(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Removing fiberglass one-piece tub/shower

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member madflipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    2

    Smile Removing fiberglass one-piece tub/shower

    Hello everyone, just signed up for this site, hopefully I can get some good information. I am wanting to completely remodel my downstairs bathroom that is original from the construction of the house in 1988. I bought the house 4 years ago. Anyway, it looks to me that the bathtub/shower one-piece unit was installed then the bathroom was built around it. First of all, I have no idea how I am going to remove this thing without having to cut it out. I don't even think it will fit out the door without cutting it up. I want to replace this unit with a bathtub and 3 piece wall surround unit. I guess I would like to know if this is feasible and the best way to remove the unit. Secondly, what am I going to find behind the unit? I'm assuming there isn't any drywall going behind the unit and for me to install the wall surrounds I'm going to have to do this. Looking forward to your advice. Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,382

    Default

    You're right, they usually install the bathtub and then build the finished walls around it. You'll probably have to remove some of the drywall, since it probably covers a flange at the top. When I replaced mine, I just took a sawsall and chopped it up into manageable pieces. Be careful around the supply pipes so you don't accidentally nick one and create a flood. Note that the size of the thing is probably fairly standard (60" long, stud-to-stud) but the drain may not be in the same location...it'll be close, but you may need to move things.

    Each of the tubs has their own installation requirements...best to find the one you want then read up on the installation instructions. You may need to put up drywall to hold the surround, or it might just go directly onto the studs.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Member Sincraft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Heya there. Experiencing the same things right now Except I am a step ahead of you, you might want to follow my thread.

    I can tell you how I took my shower / tub (one piece) out, but there's probably a better way.

    1. First I shut off the water in case I kill a pipe. I should have shut off the electric as I have SEVERAL electrical outlets behind my unit! I then removed the tub spout, shower head, the overflow drain and the strainer of the tub (couldnt remove the drain itself...even with a drain wrench). I ALSO STUFFED A RAG in the holes of the drain to keep junk from falling in.

    2. Next, I put jeans on and a long sleeved shirt and took A RESPIRATOR AND GOGGLES, along with every saw and blade that I owned, up into the bathroom after gutting EVERYTHING out of it, otherwise you will damage everything trying to get it out. Not a problem if you are removing the items to be replaced, however even then remove them so you can get this hunk of junk outta there. (vanity, toilet, etc etc)

    3. I started by using a claw hammer and just wacking at the drywall (with the claw) ALL the way around the tub where the tub meets the drywall (NOTE: except along the floor) and hacking out/ exposing the flanges that are screwed/nailed to the studs. The drywall lays over little flanges of the tub/shower. Don't be bashfull about this, you new system will have to go into place and you will need to replace the drywall. At the very least you will have to cut the drywall back again after hacking to the stud to do a stud to stud repair and seam of the drywall.

    4. Then I removed the screws/nails holding the unit together, and then took a break.

    5. I started by grabbing the walls with my gloves, and physically cracking pieces of the walls off from the corner down towards the floor. This resulted in a bit of stain in my back, but less fiberglass dust blowing around the house.

    6. OK now, grab an old sheet, and COVER the doorway. DO you know if your ceiling fan(vent) goes OUT of the house or just into the attic or into the floor ? If you are NOT 100% sure, DO NOT turn on the fan to ventilate. If you COULD have someone help you by holding a shop vac at teh end of your tools while you cut, you would greatly reduce your dust. You are about to saw fiberglass, and this is not a nice thing to do EVER. If you have pets or children, you risk hurting them - not to mention yourself if you do not contain the fiber materials blowing everywhere. WEAR A RESPIRATOR or AT THE VERY LEAST a TIGHT rag over your face and ESPECIALLY FULL EYE PROTECTION, not those cool looking sunglass saftey goggles...the goofy ones that are like ski goggles that suck to your face. With teh respirator and the goggles, you will be miserable and barely be able to see what you are doing, and you will probably sweat.

    7. The sawing part was the hardest , for me. I couldn't find the one that I was happiest with. Probably the sawzall. When you saw near the walls, you risk hitting a pipe or electrical line. NOT GOOD. So what I did was set my circular saw to a depth of 1/4 of an inch (maybe a bit less) and cut as much as I could in 3x3 pieces, then I used a sawzall to cut the areas like around bends etc.

    8. My advice. Get the walls down first. Then work with the tub. If you can cut some of the corner of the tub out, you can figit it out in one piece, stand it up and pull it out through the door and into the staging area where you will place your other scrap pieces into it. THESE PIECES ARE EXTREMELY SHARP. ANYONE HELPING YOU SHOULD WEAR JEANS AND FULL SHOES OR BOOTS. You can cut a 4" gash into your leg that is 1/2" deep VERY easily by slipping or having someone push the tub with a jagged edge against you.


    Issues I encountered:
    -My tub had a fiberous THICK bottom to it. No amount of cutting was going to allow me to cut this tube in half. I realized this too late, then realized that if I cut the back corner off, I could get the tub out. Maybe you are lucky enough to not have your tub stuck between two walls, I dunno but I assume you do.
    -My drain would not remove...not matter what I tried. I actually drilled about 30 holes around the drain, to get it out because I broke all my blades on my jigsaw and sawzall working this POS out of my house lol. I only had one sawzall and 3 jigsaw blades. I broke them on the tub bottom with I thought would have been resting on some sort of support but didnt know better..so when it would hit the subfloor while I tried to cut the corners out to pull this out in two pieces, my blade would bend or break. DOH.

    Ok very tired so excuse the gibberish, hope you can get an idea what I mean by this.

    OH btw, let me save you about 10 hours of time by suggesting that you check out the centerlines of your drain in place now so that you buy what you need to match. Check Sterlings website. It looks like the options are (from the wall) 14.25, 15.5, and 17 "'s on center. Mine is 16 so I will have to adjust to fit the 15.5 one. The problme I am having is that there is a can light below to the kitchen that this runs against so I have no movement really. Then the next question is, roughing in a new valve (read my post) and installing the new drain.
    I'm very frustrated at this piont because we pulled the tub/shower out 2 weeks ago, and finally made a decision on what to buy...and now it's on order. I have the shower faucet etc, but cant really do anything until I get teh tub and shower to figure out if it is going to go in without my having to take out more drywall, or???

    S

  4. #4
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,984

    Default

    Put on work clothes and a resperator. Use the kind that seal tight to the face not the paper type with the rubber band. Get a sawsall and carefuly cut the old tub/shower into the size peices you want to handle. Be careful not to cut deep as the fiberglass is only about 1/8-3/8" thick. and you don't want to cut into anything else. It might be a good idea to turn off the water until the job is complete and then look for nicks in the plumbing B4 turning it back on. You can also cut the drywall with the sawsall if you need to. Have fun. I would use a 14-18 tooth smooth blade but you can use what ever works for you.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member madflipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    2

    Default Thanks for the info

    Wow, thanks for the info guys. Really appreciated, well looks like I have to cut this thing out, so I am going to get started on it. I'll keep you updated. Thanks!!

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default

    From the town that a beer made famous: Milwaukee:: SAWZALL

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member perry2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Hey guys, new here. I'm doing the same thing but, I want to replace with stone. I understand a water proof mat must be installed and 'lead' is no longer used. I also know I must build a wall where I step in.

    That's about all I know right now, any suggestions appreciated.....

    Thanks,

    Perry

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member perry2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2

    Default

    If a moderator will remove my email addess I would appreciate that as well. I tried to find the edit function to change user name??.

    Thanks

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by perry2 View Post
    Hey guys, new here. I'm doing the same thing but, I want to replace with stone. I understand a water proof mat must be installed and 'lead' is no longer used. I also know I must build a wall where I step in.

    That's about all I know right now, any suggestions appreciated.....

    Thanks,

    Perry

    I suggest going to this tile and stone forum and searching through the posts:

    http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...isplay.php?f=1
    Last edited by Terry; 12-08-2007 at 11:26 AM.

  10. #10
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,959
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 03-18-2014 at 08:35 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

Similar Threads

  1. Mortar bed under 1-piece Aquaglass fiberglass tub/shower
    By smsucigarguy in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-10-2012, 02:34 PM
  2. What should I put under a one piece fiberglass shower?
    By BrettS in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-02-2010, 06:43 AM
  3. Removing fiberglass one piece shower and replacing with something.
    By AZTeacher in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-29-2008, 04:20 PM
  4. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-19-2008, 08:48 AM
  5. Installing one piece Fiberglass tub and shower
    By katman104 in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-11-2007, 06:16 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •