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Thread: Lifespan for Cast Iron Tub?

  1. #1

    Default Lifespan for Cast Iron Tub?

    A question for you knowledgeable, helpful folks: how long can I expect a cast iron tub to last?

    Is it reasonable to expect it to continue in service beyond 50 years?

    We are upgrading the bathroom in an 1850s home, and want to put in a Swanstone tub surround. I am guessing the tub dates to the early 1960s. It seems to be in pretty good shape, and we like the size and feel of cast iron.

    But... I don't want to be faced with replacing it, say, 5 years from now after a major upgrade this year. And I'm concerned that a new tub couldn't be put into place later and not ruin the new-ish tub surround.

    Thanks for any advice you may have.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    It is doubtful you could replace the tub without ruining the surround. As long as the finish isn't compromised on a cast iron tub, it should last a very long time...decades. To keep the finish intact, you don't want to use abrasive cleaners, not drop hard objects that will chip it, and try to keep sand, etc. out of it that could wear away the surface gloss. Even if it is no longer glossy, as long as the iron base is not exposed, it shouldn't rust.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3


    Thank you! It is comfy, but certainly not glossy.

    Just went over it inside and out (what I can reach) looking for any indication of rust. Getting into the tub and looking up underneath the overflow fixture -- I do see a few specks of rust there.

    Maybe that should that be taken as an indication of worse to come...?

    Our alternative plan was to take out the cast iron tub and install a Kohler / Sterling interlocking tub & surround... until I saw this morning's post about the Sterling Damaged by Bodysoap. Yikes!
    Last edited by kahcrt; 08-16-2007 at 10:40 AM.


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