- Assess the room the tub is located in by measuring the door opening, the width of the tub and identifying other fixtures or furniture in the room that may block easy removal---sinks, toilets, cabinets and shelving. Remove items that can be knocked over or are blocking access to the room. Decide how the tub will be removed---by breaking it into pieces or by lifting it in one piece. Tubs that are built in will probably need to be broken into pieces because of their size and weight. Claw foot iron tubs can be removed in one piece but will require three or more strong backs to lift and carry. Assemble a team of workers from friends and family, know where the tub will be placed once outside of the room and ready the path from original location to final resting place.
- Shut off the water, disconnect hardware and lift a freestanding cast iron tub out of place. Built in tubs can be separated from the wall with a crowbar or broken into more manageable pieces with a sledge hammer. Begin either maneuver by removing a row or two of tile and dry wall around the edge of the tub to prevent further wall and tile damage. Gentle prying with a crowbar should loosen the tub for lifting. When using a sledge hammer, choose the weakest point of the tub---top, center on the interior side---and begin hammering. Hammer around the edge of one side and the tub will loosen and crack. The idea is to create manageable pieces that can be easily hauled out of the room. Use a towel, tarp or blanket between the sledge hammer and the tub to lessen the noise and flying debris. Use safety goggles and gloves to protect eyes and hands.
Disposing of Tub
- Recycle the broken cast iron pieces by locating a salvage center interested in cast iron. Some recyclers will pay for scrap cast iron. Find out where the scrap will go before the tub is removed to create the quickest removal plan. Ask if the recycling center will pick up the iron or call the local city department that handles trash removal and find out how cast iron should be disposed in your town. A tub removed in fairly good condition may be of interest to companies handling recycled architectural fixtures and materials. Donate the tub to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore project which provides the public a way to shop recycled building materials that Habitat does not use.