Bath Tub Makeover




Introduction: Bath Tub Makeover

About: I made a beer mug with only a knife & a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me.

So I had to convert an old medieval bathroom into a nice washing area with walk-in-shower & real toilet.

Nothing special, nothing difficult, nothing breathtaking - if there wasn't that cast steel 200 kilo bath-tub.

There was no chance that I ever could get this thing down the curved stairs without help.

There was also not a single hair on my body that thought about asking some.

And there was also no reason why I should get this thing down those stairs in one piece.

Of course I was going to cut this green ugly monster down - with great pleasure even - and since I'd been inspired by one of my 444 favorite I'bles, I decided to do the cutting with great wisdom.

Turning bath-tubs into furniture is nothing new, I know, but it's not because it's not new that it shouldn't be funny

As always, I decided to do it my way.

And as always, I had a lot of fun.

Step 1: Inspiration

There are multiple uses for hacked bath tubs. Most people use them as showpiece in their living room and this requires another kind of finition than the one I was going to use it for.

I wanted to use it as solid sitting rock around the fire place.

'Why solid?!' you're asking. Because after a few Belgian beers you'd better be anchored to earth, I'm telling you.

Our fire place is rather down to earth - a piece of a gasoline tank with a lot of place around - and so those seats had to harmonise the whole.

A lot of words to say that this project was going to be basic. Really basic.

Image sources:

Step 2: Gather Gear

First of all, you need such a thing.

You might have to look on second-hand-sites, landfills, steel collectors, neighbours, grandma's, villages covered by lava flows, mud flows or just water because someone somewhere decided to drop a dam on the nearby river - quite common in China, it seems.

As in Canada, also, but no hard feelings for the beavers.

I found mine easily - my bath tub, not my beaver - and I even got payed for it.

Golden tip: those steel tubs are often used as water bassin for cattle.

All you need is a pickup & balls of steel to make it yours.

Anyway, wishing you the best of luck. Nothing more dangerous as a determined mind.

Image source:

Step 3: The Cutting

Instead of dumbly cutting the tub in 3 parts to obtain 2 'normal' chairs and losing the central U-shaped zone, or cutting a side to obtain a couch, I decided to keep es much steel I could, by making one 'normal' chair of the 'back'zone of the tub, and one - well - 'abnormal' chair of the 'feet'zone of the tub.

'Abnormal' = you'll be sitting on the vertical part of the tub, aka the zone that's usually only in contact with the palms of your feet, aka the zone where the button is to activate the emptying-mecanism, aka watch the pics to discover what I mean.

Let's change terminology: the 'abnormal' will be 'the Throne', the other 'the Cough'. Right?

Number of cutting lines: 5.

Use an angle cutter with a nice cutting disc, goggles, gloves & dust mask. And ear plugs.

Cut the two quarterpieces first, then the final cut to seperate the 2 halves.

I had a tub of 160cm. The Cough measures 80cm, the Throne 40 cm - distances from horizontal side to first cut.

Step 4: Gettin' Home

After the cutting, time to change environment.

From the worksite to the fire place.

Welcome home friends.

Step 5: Some Woodwork

My original idea was to make a steel structure for those chairs, but my wife suggested to use heavy wooden poles.

Of course I listened to her - that's why that ring is for - and so I salvaged a few heavy oak beams and made 2 'cradles' for those iron babies.

Glue & heavy wooden plugs. Really basic, really straight-forward.

Step 6: Assembling

The Throne is fixed to its cradle by 2 heavy screws, the Couch is just kept in place by gravity - notice the zone I cut away (left from the dog) and the 3 lates on the perimeter to prevent the wole from moving.

Step 7: Reinforcements

After the first rain, one of my fixations didn't hold and so I decided to reinforce each corner with heavy 6mm self-drilling wood screws, srewed from downside to upside to make them invisible from men-perspective. Or really nicely visible from layin'-drunk-on-the-floor-again-perspective.

Btw, I just met a new friend: this torx-type-torpedo-screw is really the best I ever had. Made to penetrate & with a auto-routering screwhead, they bit this oak as if it was just a block of butter.

Solid it is, finally.

Step 8: Enjoy!

These beauties are ready for the summer.

A few more would be great.

So I need another bath tub...

Hey, first time I have an apple instead of a beer!

I'm going to change this, very fast!



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    25 Discussions

    An amazing project! Can't think of a better way to give that old bathtub a new life outdoors :)


    2 years ago

    Thats a huge dog.


    2 years ago

    Don't forget fire pits are a smoke nuisance for your neighbors. Use for cooking, NOT for drinking and staring at the embers until the wee hours.

    1 reply

    You're right, watching tv all night is a much better way to fill those evenings. Why didn't I think about that?

    Always impressed with clever reuse of materials, these look great. Thanks for sharing.

    1 reply

    Where'd you get the pan for the fire pit?

    1 reply

    I found it in Spain. Still don't know why there was 120 kilo of rice, seafruits & vegetables in it & why there was a fire under it...

    Thank you - too bad I don't feel like one ;)

    That dog - Hastro - is a Newfoundland. My wife rescued him from a miserable situation and she's re-educating him before he'll leave us to his new family. Wild of water, wild of wood, wild of apples - the kind of dog you want to have with you in a canoe ;)

    Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
    Great job! Those seats will go on forever. ??

    1 reply

    Forever maybe not, but definitely longer than me! ;)

    Very elegant. Post modernist plastic brutalism.

    Now I wonder what you could use the plugholes for??

    The mind boggles - colonic irrigation while cooking the barbeque?

    1 reply

    Post Modersnist Plastic Brutalism?! I just love that qualification, awesome!

    "I made a beer mug with only a knife & a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me."

    Now if you made the beer with only a knife & hatchet, life would be complete. ☺

    Nice vision you have, my use for an old tub was mixing a shower pan mudding compound before kicking it to the curb.

    1 reply

    I love that idea of primitive beer making! I'm sure that our ancestors invented that lovely liquid pure by accident and it's just an awesome idea to re-enact that accident, thanx for that crazy idea!

    Looking good. I like the idea of repurposing the old tub instead of it being junked. I assume you ground those edges down so it wouldn't cut you when you used the chair? I think your wife was right, the chairs look great with a wooden frame. Steel, while cleaner and sleek, wouldn't have fit as well in appearance.

    I too love torx drive. They are far superior to other drivers in my book.