How To Install A Cast Iron Tub

We are installing a square cast iron tub into a TINY bathroom. This took a lot of thinking and planning to convert this shower into a tiny tub for the customer.

Her father built the entire house. She loved what we got.

00:00 Follow along with a handyman
00:25 First for us: Installing a cast iron bathtub
00:40 It had a brass overflow
01:00 Put in a plastic overflow
01:15 The supports for the tub
01:36 Adjusting to an interesting and tight fit for the tub
02:00 Trying to install it without hurting this beautiful house handmade by the customer’s father
02:15 We’re working to stay withing a reasonable budget
03:20 We will put in a removable wall in the back so you can get to the water heater
04:00 The tub weights at least 200 lbs without water
04:10 Why we did the plumbing this way, allowing us to access the drains
04:55 Installed the wood
05:25 Sealed up the drain, when trap dries out sewer smell will come up through if you don’t block it
06:30 Getting the tub into place
09:12 And we’re in
10:10 How we did the plumbing
11:20 The back panel for covering the water heater
12:00 How we’ll keep the water from damaging the framing, and complete the bathroom
12:33 Be an American, not an American’t

Hi, I’m Phil Bridges, owner of Straight Arrow Repair. Ever want to know how a repairman fixes things? Well come with me, and I’ll show you how I solve problems. Let’s make things better together.

Hey, guess what? This is a first time for me. It’s to mess with a cast iron square tub. Interesting enough, it had to actually, let me show you the age of it, it had a brass overflow that somebody had already cut at an angle. And we took that out and we put a, plastic overflow. Now, come around on this side over here.

The supports, of course, you can use the front. It also have some right here but more importantly, in the back, one is here. One is there so I have got to be able to make decisions based on the circumstances. So let me show you what circumstances I’ve got.

This house, a really neat house with a really neat lady who inherited it. Her father made it. It’s out of oak, six by six beams on the bottom and then every so like four to eight feet, for support and then beams on top of that really neat house. A lot of oak That being said, I don’t want to jackhammer the concrete, change the situation for the budget big time. If I had to sit that thing on the ground down here, I would have to jackhammer all this take everything out.

And then over here is a beam six inches. I’d have to go underneath it change. It would be terribly expensive. And instead of jackhammering I’m going to put a 2, two 2x4s here and set the edge of the tub on those two bys, that’ll give me then I’ll put two bys here. Remember that one at an angle over here?

And this is actually going to slide against there and they’ll be about five inches gap here. A lot of things to consider so when I know that it’s it falls out supports right here, I also need to be able to put in a back that can be removed to work on this or to replace this what I did not take you with me on is all the plumbing we did for the washer and dryer, the electrical that we did for the washer and dryer.

We had to go underneath the staircase, take up the flooring, run it over into the panel, take off the siding to get one. I’ll show you that build a closet and all that but this is the journey you’re going to see is us trying to live that 200 and whatever, maybe 250 lb tub and put it in here. Another thing to consider here the people the guys working on this hey, why don’t we just run right into that?

The problem with that is if this ever gets clogged up, I can’t get to it with that tub sitting on top of it. So I got leery of that. Plus the drain is over here so how would I get into there with a lot of hastle? So the, it’ll come across here with room to reach in here and connect everything up over into here.

This is the drain for the, the washer. And then I’m going to go across over the top of the beam over here. Go over the top. And then in that transition from here to there, I’ll end up putting the trap. So, that’s the journey.

We’ve put the boards in place. Make sure it’s level because the tub itself has the legs that are already got a slope so we had to make sure this was level with this or this is like with that. And there is an angle on there. So it will sit here. This is for the wall that’s going to go behind but that will be after we get the thing in place.

We’ve sealed up the drain so that when the trap dries out, the smell doesn’t come up through from the septic tank, which you have to think about all those things, but you don’t want that sewer smell coming up out of a dried trap. You’ll sometimes smell it in convenience stores. You know, it got a lot of weird bad smell.

And sometimes grocery stores, I’ve had to tell them Hey, you guys need to go get the floor drains, put water in those floor drains, because if they’re not used and you don’t get water in it, the trap dries out and the sewer smell comes up through that floor. Drain, and that’s what that is, a floor drain. And we’ve sealed it.

Now we’ve got that big old tub, which I suggest weighs about 200 lbs and we’ve slide it up to that right behind where Clay is with the camera we’re fixing to try to put it in, and there’s no room for camera guy and two guys to put this in at the same time. So we’ll show you when we get through here. All right.

“What would your, what would the cabnet hit?”

We’re going to spin that around, right.

“Well, this right here is going to get this wall right.”

This right here. Go straight back.


Don’t want the thing to drop on my toe.

“You better get over there on the other side, brother. So we can lower down right here and be OK. I think, just don’t want you getting hurt. Because this mother’s heavy. Oh, you don’t got that don’t you? Want it just like that, to hang.”

Will there be room on both sides?

“Yeah, get my hand in there, maybe”

Let’s slide it over here.

“I got it, I got it. Need to come this way anothre two inches?.”


“I’m guessing. Oh, that’s close.”

OK, it’s got to go on top, and over against here.

“Got to come towards you a little more than that. And it fell off. Fuck.”

It’s alright. We’re closer than I thought we’d be.

“It’s got to come your way. But I couldn’t get it to move. Ouch, that is not going to be good for my finger.”

Silde it over first, and then we’ll slide it to the front.

“Ops. That’s it. Them boards moveed, by the way. These two right here moved.”

We can pull it back a little bit if you want.

“Well, I’m flush right there at the corner and flush. I’m sitcking over down here, so I don’t need to.”

Need to come this way a little bit?

“Just a little bit with the corner, maybe. Oh, too much.”

That’s all right.

Push it against wall. That’s good. Let me stand in it.

“You can stand in it, if it will hold you it’ll hold her. That’ll be the go to rule. Be like a chimpanzee and in there taking the shower a bar of soap in both hands. Ooh.”

All right. Now comes the…

“Now, comes the hard part.”

Well, it’s in place. We’re all out of breath. Let’s go to lunch. Get’s some lunch.

“Clay’s lunch alarm went off a while ago.”


“Either that or he gets up at noon every day.”

Everything looks pretty good. Now we got to…

So I wanted to see, you to see what I’ve done. Can you get this down here? So we can see we’ve got the drain coming over here. Then it goes over here where the washer connects in and then we built this wall over top of it. Then this wall is lower than this ledge. It still hits up against it.

We’ve got a wall put in here.

“I’m going to let Gretta in, so I have to close the back door.”

And then these boards will be below this one has to be cut off a little bit more, but we’ll have a two by right here. It will be below here, and we put Hardy board. They’ll be even with that and then ceramic tile on top of that, that she bought white tile. This panel will be able to come out and I’ll show you this is what it looks like.

The backside of it’s got your braces on it.

And we’re going to put Hardy board on that so that will have Hardy board on it and water from all that will run to here. And that lip will keep it from getting underneath to the framing then we’ll bring the ceramic tile to about same area. And then we’ll caulk all this and caulk all that. We’re also going to put hardy board here and ceramic tile here up to this.

So here we go.

This is Phil Bridges, if you like what you saw and think it might be helpful to somebody else, push that like button and let other people know what you and I know, and we’ll work together toward making a brighter future. By the way, we’re not Amera-Can’ts, we’re Americans. See you next time.

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