We remodeled our bathroom and changed out our big old yellow cast iron bathtub for a new BootzCast bathtub. Read through the process to find out how we replaced our old bathtub with the new BootzCast tub.
The Bootzcast Tub Review
How did we choose the BootzCast Tub? We were shopping online and saw both the regular Bootz tub and the Bootzcast Bathtub. Both seemed nice, the Bootzcast was about $100 more expensive and we wondered if it was really worth the extra hundred bucks.
Tapping your fingernails on the regular Bootz tub sounds really tinny. It sounded like rain hitting a piece of sheet metal, very loud. Then we tapped our fingernails on the Bootzcast tub, thunk — thunk. It sounded much, much more solid and did not make a tin sound. It was obvious that the Bootzcast with the coating on the bottom was the one we were going to get.
The other big difference is the Bootzcast Tub has a leveling pad on the bottom side of the bathtub. There is no need for a mortar bed! This saves you some time and material, especially if you’ve never done a mortar bed before. This makes it a perfect tub for a do it yourselfer!
We found this tub solid, sturdy and easy to install. It’s very quite and the slip resistant coating is nice. I don’t think you can go wrong, especially considering the price – it’s a cost effective alternative to a cast iron tub – and weighs a lot less!
Other Reviews I Read…
Some of the reviews for the Bootzcast bathtub said the bottom slip resistant area of the tub felt like sandpaper. The bottom does have a different feel than you might be used to, and to the hand it may feel like a super-fine grit sand paper, but it’s very nice to stand on in the tub, non-slip for sure and easy on the feet.
We laid cardboard in the bottom of the tub, cutting it so it would extend up the back rest and put another piece of cardboard folded over the edge of the tub. On top of that we taped plastic to the edge of the tub all the way around and the plastic went over the cardboard, so anything that dropped into the tub would go down the plastic into the cardboard, not onto the tub surface.
How we used the cardboard box that the tub came in to protect the tub during construction…
Below you can see the protective plastic we used to protect the tub.
Bootzcast Bathtub Installation
For our project, we bought everything online, including tile, grout, thinset, the vanity, wonderboard, sheetrock etc.. and used the store pick up option – then called the pro desk to arrange for shipping. It was very easy and very convenient.
We started by removing the walls surrounding the bathtub. We were planning on tiling the wall surround anyways, and besides that – the house was built in 1965 and apparently they didn’t use cement backer board then. So, we removed the old tile and sheetrock and prepared to remove the tub.
I tried to lift the tub by one side….oof. Yup, cast iron! It was heavy! There was no way we were taking it out in one piece by ourselves. So, we got out the sledge hammer and started whacking it. We used eye protection and also slung an old large bathmat over the area I was hitting with the sledge hammer. Some people said to use a tarp or something similar. It’ll help prevent shards of porcelain from flying into your skin!
It took several hours, including removing the walls surrounding the tub, and two sledge hammers (yup I broke one in the process!) but we finally got it out! The stamping on the bottom of the tub said “325 lbs”….
Don’t worry, we didn’t leave it on the lawn 😉 . We put it in the garage until the scrap guy came to get it. Aside from having done it ones self, I don’t think anyone can appreciate the relief of finally getting a cast iron tub out of the bathroom. It was certainly not easy, or fun!
TIP: Get rid of your old cast iron tub quickly. Post an ad on craigslist or in a local Facebook yard sale group. There are scrappers out there who will come take it off your hands! They make some cash when they bring it to the scrap yard for recycling and you get this 325 pound nightmare out of your face!
We lucked out and only had some water stains under the tub, no mold! WHEW! (after 50 years that’s pretty damn good!) We did clean up the area with the cleaner and inhibitor that we had bought as a ‘just in case’. Why not use it when you’ve got the walls opened up, right?
Installing the Bootzcast Tub
The installation went very easy and quick for us. We moved the tub onto a flat surface in the garage and measured up the holes (for the drain and overflow). It happened that the drain and overflow from the previous tub lined up perfectly, so we didn’t have any plumbing to do there (AWESOME!).
STOP: If you have plumbing to do, do it before you install the tub – unless you can reach it from below or through access panels. Don’t install the tub until the plumbing is ready to hook up. Once you install the tub, you may not have easy (or any) access to the plumbing!
We checked the floor for level, and it was perfectly level. You know how they say “this house has good bones”? Well, our house has good bones! Everything is always perfectly level! We love it! If it’s not level, you can use a floor leveling premixed compound, that will help you level out the floor and prepare it for the bath tub.
Next, we measured from the floor to the bottom of the under edge of the back side of the tub. After measuring the edge we then took the measurement inside, marked out a level line across the studs on the back wall of the tub surround and nailed a 2×4 along that line, making sure everything is perfectly level.
Dropping the tub in was the next step. We slid the tub in and rested the back edge of the tub on the 2×4 brace we installed earlier, wiggled it around and it slipped right into place. Once in place, we checked it for level 5 or 6 different ways with a 4 foot level – it was perfectly level every-which-way on the first shot! (amazing!)
After making sure everything was level, assuring that the tub was sitting firmly on the floor and making full contact with the 2×4 that was nailed to the back wall, we proceeded to lock the tub in place with exterior grade screws and stainless steel washers. Some people use roofing nails or similar, but we used the screw and washer method.
To lock the tub into place, use the washers and screws to ‘pin’ the lip of the tub to the studs, don’t over tighten, just secure the screws to the studs and make sure the washers are over the lip and securing the tub in place. If you over tighten, you risk cracking the porcelain, and that’s no good. If it’s too loose, the tub can slide up and down and that’s not good either.
After locking the tub into place, you can hook up the drains and/or place plastic or something else over the holes to block debris from falling into the drain and overflow during construction.
After getting the tub installed, you’re ready to put the tub surround back together. You can read more about that in my post about our –> DIY Bathroom Remodel.
I would recommend this tub to friends, family and anyone looking for an affordable, sturdy, easy to install bathtub.