Cultured marble bathtub surrounds look beautiful when they are first installed, but over time, they may become stained or cracked and need to be replaced. Alternatively, you may just want to remove the cultured marble bathtub surround to change the look of your bathtub. Like other tub surrounds, cultured marble surrounds are usually installed over an existing wall along your bathtub. Removing them is not that complicated, but it must be done with care; otherwise, the wall could be damaged.
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Preparing for the Removal
Whenever you are working on a bathroom renovation, it is important to turn off the water at its source. You may also want to don a pair of safety glasses, a safety mask and safety gloves to protect your face and hands. Then, unscrew the faucet handles and place them where they can be easily found later.
Next, use an adjustable wrench to take the showerhead off its arm. Look for a setscrew beneath the bathtub spout and unscrew it. If it threads right onto the water pipe, you can use that wrench to turn the spout counterclockwise until it comes off. If the tub surround is connected to the wall with rivets, you can cut them off with a utility knife.
Moving On to the Surround
Cultured marble bathtub surrounds are made with panels, so you will need to take these apart. Using a utility knife, slice through all the caulk at the edges and in between the panels. Be sure that the knife goes through to the supporting wall that is behind the tub surround but do not damage it.
Take a pry bar and wedge it under the bottom edge of the tub surround. If you cannot budge it, hit the top of the bar with a hammer as you are working (carefully so that the backing wall is not damaged). You will need to keep wedging the pry bar behind different places on the cultured marble. Keep working until it is all loosened and also take off any trim.
Have a helper assist you with pulling off the surround from the wall. Begin with the wall opposite from the plumbing on the upper-right corner. One person can pull the surround while the other cuts through the adhesive that is behind it.
A Few More Tips
Before you start removing your cultured marble bathtub surround, you may want to cover the floors and bathroom fixtures, as there may be a lot of dust and debris that forms while you are working. Also, you will need to have new wall material ready for when you have completed the removal. So, before you even start this project, take some time to measure the wall area and choose the new tub surround.
You will also want to have a plan for disposing of the old bathtub surround. If the pieces are too large to fit in trash containers, you may want to contact your township to ask about the proper disposal method.
Depending on your taste and budget, you can find a new bathtub surround at a range of price points. There are many midpriced bathtub surrounds but make sure to read the installation instructions before making your purchase. You don't want to take on a project for which you are not adequately prepared.