February 9, 2012

#135- Part 2- Framing Out a Shower

If you looked with a keen eye at yesterday’s paint post, you might have noticed that we now have a shower.  Let’s take a step back and see how we got there... And I mean waaaaaay back.

We’ve learned from the previous owner’s home files and our city appraisal that although this bathroom was original to the house, the shower was not.  We’re pretty sure the previous owners added it by framing a shower into the adjacent furnace room.  (Which is obviously being used as a storage space during this remodel.)

Yep- there’s all sorts of crazy mess in there.  Vacuums, extra chairs, a toilet... Stop judging.

 Unfortunately we weren’t a huge fan of the herringbone pattern tile with reddish-brown grout that they choose, so out it all went.  Which means we had to put it all back.  But first I wanted to add a little touch, so I framed in a little shelf that could be used for a soap/storage ledge.  I wanted my little shelf to be centered in the middle of my back wall, so I toe-nailed in my first green treated stud as far to the left as I could go without moving that big water pipe running though the studs.

 Then I placed in my second stud the same distance from the right that my stud on the left was.  All that was left was to put in the top and bottom studs, so I grabbed a bottle of shampoo, stood in the shower to figure out the right height, and tacked them in.  It’s not quite as wide and square as I would have liked it, but I didn’t have much choice thanks to that water pipe.  You can’t win them all.
I should mention that we got pretty lucky with this demo.  Our original plan was to haul out the complete shower, floor and all, but in the demo process Hubs discovered that the shower pan was not an insert, but poured concrete.  It was one big solid motha, and it wasn’t going anywhere.  Luckily, we discussed the situation with a few experts and learned that the old pan was still in great shape.  (The waterproof membrane was still underneath and in tact and the drain and flow was still sloped perfectly.) So instead of removing it, we just carefully chipped off the old tiles from the concrete base, which was surprisingly really easy, and patched up a few rough spots with concrete patch.  Good as new, without having to purchase a $300-500 tile ready shower base.  Yahooooo!

Demo of the Shower Curb in progress.  It looks much better now. Promise.
Next up was to cover these studs with cement board that we could tile on top of.  Cement board is like drywall, but made of a cement like product that creates a good adhesion for tile, is strong enough to hold the weight of all that tile and grout and stands up to moisture.  You measure it the same way as we did for the drywall here, but to cut it instead of a utility knife we used a scoring tool like this:

We hung it up making sure that the membrane from the shower pan laid flat and smooth against the wall studs behind the cement board.  Once it was all placed in, we had this:

I didn't fill in the back of that shelf yet.  That's a little surprise for later.
The only thing that didn’t escape the fury of the Hub’s demolition was the shower curb, so that needed to be rebuilt.  I measured carefully so that the front of the curb would line up exactly with the wall next to it, cut my green treated studs and built them into a mini-wall.

We wrapped the curb with a waterproof membrane and cement board as well, and then covered all the seams with cement board tape and thin-set.  (Same process as drywall mud and tape, but less messy.)  

Look how happy the Hubs is to be mudding and taping again. He's killing me with his eyes.

 And here she blows-
With a little sheet of tile in there to try out- more details to come!
Okay, so it doesn't look beautiful just yet.  Wait for it.

We’re so close to tiling, I can barely contain myself!  It’s sick that I get so excited about this stuff, but we’re finally getting past the ugly and back towards a room that actually looks like a bathroom again.  As Ryder told me yesterday, "Mama, that's not a bathroom.  It doesn't even have a potty!"  Working on it my little critic, working on it.
How about you guys?  Anyone else taken on any wall framing projects before?  Tiling?  Tried to remove a big piece of concrete that wasn’t having it?  It’s not that you couldn’t get rid of it Hubs... It’s that you didn’t want to.  Really.  


  1. You guys are truly amazing! You're so nonchalant about all this hard, skilled work you're doing yourselves. Love reading about your projects.

  2. Wow, your framing looks amazing! Nice job!

    I did a backsplash tiling project in my kitchen a couple weeks ago. http://megeletto.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/subway-tile-backsplash/

  3. Seriously- I'm blushing. Honestly though, the reason I'm a little casual about the projects, is because they're really not that big of a deal. Just a little internet research, some patience and the right tools. Sure, we've had a little practice, so it's getting easier, but really its not that hard. I swear!