September 4, 2012

“Is that a Crack?”

It seemed like such a simple question.  As I was showering one morning, I noticed a line on the floor of the shower.  I bent closer to get a better look.  And then I asked “Is that a crack?”.  As it turns out, yes.  There are several cracks.  Our builder grade fiberglass surround in our master bathroom has bit the dust.  It is time to replace it.

After much discussion we determined that we didn’t like the idea of replacing it with another fiberglass surround.  If we are going to go to the trouble to replace it, we should replace it with something we actually like.  There is a novel concept.  🙂  And you know, if we are going to tile the shower, we should tile the surround for the soaking tub, too.  And we should probably put in shower doors that we actually like, instead of the ghetto ones we currently have.  And you know, we might as well tile the floor while we are at it…

And so it begins.

We drew a diagram of the bathroom and started measuring.  We measured in inches, and calculated square inches.  Then, over a fabulous lunch of Panda Xpress, I attempted to convert to square feet so we could buy the tile.  I ran the numbers and then proudly announced to Mike that we were going to need 1300 square feet of tile for the shower walls.  Mike just stared at me.  Finally he pointed out, very calmly, that our entire house was 2600 square feet.  How could we possibly need 1300 square feet for the shower walls?  I rechecked my calculation.  “Well, I take the square inches and divide by 12 to get square feet.  I get 1300 square feet.” Mike smiled and suggested I google to see if there is a conversion chart for that.  Turns out we needed 88 square feet.  Should have divided by 144.  Who knew?

After that initial set-back, we have finally procured all the tile and supplies for this project.  Travertine for the shower walls and tub surround, mosaics for the shower floor, and tile “planks” for the bathroom floor.  We had Dreamline shower doors (all 237 pounds of glass) delivered and they are waiting to be installed.  We have more grout, thin-set and cement board than I ever imagined would be necessary.  So it is time to demo.

Here are some “before” shots:

The original vinyl floor
The horrible shower doors and shower with the cracked floor.


The soaker tub with the current boring white tile surround.
The toilet and shower doors are out.



Mike, hard at work with the sawzall.


Mike’s handywork.


The shower is out!
The vinyl floor and toilet are gone.



The first layer of the shower pan has been put in.  You can see where Mike has built the curb and reinforced the studs in the walls.

The carpet (yes… our builder put carpet in our bathroom in front of the sinks and tub.  Gross.) and the vinyl floors have come out.  I helped with those, because as I mentioned in an earlier post, I am an expert at pulling staples, flooring nails, tack strips, etc.  The fiberglass surround has come out.  The studs have been reinforced, and the curb has been built.  This weekend Mike has poured the first layer of the shower pan, and he has been working to install the cement board flooring.   I stripped the old caulking off the tumbled marble tiles above the shower, tried not to complain about the dust and debris, folded five loads of laundry, pieced together a quilt top, and in general, I have done an excellent job of staying out of the way.

Stay tuned for the next installment, where cement board will be installed, the moisture barrier will be put in, and the second layer of shower pan will be installed.


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