HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Home & Family » DIY & Home Improvement (Group) » Removing an old, large cl...

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 06:18 PM

Removing an old, large claw foot tub

We own a house built in 1909, and it has a very large, now-kinda-scuffed-up, clawfoot tub in the second floor bathroom. It's functional, and we had a shower-and-curtain-ring attachment installed a few years ago.

But as my wife and I are getting older, we'd like to have a walk-in shower so that it's not quite as perilous bathing as needing to step over the tall side of the tub. And one of the things we'd need to do if we had a shower installed is figure out how to remove the tub.

When I bought the house, I half-jokingly promised the former owner the tub back if we ever got rid of it (since we were already thinking about converting it to a shower), but as I look at the size of the tub, and the width of all of our doors, I realize that I have no friggin idea how to get the tub out without resorting to demolition in place with sledge hammers. Which would be kind of a shame, since it would be a nice piece for someone to refinish someday.

And just as mysterious: How the heck did they get this tub in here in the first place? Back in 1909, they had nothing but hand tools. Did they actually build the house AROUND the tub? Did they ever do things like that? Did they take the trim off the doors to get it in?

I've got time to figure this out, since we aren't planning on doing it for a few years, but

Signed,
Mystified in Madison

15 replies, 571 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Removing an old, large claw foot tub (Original post)
htuttle Dec 2017 OP
mercuryblues Dec 2017 #1
randr Dec 2017 #2
Siwsan Dec 2017 #3
htuttle Dec 2017 #5
Danascot Dec 2017 #4
Sinistrous Dec 2017 #6
Wash. state Desk Jet Dec 2017 #7
NanceGreggs Dec 2017 #8
murielm99 Dec 2017 #9
calikid Dec 2017 #10
marble falls Dec 2017 #11
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2017 #12
marble falls Dec 2017 #13
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2017 #14
marble falls Dec 2017 #15

Response to htuttle (Original post)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 06:25 PM

1. The tub is most likely

cast iron and indestructible. Take your measurements. You may have to remove the bathroom door and molding to get it out. You might want to give it away free, if the person fixes any damage done while removing it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to htuttle (Original post)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 06:27 PM

2. They are in high demand and valuable

Offer it to anyone who will remove it and make repairs.
Win win situation

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to htuttle (Original post)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 06:28 PM

3. I've always wanted a nice, deep old claw foot bathtub

My grandmother had one. We actually stopped by the house, when we noticed it was abandoned, to see if it was still there.

I'm guessing the door trim will have to be removed. Have you taken the measurements with a tape measure, or just an 'eyeball' estimate? I just had to move a huge cardboard box from garage to the screened in porch and thought I'd never get it through the doorway, but surprisingly enough, it just fit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Siwsan (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 06:41 PM

5. I measured the width with a stick and my thumb, lol.

but I didn't really check the height -- it may be shorter than wide after all.

We have some pretty chunky moulding around the doors. The doors would probably be 6 inches wider if it were removed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to htuttle (Original post)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 06:30 PM

4. It's probably cast iron

and the usual way of removing them is, as you surmised, to break it up with a sledgehammer and take it out in pieces. Wear protection, especially eyewear because the chips of porcelain that will fly off are like glass.

If there is a route out, you might be able to hire a few large strong people to remove it but it would probably cost more than you want to spend.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to htuttle (Original post)


Response to htuttle (Original post)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 06:45 PM

7. Makes ya wonder doesn't it !

Last edited Thu Dec 14, 2017, 02:08 AM - Edit history (1)

You can remove the legs, flip it over on it's side than push it through the opening-remove the door of course ! Getting it down stairs is another issue ! Or, there is a market for those old tubs and there are business's in the business of restoring those items. OK, so ,you get in touch with them prior to starting your remodel and they will come over to yer house and remove the tub and fixtures for you. May even give you money for that tub.

You start by making phone calls. When I was remodeling those old houses ,the company I used would come out and remove all the old fixtures ,wood work if we were doing a lot of demo,modernization ,tubs ,toilets,sinks and on and so on. In short they bought it and preferred to remove it. you might think to look into that.

here's an example,

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=old+fixtures+tubs+and+so+forth&qpvt=old+fixtres+tubs+and+so+forth&FORM=IGRE

http://seconduse.com/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to htuttle (Original post)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 06:50 PM

8. My house was built in 1923

and I still have the original claw-foot bathtub. I was told years ago that the tubs were indeed installed before the walls that enclose the bathroom were put up.

My neighbour had his removed many years ago, and it had to be sawed in half lengthwise (with a power saw that cuts through metal) in order to fit through the doorway.

I would suggest calling a place that refinishes these tubs for resale, and tell them that if they can remove it, they can have it free of charge. In some cases, removing the framework around the doorway provides sufficient room to remove the tub, and replacing the framework is not a big deal or huge expense.

The other alternative is to have the bathroom doorway cut wider which can then be reconstructed back to its original size after the tub is gone and your new shower is installed.

All of the houses in my neighbourhood had the original tubs, and many have since been removed and replaced. So there must be ways of doing it. The pros probably have all kinds of tricks-of-the-trade, and know the most efficient ways to handle the task.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 07:18 PM

9. I live in an old farmhouse.

When we removed ours, we had to take off part of the outside wall in the upstairs bathroom. We brought the new tub and shower in that way, too. Then we put the wall back. If the bathroom has an outside wall, this might work for you, too.

The work we did upstairs was often frustrated by the steep, narrow staircase. We have replaced the stairs with more modern, safe stairs, but it is still steep. Getting a queen sized bed up there was interesting. Getting any furniture upstairs requires much measuring and forethought.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to htuttle (Original post)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 08:54 PM

10. Most of the time, it's as others have said,

Hope that someone wants it and will haul it away. If it's a 5 or 6 foot tub it can be valuable, the standard 5 1/2 foot not so much. A full set of feet can be of value by themselves.
Depending on the room outside of the bath, removing the feet, turning the tub on it's side and also on end if a tight space can enable the moving. One the most important needs is at least four young STRONG men.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to htuttle (Original post)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 11:09 PM

11. The claw feet can be easily removed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marble falls (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 11:44 PM

12. Pls. tell me how, 'cause we have the same problem!

Except, our clawfoot tub was installed during an early 1970's remodel when they built a 2nd bathroom onto what had been the driveway. Meaning the bathroom did not exist when the house was built in 1958.
For all the same reasons, that OP and others have mentioned, I'd love to have a shower in that space, but there is not enough room to maneuver the tub to the outside door, without removing the sink and vanity next to it.
I am starting to realize why later owners of this house left it sitting there. It does come in handy for other uses from time to time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 11:51 PM

13. They're held on by a big square nut, WD-40 them and heat them a bit with a torch ....

if that doesn't work and if you haven't broken the rusted thead/stud, cut it. Removing them will give you 4" more clearance.

If you don't want to recycle or reuse or sell, a sledge will break the cast iron but it will be serious work with safety glasses being worn.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marble falls (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 14, 2017, 12:10 AM

14. Thank you for the info.

We'll leave it there, our needs at this point don't make it worth dealing with.
I DO know there are a lot of homes here that have them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 14, 2017, 12:27 AM

15. They weigh in excess of four hundred pounds and are ungainly to move. Problematic removal tends....

to trump aesthetics usually with these monsters. In the late 60's and early seventies some people cut the fronts to make extremely uncomfortable couches.

I've moved these things and it was never worth the $200 - $300 plus salvage for them - $.05/lb in the seventies to move them.

It could cost an easy $1,000 to have one moved out now, but there is a good market for them for restoration of old houses. The claw feet alone can be worth a couple of hundred bucks.

I'd have to learn to love it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread