How to Remove a Tub Surround

When it comes to home improvements, upgrading a bathroom can pay big dividends.

If you have an old, tired tub surround that you'd like to replace with tile or a new tub surround, your first task is figuring out how to remove the existing one. .

Remove the water faucet, handles and any accessories such as a grab bar or soap dish.

Use a reciprocating saw to cut through and remove the drywall approximately 2 inches above the top of the tub surround to expose the fastening flange. The fastening flange is behind the drywall attached directly to the studs.

Pull out the nails or screws that are fastening the tub surround to the wall studs.

Pry the tub surround away from the wall using a pry bar. It is fastened with construction glue or adhesive caulk, so this could take some effort.

Score the surround deeply with a utility knife to take it off in sections if that will make removal easier.

Dispose of the tub surround material appropriately. It is considered construction debris and should not go in your regular trash.

Repair any damage to the dry wall and prepare the surface to receive tile or a new tub surround.


  • If you live in an older home, removing a tub surround could be dicey business given that you never know what you'll find behind it. It may be better to resurface the area over the existing tub surround. Bathtub liners fit directly over the existing tub and tub surround and may be a better option than removing the old surround, depending on your circumstances.