Tiling jacuzzi / whirlpool tub surround – remove and reinstall after tiling or tile around it? Leave a comment

I have a large jacuzzi / whirlpool tub in my master bedroom suite which currently has an all wood surround. As part of a renovation I want to get rid of the wood surround (at last partially), waterproof all around it and tile it.

While I could waterproof/tile around it with it in place- there is very little clearance between the tub and the walls so I’m afraid I’ll have a hard time getting in there and I would like to potentially replace the piping, jets, pump, etc as they are all 30 years old or so and I would hate to have to tear everything up in case of a leak down the line (is that a legitimate concern?).

  • Is it possible and would it be worth it to remove the tub, do waterproofing/tiling and then reinstall it? I know during installation there is some type of cement poured underneath to help seat it better and prevent vibration – would this need to all be redone or can it just be placed right back on top of the existing poured material?

  • If it’s best to leave the tub in place: should I be concerned about the jets/piping not accessible from the front access panel leaking at some point in the future?

  • If it’s best to leave the tub in place: the tub is currently sitting on top of the "decorative" horizontal wood pieces (see photos) – would I just attach backer board to those, waterproof and tile on top of that OR should I cut them out somehow and replace with backerboard? In this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVgCGy7N63s they seem to be attaching the backer board directly to the framing.

The tub
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