Two questions about existing cast iron tub in remodel

albryantApril 11, 2012

We are gutting and replacing our 1960's 5x7 "master" bath in 2 weeks. The only thing we've been planning to keep is the cast iron tub because it's really in good shape in the interior.

However, there is a line of rust between the apron and the ledge (I included a photo below - it's difficult to see but you can tell there's a dark link on the side of the tub - that's the rusted area).

I bought Bar Keeper's Friend, but the rust is more than a stain, it's built up. Does anyone have an idea of how I can try to remove the rust in this tight spot?

My second question is about the drain and overflow - can I or should I replace these since the walls will be out?

We are buying all materials and the contractor is doing the labor. I haven't asked him this question and don't know if it might be a code requirement as well???

Any advice is appreciated.

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That's a replace the tub issue. You aren't going to be able to "fix" that. Even if you used naval jelly to remove it, you'd still have a bare iron spot that would rust again unless porcelain coated. No one porcelain coats anymore. You could take a chance and just epoxy coat it after removing the rust, but that's a BIG chance to take that it won't return. The rest of your bath would already be nice and new and now you can't replace the tub without ripping all of that out. Replace it now while all of the other destruction is going on.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Ugh, I was afraid of that. I was hoping the tub was the one thing we'd salvage in this horrible room :( I wonder how much more the contractor will charge to sledgehammer the old tub and install a new one...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:28PM
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You might be able to sledgehammer it yourself! Too bad about the rust, but if the enamel is gone and it can't be redone . . .

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Hi albryant, it's hard to see from a distance, but is that a 2 piece tub? If the rest of the tub is in great shape, you could try this:
Take a piece of course sandpaper, say 80 grit, and fold it. Use the folded edge to sand down the rust in the groove. Then mask off above and below the line, and spray Rustoleum rusty metal primer and then white finish coat.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:33PM
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Thanks Pinkmountain and Ship. I discussed it again with the contractor and he thinks it's worth trying to refinish it and is referring us to someone he knows who he feels does a good job.

Ship - yes - I think it's a 2-peice tub! I've never seen such a thing anywhere else, but it really looks like there is a gap between the sections. I'm interested to see what the whole thing looks like when the tile and walls are torn out. That may change our minds.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 5:11PM
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