the rubber gasket that sits between the tub and the drain for this installation this two-inch wood block is the exact height that I need the drain to be at so it's a perfect tool for me to use when I'm positioning the drain later so go ahead and remove the temporary piece of wood and now it's time to install the drain assembly using the marked locations so carefully dry-fit the drain assembly so it lines up exactly where you want it to be you need to be as precise as possible here and again you can see how I'm lining it up with this wood block to make sure I get the correct height which is really important and again make sure to consider the thickness of the rubber gasket and then you could go ahead and glue them into place using the ABS glue like we did earlier you really want to take your time here to get the drain position correctly or it won't line up with the tub and you'll have to do it all over again all right now we're ready to install the tub so before you do you're gonna want to test fit the tub one more time to make sure the drain assembly lines up with the bathtub if it does line up now we can proceed so take the tub out and apply sealant to the overflow drain gasket for some extra insurance against leaks also apply that same silicone sealant between the drain and the gasket and on the top of the gasket to create a seal to the tub be careful here and just apply a small consistent bead of the silicone sealant around the outer edge here so that none of the sealant gets inside of the threads while you're trying to screw in the tub drain now you can carefully move the bathtub into place being careful not to smear the silicone sealant once you have the tub in place if necessary add some more sealant and then install the overflow drain cover add one more thick bead of silicone sealant to the underside of the drain flange and to the tub itself and then screw in the tub drain tighten it really well using a tub drain remover just don't go so tight that it breaks the tub or the drain now the first time I did this I didn't tighten it enough and I had to end up installing the whole tub again because I tested it and it was actually leaking and I had to go through this entire process again so don't do that then you can wipe away any excess sealant and then screw in the drain stop now you're ready to secure the tub to the wall pre-drill holes in the tub flange using a 3/16 inch drill bit at every stud location now you can reinstall the stud you removed earlier to remove the old tub then use one and five-eighths inch panhead screws to secure the tub to the wall use shims wherever there is a gap between the studs and the tub so you don't put too much pressure on the tub flange and break it all right you're almost done so wait for one day for the sealant to set and then test the tub for leaks by filling it up and then listening for dripping sounds you don't want to listen really closely to hear any dripping sounds even go below the tub as possible to listen for dripping sounds down there to make sure there's absolutely no leaks if you're free and clear of leaks use a sealant to caulk the tub where it meets the floor and you're all done I'm Dan Perry and thank you for watching and by the way if you'd like to know which bathtub I used or any other materials or tools that are needed for the job go ahead and visit DIY with Dan comm forward slash bathtub for a complete list of tools and materials be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel so you get more videos just like this one if you like DIY projects and working with your hands you'd like to learn how to turn those DIY skills into a profitable business that allows you to escape your day job and generate a six-figure income then visit me at handy man startup calm

41 Comments

  • Joel Vasquez

    April 13, 2019

    Can you write to me the items I need to remove and replace my old tub

    Reply
  • pietrosammarco

    April 13, 2019

    Thanks for the video. I'm wondering why you didn't embed the tub in mortar or plaster.

    Reply
  • Plumber therapy

    April 13, 2019

    Good information friend

    Reply
  • Olena Erhardt

    April 13, 2019

    Thank you for the great video. I have exactly the same bathtub, which goes instead of the old one removed, but I also have a piece which is called a apron support (it goes between the bathtub and it's front panel). Did you use it? Another question is about 2 penoplast (or whatever that material is called) white blocks, that are seemed to be glued from the sides of the tub. Are you suppose to remove them or leave them on their place, where they are)? I think you left them. And also if I may have your opinion on this. I leveled the patch on the floor (with liquid level), but on the border with the other cement floor it shows in some parts a small uneven (in height ) edge. The size of this unevenness is rather small about 1-1.5 mm. Can I leave it like that or I need to smooth it?

    Reply
  • Summerland

    April 13, 2019

    He did not show how to remove the existing fittings from the pipe inside the wall.

    Reply
  • CH!CARCAS TERCERO

    April 13, 2019

    What about the anti fungus plumber putty ?

    Reply
  • CH!CARCAS TERCERO

    April 13, 2019

    That silicone could make a leak , that silicone isn’t necessary!

    Reply
  • Retrogamer1010

    April 13, 2019

    I did my first and second myself. Cost about a grand each for all kohler products tile flooring etc. Remodeling through a contractor 10k easy what a joke it took a weekend.

    Reply
  • tony tony

    April 13, 2019

    you get a E for effort, lol

    Reply
  • brian lane

    April 13, 2019

    Good video. However, I have to agree with some of the negative comments on the install. I am not a licensed plumber. But I do better work than many of the licensed plumbers and electricians – yeah I had to fix sh*t done by "professionals" before. Of course I have had years of training and actually doing from my Navy days to my career in the private sector working with high pressure fluid systems (hydraulic fluids, steam, water), mechanical, and electrical from 120vac up to 13.5 kv and more including DC systems. I have no doubt I can install a tub/shower. But I can't guarantee my work. That's why I'll hire someone to do this for me. If it leaks and needs to be reworked for ANY reason from normal use, I have a lawyer on my side and it will be done/fixed properly, and any damage created will also be fixed at no cost to me. It's like buying car insurance. You don't 'need' insurance until you need it. If you don't have insurance before the accident you are sol. Hiring a reputable professional IS like buying insurance. Setting a tub IN a 'wet' bed of mortar must be done right the first time. I don't trust myself enough to do correctly the first time I try it. I can't afford to experiment on my own house working alone, so I'll pay someone to do this for me. Just make sure the work is warranted ON PAPER before you hire someone.

    Reply
  • carapungo

    April 13, 2019

    very good bro!!!

    Reply
  • Thomas tom

    April 13, 2019

    You missed a few steps to be more efficient but over all a good video. As far as I know you should never caulk or secondary seal a rubber gasket, the solvents will break down the rubber and fail.

    Reply
  • Shawn

    April 13, 2019

    I've been Plumbing for 25 years numerous state licenses. The only place I found very good money, is incredibly high end residential remodels, or tenant finish space, such as restaurants, boutique hotels etc. otherwise you left in a sea of competition. And homeowners just don't have the money to pay. Fortunately I live on the coast of Cali where they do have the money. But I still concentrate on separating my skills from the unskilled unlicensed.

    Reply
  • Keith Tomczyk

    April 13, 2019

    Where is the fire blocking ?
    Unless the manufacturer recommends silicone,a non staining plumber's putty is the way to go.
    I am a licensed builder and know that a handyman is not licensed in my state to install major plumbing.

    Reply
  • Keith Tomczyk

    April 13, 2019

    Where are the ledgers for the apron flanges?

    Reply
  • Steven Mccallan

    April 13, 2019

    I get a kick out of the guys who think unless you are licensed, you are incapable of doing anything. Maybe I should get a license to change a light bulb. Remember the saying; You can't please all the people all the time (and why even try). Dan does a nice job of explaining how to install a tub and I'm sure that he appreciates constructive comments on ways he can improve, as nobody is perfect. It's very low class when you have jerks, professional or otherwise, make denigrating comments about how you do things ( as if they were perfect). Keep the vids coming, dude and don't let negative comments make you down.

    Reply
  • Rising Force

    April 13, 2019

    excellent tutorial!

    Reply
  • jonathan miller

    April 13, 2019

    Thank you! You saved me hundreds of dollars..

    Reply
  • OXOX

    April 13, 2019

    I see a lot of butt-hurt "plumbers" commenting here. If plumbers actually knew what they were doing, did it, and charged a fair price we wouldn't need handymen.

    Reply
  • Bajro Rizvanovic

    April 13, 2019

    Awsome video thx man

    Reply
  • George Ashing

    April 13, 2019

    I would have changed out that insulation for the mineral wool kind.

    Reply
  • Benjamin Day

    April 13, 2019

    Loved the video, I just don't like using caulking for the drains, plumbers putty for the main and the black flange on the overflow works by itself. Good video tho.

    Reply
  • Lee Olaeta

    April 13, 2019

    Bottom line is. Without mud and wood supports for the top. You put a 350 lb. Man in this tub & it will fail & fall apart in a year or two. It doesn't matter if Delta says it doesn't need the wood supports or the mortar bed under it. You put these things in because no matter how hard they customer is on the tub. It will hold up.
    Read what I said about the drain install & 2 dis-similar products. ie: metal, plastic.
    Most of this is more common sense over being able to read how to install a tub. This guy is still very young. Where did he get his education. Either he read it or watched u-tube. It's not from years of experience. I'll bet I've been in business 20 years longer than he's been alive. I'm not saying he isn't trying. He just still has much to learn before teaching others.
    I'm sure he is making money off of u-tube also. So why not keep teaching here even if it is wrong. Most of it!

    Reply
  • Lee Olaeta

    April 13, 2019

    This was a terrible installation job. I'll bet you get paid by the hour. How many times do you need to set it in take it out? Once if you know how to measure correctly. I'd say "good work" but then I would be lying!
    Looked nice when you were done though. I guess that's all that matters.
    Sometimes manufacturers recommendations are just that. Local "Codes" always come first. Read your local code book. The "Whole" book.

    Reply
  • BigSounds

    April 13, 2019

    Hi what model and brand tub is this? I like the the bottom support system it has

    Reply
  • Salvatore Saccoccio

    April 13, 2019

    You are giving the industry a bad name with all the nonsense you promote, tell me are you a licensed plumber? Licensed professional in some manner?

    Reply
  • Salvatore Saccoccio

    April 13, 2019

    Cast iron tubs don’t need a mortar bed!

    Reply
  • Salvatore Saccoccio

    April 13, 2019

    So what size should the tub waste be?

    Reply
  • Salvatore Saccoccio

    April 13, 2019

    This guy knows shit! Go and do an apprenticeship and then come back with some knowledge!

    Reply
  • Hughes Home Improvements SP

    April 13, 2019

    We never use silicone, I'm surprised that manufacturer didn't require a ledger, keep on keeping on!

    Reply
  • jak jakson

    April 13, 2019

    Get outa the tub dunbass…

    Reply
  • Ryan Buck

    April 13, 2019

    Pretty good explanation man. Idk what brushed chrome is but it sounds cool haha. Also you said to put cement under the cast iron tubs… you need to put cement under all tubs. The plastic tubs come with a piece of fabric that you put between the cement and the tub so the lime in the mortar won’t eat up the tub. If you dont have a good bed of cement under the tub it will eventually start sagging in spots and you will have to change it. That’s a common service job these days. The cheap plastic tubs that these guys that say they are plumbers installed are reaching there life span and most of them have nothing under them when pulled up. Some even just have sand. About 90% of them never had cement put bAck in where the drain was boxed Out during the concrete pour. So if you find bugs like pincher bugs or scorpions in the bathroom and have no idea How they are getting in there, chances are it’s from that opening in the foundation around the tub drain

    Reply
  • luxury carkey720

    April 13, 2019

    Great job dan the subway tile looks amazing

    Reply
  • Grizzly

    April 13, 2019

    8:42 your hair line is really receding.

    Reply
  • Rudolph D' Cunha

    April 13, 2019

    Hi my bathtub drainage water connection right side connection has per my builder blue prints
    My plumber suggestion to put on left side connection drainage and water connection . He says that connection are near to wall & later there will be problem
    Please advise me what shall I do I already purchased right side connection bathtub my local dealer not ready to exchange this
    Please advise
    Rudy

    Reply
  • Will Carcone

    April 13, 2019

    great step by step. and as you say always follow manufacturers instructions

    Reply
  • Paul Phimsuoy

    April 13, 2019

    Good job my friend

    Reply
  • jrock 1975

    April 13, 2019

    thanks for the video

    Reply
  • AMO RELOADED

    April 13, 2019

    This was great thanks man!

    Reply
  • Robert Ross

    April 13, 2019

    Sooo much wrong with this…. original install was bad.. you did nothing to correct the original mistakes…. insulation on outside wall was terrible… need more instruction yourself ..

    Reply
  • yakitoriPB

    April 13, 2019

    Nooooo on the silicone. Why not just Teflon tape the threads and plumber putty the drain.

    I’ve literally ripped through the drain metal using a removal tool because some moron pvc cemented the drain into the plumbing and silicone the bottom rather than plumbers putty.

    Reply

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