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Thread: How Do I Remove Bathtub Slider Door "track" ??

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member florida_wen's Avatar
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    Question How Do I Remove Bathtub Slider Door "track" ??

    I just removed the original 1989 aluminum framed glass bathtub slider doors and 3/4 of the bronze (not brass) anodized (talk about "retro") colored aluminum frame. Sure, six small 3/16" holes remain in the tiles where the plastic anchors were removed, but thankfully no cracked tiles. I'll fill these holes to match the tile (as I've done before) and you'll never notice them. The PROBLEM I am having is with the "bottom track" which is very, very securely fastened to the metal tub with some sort of "super adhesive". For being over 16 years old, the tub is in great shape, really great, and the tile and grout is near perfect. You would think that 16 year old adhesive would be "brittle" or would have lost most of it's flexibility and holding power, but NOT in this case. I was thinking of trying to get between the metal tub and aluminum rail with a "fine wire", very small diameter and tight, like a cheese cutter. Obviously, my main purpose is NOT to put even the smallest scratch, nick or gouge into the metal tub and remove this bottom frame piece. Then, hopefully after a sucessfull removal with no scratches, I just hope the 16 yr. old adhesive did not "discolor" or "stain" the tub.
    I imagine that most modern bathtub slider "bottom tracks" would be secured to the tub by double stick tape and then caulked to the tub, but I am afraid this "older" one was not.
    ANY suggestions how to "safely" remove this "bottom track" ?? Any "solvents" (acetone, etc.) that might "soften" this unknown adhesive??
    Please HELP !!
    Last edited by florida_wen; 09-01-2005 at 07:14 PM.

  2. #2

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    If they glued that on with 100% silicone you will have a bugger of a time getting it off. I've tried to remove stainless steel sinks set in silicone and it's near impossible. If you can get a vise grip on the track and pry it up a bit, maybe you can cut with a razor, utility knife. Some adhesives loosen if you use a heat gun. I've never used the wire method, but that is how they remove auto windshields. Go to a music store and ask for a really thick, unwound "G" guitar string. Use cowhide gloves to prevent the wire from slicing into your hands.
    Last edited by Bob's HandyGuy; 09-05-2005 at 02:54 PM. Reason: senior moment

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member florida_wen's Avatar
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    Question Unknown adhesive used?

    When I think of silicone, I think of the adhesive/caulk that the auto glass installers use to seat and seal the new windshields in place. I also think of GE (or other brand) Silicone CAULK, like we all use, to weatherproof and waterproof many items inside and outside our home. Usually this is always so "rubbery" and flexible and the "cheese cutter" or "unwound guitar string" method SHOULD work.... however, I suspect (and I HOPE I am WRONG) that an EPOXY type of adhesive was used. What a bummer, if that's the case. I was also thinkng of using vise-grips and doing similar to what you wrote.... "pulling" the aluminum channel up and away, but I am SO afraid of pulling the finish right off the tub. Again, I was hoping that someone reading this forum thread could suggest a "magic formula" of paint remover or similar, to soften and break-down the adhesive.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member florida_wen's Avatar
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    Unhappy Please Help !!

    I want to remove this "bottom track" (as I wrote) but I am terrified of ruining the tub.
    PLEASE HELP !!
    I mentioned to ("prepared") my Wife that we just might have to REPLACE the old tub -or- get a "new" sliding door that will "cover" any damage done by the removal of the "old bottom track"......... she HATES sliding tub doors.... hates them......
    Is there any "solvent" that will "soften" the adhesive ????
    ANY help would be appreciated at this point........
    THANK YOU !!

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