Protect the Tub During Construction

During my many years of experience in bathroom remodeling, I have been convinced many times that improper protection of a bathtub during construction works can be very expensive. It is definitely worth spending a little time to secure it in the right way so that the rest of the work proceeds in an efficient and professional manner.

You may be wondering how you can protect the bathtub during remodeling? The best and cheapest, but at the same time the most time-consuming way to protect a bathtub is to use the cardboard in which the bathtub was delivered. The cardboard should be cut with a knife in such a way as to cover all the exposed parts of the bathtub and connect them with a painter masking tape.

This article will show you why it is worth to protect the bathtub and how to do it "like a pro" during bathroom remodeling.

 

Why is it worth protecting the bathtub during bathroom renovation?

During renovation works in the bathroom, we can damage the bathtub in many ways. The main and most dangerous damage is mechanical damage. It is easy to imagine how much havoc can be caused by the 1x2ft ceramic tile falling from a height of 5ft.

Spatter damage caused by mechanical damage in metal enamel covered baths is virtually irreparable. Acting commercially, we can be sure that our client will demand replacement of the bathtub with a new one, which combines the purchase of a new bathtub as well as the dedication of a huge amount of time for its replacement. During repair work in the bathroom, it is also very easy to scratch the bathtubs, which can also be difficult to hide.

The second type of damage is all kinds of dirt that are difficult to remove. Metallic baths often have an anti-slip surface, which is very easily colored from the rubber soles of the shoes. These surfaces are also an ideal substrate for thinset mortar that is used for tile installation as well as grouting.

 

Related Questions:

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of protecting the bathtub using cardboard?

As I wrote earlier, the protection of the bathtub using the cardboard in which the bathtub was delivered is the best and cheapest method.

Virtually every bathtub manufacturer marks the tub bottom shape on the cardboard, thanks to which it will be easier to cut out the desired shape. Availability is also a big advantage. The only material that we will need is a Scotch Blue Painter's Tape (cost about $7) or a roll of other masking tape that does not leave any glue after moistening. As a tool, we will of course use the box cutter knife.

Another advantage of this method is the ability to work in the bathtub and easy access to the surrounding walls, which allows us to tiling the work, as well as the possibility of partially uncovering the bathtub during progressing works, such as the shower door installation.

The main drawback of this method is the fact that it requires about 1 hour of work, and it requires some manual skills from us. In addition, if we install an enameled steel tub, our masking tape will not stick to the bathtub, which will make our task difficult.

The second disadvantage of protecting the bathtub with cardboard is the difficult access to the drain and not being able to fill the bathtub with water to check for possible leakage if we have already not done it before.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of protecting the bathtub with two sheets of rigid foam and plywood?

Another popular way to protect the bathtub is to use two sheets of rigid foam board first to cover the top of the tub with the other being used to cover the apron. The upper part in this case is covered with plywood. This method is usually seen in new construction jobs, when the bathroom is built from scratch and is very much used during residential bathroom remodeling.

The main advantage of this method is very reliable protection against damage. As well as the ease of getting to the bathtub, which is useful when there are several companies working in the bathroom and for example a plumbing company deals with its connection, and the installation of tiles is another company.

The biggest disadvantage of this method, however, is the difficult access to the walls during installation of tiles and other works within the bathtub, which practically disqualifies this method in the case of residential bathroom remodeling. Another disadvantage is of course the availability of material for protection, which must first be purchased. This method is more expensive than that. The cost of 2 sheets of rigid foam board and one sheet of plywood is around $60.

 

Protecting the bathtub with cardboard - step by step.

The Level of Skills Needed:

  • 3/10

Time to Complete:

  • Novice: 45min
  • Handy: 30min
  • Pro: 20min

Tools Needed to Complete the Task:

  1.   Marker
  2.   Tape Measure
  3.   Utility Knife

Materials Needed to Complete the Task:

  1.   Cartboard
  2.   ScotchBlue Painter's Tape 1.41in or wider

1

Prepare the tools that you will need to do this job. You need a knife, a tape measure, a pen and a marker.
Tools needed to make a job
 

2

Also prepare a masking tape and a cardboard box from which you pulled out the bath tubs. If you do not have a cardboard box in which the bathtub has been delivered, use any cardboard box that you have at hand.
Materials needed to complete the job
 

3

Prepare the cardboard box in which the bathtub has been delivered in and cut the carton shape of the front of the tub. So that it overlaps the upper part (the one on which you can sit) so as to secure its corner. Then glue it with a painter masking tape to the bathtub surfaces. Remember not to stick the tape to the edge of the bathtub, leave about 3/8 "uncoated space. This place is the place where the tiles meet.
Step 1 of protecting the bathtub with cardboard
 

4

Also attach the upper edge to the bathtub. Thanks to this treatment, our protection will not slip when you sit on it.
Step 4 of protecting the bathtub with cardboard
 

5

Find the printed shape of the bottom of the tub on the bathtub carton and cut it according to the shape. If you are afraid of destroying the bathtub, cut the second piece of cardboard of the same shape and drop these cut cardboard boxes into the bathtub.
Step 5 of protecting the bathtub with cardboard
 

6

Cover this piece of cardboard carefully using masking tape. It will last you at least afew days. The better you do it the longer it will stay in its place.
Step 6 of protecting the bathtub with cardboard
 

7

Cut the piece of cardboard correspondingly to the size of each bathtub wall so that it overlaps the top edge of the bathtub. Cut the cardboard on the edge to make it easier to bend.Then glue it on the top and bottom so that you can connect the bottom piece of the cardboard with the one assembled.
Step 7 of protecting the bathtub with cardboard
 

8

Next, cover each internal wall of the bathtub with cardboard in order to completely cover its surface. Make sure there is no place where tile mortar or grout can get under security.
Step 8 of protecting the bathtub with cardboard

 

 

Okay and now you may be wondering how to dismantle the protection when it is no longer needed?

To dismantle our protection it is best not to use tools but only your bare hands. If we start using a knife, we will risk scratching or wounding the bathtub during this procedure.

If we have completed the entire procedure as described above, we should firstly dismantle the protection of the bathtub's internal walls and then the cardboard from the front part. At the bottom of the tub there should remain a piece of cardboard, on which we can walk while finishing works. Finally we can remove this last piece after finishing all the construction works in the bathroom.

Step 1 of protecting the bathtub with cardboard
 
 

Securing the bathtub with rigid foam and plywood - step by step.

The Level of Skills Needed:

  • 2/10

Time to Complete:

  • Novice: 30min
  • Handy: 20min
  • Pro: 15min

Tools Needed to Complete the Task:

  1. Circular Saw
  2. Marker
  3. Tape Measure
  4. Utility Knife

Materials Needed to Complete the Task:

  1. ScotchBlue Painter's Tape 1.41in or wider
  2. Plywood Panel 11/32 in. x 8ft. x 4ft. or similar 
  3. R-3 Rigid Foam Board Insulation Sheathing 1/2 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.

1

The first step is to prepare the necessary tools to perform this task. Here's a list of the tools you will need.
Tools needed to make a job
 

2

Buy at your local store with building materials: 1 plywood and 2 rigid foam sheet with dimensions of 6x3 or more and a thickness of 3/4in -1in.
Materials needed to make a job
 

3

Measure the front part of the bathtub, then mark these dimensions on the rigid foam subtracting around 1.5in from the length and adding about 1/4 in width.
Step 3 of protecting the bathtub with rigid foam
 

4

Cut the piece of the rigid foam as marked.
Step 4 of protecting the bathtub with rigid foam
 

5

Place this piece on the front part of the bathtub.
Step 5 of protecting the bathtub with rigid foam
 

6

Cut the rigid foam to the dimensions of top of the tub by subtracting +/-1.5in from the tub's length and subtracting around 1in from the width. Then check if the cut piece matches the bathtub.
Step 6 of protecting the bathtub with rigid foam
 

7

Now get a piece of cut rigid foam next to a piece of plywood and trace its shape on the foam.
Step 7 of protecting the bathtub with rigid foam
 

8

Next cut the plywood to the selection you made.
Step 8 of protecting the bathtub with rigid foam
 

9

Now put this cut piece of foam on the tub, then cover it with the plywood you have cut. Crush this little piece of foam in the front, the upper one so that it stays in place.
Step 9 of protecting the bathtub with rigid foam
 
 

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