How to Remove a Fiberglass Bathtub and Surround — by Home Repair Tutor

By Grover Koelpin 38 comments

How do you remove a bathtub and a fiberglass
shower surround? In this video, my buddy, Steve White, from SRW Contracting, is going
to show you step by step how to do this. And in the end, we’ve got an awesome surprise
for you, courtesy of DeWalt. So learn Steve’s skills in this video, and in the end check
out the surprise that we have in store for you, all right? Let’s jump into the tutorial
right now. We’re going to go ahead and get this fiberglass
unit out and set up the one-piece fiberglass unit which was installed before the framing
of the bathroom we’ve put in. So there’s no way to get this out in one piece. And it
would be pretty tough to get down the steps and everything else, too.
So the first thing I do is turn off the water and take out the pieces off. Each one is a
little bit different. So I’m going to have to check out what’s needed. And this one
just threads out. Then I have two screws set up over here. Take the handle off. Take the
two screws off the trim. Take the shower head off. Okay, and then sometimes you get the
shower arm out of the wall with a screwdriver in the end. Just wind it out. It gives you
a bit of the leverage. So, and you normally want to try to take the
drain assembly apart so that when you’re pulling out the tub, you’re not destroying
any plumbing underneath. Sometimes this can be tricky if it’s pretty old. Sometimes
some of this stuff doesn’t want to thread out. And there’s not much you can do about
that. Sometimes I just take a grinder and end up cutting the tub area out around it
just to make sure that you don’t have a problem. If you have access behind it, you
can take the drain assembly apart behind it sometimes. But more times in life you’re
going to be able to get this unthreaded. Sometimes that little removable tool for the drain assembly
is with a pipe wrench. Gives you all of the leverage to twist it out.
So this bottom pipe, I can’t get out. So I’m just going to use my grinder and just
cut off the pipe. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Okay, then you can see actually it
has a tile-surrounded tub. So I’m going to remove parts of that first.
Okay, so now you got that all kind of exposed all the way around the tub. Okay so there’s
a little flange that that drywall sits down onto. And that goes all the way around this
tub as well. Now if I were keeping this bump-out of wall, I would saw this all down along the
side of the tub as well to cut this flange because the flange goes all the way down here.
Well I’m not keeping this corner, so it doesn’t really matter because I’m turning
this into a walk-in shower. So I don’t have to worry about keeping this drywall corner.
And honestly, even on the other side, I would do the same thing if I were keeping the drywall,
but I’m re-drywalling the room. So that won’t really matter either.
So it’s really just as simple as getting a saw is all. I use like a wood/metal blade.
Multipurpose. I usually just go with something… What is this? Like 6”, 8”? Oh, this is
9”. So it’s something not too, too long or it’s all going to be bind up or whatnot.
But always shut the water off because you never know exactly how the plumbing’s done
until you get into this. I’ve seen it where sometimes even water lines are behind the
tub, feeding it. So running the saw along the corner, you can potentially cut that.
So shut the water off before you even do this. And you know, just we’re pluming the walk-in
shower, any plumbing that might be existing there over place. So I’m going to show you
how much an area there is behind it. That’s why sometimes plumbers just run all their
stuff kind of loose behind the tub because there is space there. So as simple as sawing
the corner. Like I said, I don’t really care about that
corner. When I use that Sawzall, I always kind of angle it down a little bit because
you can see how there’s wires in that wall. You don’t want to have it too far in a wall
where you might cut the wires. So I always kind of angle the Sawzall down a little bit.
So now we got the drain assembly out and stuff like that. We can just simply pull out the
tub. So this is kind of a perfect example of what
you might run into when you try to do a tub conversion to a walk-in shower. You can see
the vent stack that’s inside the shower area where the tub was able to cover that
area. So we’re going to have to reroute the vent stack to be inside the wall and run
through. So that’s actually a prime example of what you might run into when you remove
the tub. All right, I hope that was helpful. I mean,
there’s really nothing pretty about demo, but you just really have to muscle through
it and use a Sawzall and run through it. Again, that’s why I really enjoy… that’ why…
let me say that again. And that’s another reason why it’s best to kind of demo everything.
The more time that you have to kind of consider drywall corners and trying to pull things
out, the longer it’s going to take really to do everything because, chances are, when
you’re converting to a walk-in shower , you’re going to be able to make that a little bit
bigger to be able to finish the drywall a lot nicer. In this bathroom alone, we’re
already taking out the mirror, we’re rerouting the plumbing for the sinks, we’re rerouting
this for the shower. It really makes no sense just to leave three pieces of drywall left
in here to finish. So take everything down with the saw, and start from scratch. It makes
it a lot easier. So hopefully it was helpful. Thanks.
Well there you have it. That’s how you remove a bathtub and a fiberglass shower surround.
If you’re doing a bathroom remodeling project, these skills and tips can really come in handy.
And thank you, Steve, for showing us how to do it.
So here is the surprise. DeWalt is partnering with us, and they’re providing a brand new
20V Max lithium-ion reciprocating saw. So they’re going to give away one with us on
Home Repair Tutor. So go to, check out the latest tutorial, and you’ll
see how one random, lucky person is going to win this reciprocating saw. It’s fantastic.
It’s a tool that comes in handy whenever you’re doing a fiberglass shower surround
demo project or removing studs, you need a reciprocating saw, and you need one that is
powerful. And the 20V Max reciprocating saw by DeWalt is fantastic.
So I hope that you liked this video today. Again, check out the giveaway back on over
at And for all DeWalt’s latest tools that are coming out, you can
go to as well. Thanks for watching. Take care, and we’ll
see you in the next video.



Jul 7, 2015, 10:58 am Reply

When cutting and handling fiberglass you should wear protective clothing. Anyone who has ever gotten that dust in their pores, lungs or eyes will tell you… it sucks!

Christine Taylor

Aug 8, 2015, 12:41 am Reply

Okay, first off, Thank You for sharing your advice! Here's some stuff I'm shy about getting into with this sort of project: Am I going to have solder a pipe? How long will the awful drain be open? Wires are scary. Is there a better way to find them? Thanks Guys!


Dec 12, 2015, 7:32 pm Reply

Is there realistically any way to remove a bathtub without disturbing the tile around it? I'm buying a house where the owners put in new tile around a tub that's so old it has cave paintings on it.

Lite Hold

Jan 1, 2016, 9:49 am Reply

I wish he had shown how he removed the drain part. Also, is there a "next" video of him converting the tub/surround to a walk in shower? I'd like to see it.


Feb 2, 2016, 3:04 am Reply

At 4:32 is your face bleading?


Feb 2, 2016, 11:58 pm Reply

I got an estimate for removing an fiberglass bathtub and surround, Then to replace with a tub and to tile the surround to the ceiling and tile the floor of abathroom that is 85in x 89in . the tub surround has side walls that are 32in back wall 58in and the height is 82in. I got a quote of $8000.00 this also includes new fixtures is this an fair quote. I am not handy with this type of thing.

Jeff Gardner

Sep 9, 2016, 3:16 am Reply

No eye protection removing tile, genius.

Mai Le

Dec 12, 2016, 9:09 am Reply

Hi, I am planning to remove my bathtub but does this require to turn off the main water line or can i do it without turning off waterline?

fuknsk8 now

Mar 3, 2017, 11:33 pm Reply

You can die if cut threw those wires buddy

Simple Living

Apr 4, 2017, 8:41 pm Reply

Besides fiberglass, what are other better types of tubs out there?

Iyanna Smith

Jun 6, 2017, 5:53 pm Reply

no protection the left side of his face was bleeding

jason ladwig

Jul 7, 2017, 12:53 am Reply

Yes wear protective clothing as well, that fiberglass will get places that you do not want it.
So I do this job a couple times a week and most the time we avoid destroying the drywall around the tub. This saves you and the customer time and money. The tubs have a 1.5 lip around the top and sides that is under the drywall. If you start jerking it off you will break the drywall, We cut the lip in the corners and leave the lip because it is feathered into the drywall. then we install some type of waterproof finish cover, Usually acrylic or surround backing.

Bobbie Jo Naber

Jul 7, 2017, 10:21 pm Reply

Thank you so much for your excellent videos. I have a bit of an issue trying to get the handle off my Mowen shower faucet because the alin nut is striped. Any help on guiding me there this would be appreciated

Don Paul

Jul 7, 2017, 9:37 pm Reply

Next time might want to show what you are having to grind and how on the drain assembly. Having to watch another video since mine isn't as easy


Sep 9, 2017, 3:59 pm Reply

Is it possible to only remove the surround and not the tub? This way I can tile the wall.. I know these units are one piece but not sure if the surround can be cut out.

Mary McCaffrey

Nov 11, 2017, 2:40 am Reply

That tub and surround looks to be in decent shape. Too bad but some okay information. Just cannot get past his complete lack of safety for himself AND kaboom he could have totally hit a wire regardless of how shallow he was trying to cut at an angle! T


Dec 12, 2017, 6:36 am Reply

Next video, how to reroute the vent stack.

Jamie Magel

Jan 1, 2018, 12:14 am Reply

Very helpful video. Thank you!


Feb 2, 2018, 8:46 pm Reply

WHAT gross things can you find under these tubs,lizards,bugs,mice?How much does the tubs weigh with water vs another FG tub or a heavier tub?DO you have to insulate behind the fixtures because ,when running water downstairs,why can someone hear it upstairs?Do the fixtures have to be braced,sometimes I hear rattling?What do you think about those walk-in tubs?


Mar 3, 2018, 10:52 pm Reply

why would you use that long of a blade to 1/8 inch of fiberglass

Chris M

Jun 6, 2018, 2:54 pm Reply

Question, I'm about to do this very thing, but I want to keep the drywall corners where the tub flange is. What is the best way to remove this without destroying the drywall corners?

Mark B.

Sep 9, 2018, 5:22 pm Reply

Nice safety glasses!

Olena Erhardt

Oct 10, 2018, 6:33 pm Reply

Thank you very much for a helpful video. Is it possible to remove that fiberglass tub without cutting (I don't want to mess with the fiberglass dust)? I assume as it was installed originally, it could be removed same way. Maybe to cut out a sheetrock wall from another side to disconnect all pipes which stick out from that fiberglass plate? And is it a shut off valve which disconnect water on that part only, or you need to install it? We got a slab leak under the bath tub and a company suggests to brake tile on the floor. I see there is no concrete under the tub, so it would be way easier to get to the problem point, no jack hammering, no dust. I would appreciate any opinion on this matter.

karen moysi

Oct 10, 2018, 8:24 pm Reply

Please wear safety glasses when you break tile.

Kathryn L

Dec 12, 2018, 11:54 am Reply

So you seem like a nice dude.. but… why not have the camera closer? I see a whole lotta shower top and very little of what you're doing. Bummer.


Jan 1, 2019, 3:20 am Reply

Hay trolls the video is on how to remove the shower not safety ya dumb s***


Jan 1, 2019, 4:28 am Reply

too bad you didn't have a camera guy

xingwen shi

Jan 1, 2019, 10:54 pm Reply

hi buddy. is there anything you don't do? ^-^

Ben Zun

Feb 2, 2019, 1:45 am Reply

Mask and safety glasses a must. I did this but so much dust and I wear contacts. Easy to remove just take it piece by piece with sawz all. He should have done plumbing remove.

Lord Cromwell

Mar 3, 2019, 3:27 am Reply

Can you do mine?


Apr 4, 2019, 11:43 pm Reply

Wait… dude was that blood in your face?


Jun 6, 2019, 12:51 pm Reply

Thanks for sharing. I have a one piece tub and would like to change it to a deeper tub and shower. Any success with a project like that?


Jun 6, 2019, 12:58 am Reply

Use a mask and eye protection when cutting and pulling apart fiberglass, also long sleeved shirt and gloves… generally something you dont mind throwing away at the end of the day instead of washing. Just common sense stuff, for working in fiberglass demo. Also, a circular saw, set the blade to about 1/4" deep, cut pieces into 3' by 3' squares, easy to throw away in a home trash dumpster. Really though, use a mask and eye protection and long sleeved shirt and gloves.

Mando Salas

Jun 6, 2019, 11:05 pm Reply

How much for a job like this

Elaine Arnott

Jul 7, 2019, 6:46 am Reply

Thank you!

Debbie Marlow

Jul 7, 2019, 11:48 pm Reply

Take out tub dain


Aug 8, 2019, 4:21 pm Reply

Bro. You got blood. Lol. Had this happen to me before. Good job though.

Dianna A

Aug 8, 2019, 11:59 pm Reply

I hope there is a part 2. Good job buddy

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