How to Remove a Fiberglass Shower and Tub

While older bathtubs are made of heavy cast iron, the majority of modern preformed shower surrounds and bathtubs are made of lightweight fiberglass.

Remove Fixtures

Whether your old fiberglass shower or tub is worn and requires replacement, or you simply want a new look, follow these steps to remove your fiberglass shower or tub.

Shut off the water supply to the shower and tub area.

Remove any existing shower doors or shower curtain rods.

Remove the lower water fixtures. Usually the lower water fixtures are held in place with a few screws.

Grab the showerhead fixture near the wall and twist counterclockwise to remove.

Insert pliers into the drain and grab the crosspieces in the drain. Turn counterclockwise to loosen and remove the drain.

Remove the drain shoe under the drain by turning it counterclockwise. The drain shoe is a threaded pipe that connects the drain to the drainpipe in the floor.

Remove the Shower or Tub

Wear gloves and safety glasses to protect your hands and eyes from splintering fiberglass.

Scrape away as much caulking as possible where the tub or shower walls meet the walls and floor.

Examine the edges of the fiberglass shower walls. The edges are sometimes nailed to wall studs and covered with drywall. If this is the case, you must cut away the drywall from the edges before prying out the fiberglass surround.

Pry the tub and shower walls loose using a pry bar where the tub and shower walls meet the walls and floor.

Pull the tub and shower walls out of the tub area.

Pry and remove the shower pan, if necessary.

Things You Will Need

  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Scraper
  • Pry bar

Tips

  • If you are replacing the fiberglass shower or tub with another shower or tub of the same size, you can probably use the same fixtures and shower pan.
  • Each shower and tub configuration is slightly different. If you cannot figure out how to properly remove your shower and tub fixtures, you might want to consult a professional.
  • If the shower and tub do not pull out easily, you can cut them in pieces with a reciprocating saw. Be careful not to cut through electrical or plumbing in the wall, and wear a dust mask to prevent breathing in the cut fibers.

Warnings

  • Do not work with fiberglass without protecting your hands and eyes. Fiberglass can splinter, and the broken pieces are sharp.
  • Do not start this project before checking your local building codes for required permits.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Jennifer Painter has been writing professionally for over 10 years. Painter has held full-time positions in the business world writing technical manuals and training materials. In addition, Painter's freelance work has appeared on many prominent websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Missouri State University.