Barn Conversion – Getting a Cast Iron Bath Upstairs

Today has been an eventful day on our barn conversion project. This morning I was working on the top clay plaster layer in what will be the bathroom. And this afternoon we hit rather a big milestone – getting our big cast iron bath upstairs.

We had to think carefully about how this was to be accomplished, because though there are five of us living here, and the bath can be moved on the flat by 3-4 people, my husband is the only person living here who can manage one end of the bath on his own. We were fine downstairs, and on the landing, but there was no way that we could fit carrying the bath up the fairly steep and narrow temporary stairs.

Three of us carried the bath round the corner from the entrance where it has been sitting for the last couple of weeks. Then there were the old (temporarily) stairs to navigate. We erected a section of scaffolding upstairs and secured in place, then used a chain block to slowly and carefully pull the heavy bath upstairs (with a strap through the drain and overflow holes), protecting it with some bubblewrap and other scrap materials. Once at the top of the stairs, we carried it between us into the bathroom.

There is still a little more plumbing to do, and the structure/ other bit of walling at the back and side of the bath to finish, and we’ll be tiling the walls on tile-backer board where there is no clay. Please excuse the mess – as you can see, this is still very much a work in progress!

A cast iron bath is very heavy – and not the easiest thing to move. But I am so glad that we decided to go this route rather than buying a plastic bath or another lighter weight option. . It should be very durable, and last us for many, many years to come. And getting it upstairs has certainly given us an entertaining day!

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