Showers are under appreciated

After over two years of bathing, we finally have a shower. I pulled some serious shifts on the bathroom in the past week and were now a door and some window trim away from being finished.

If you’re keeping count here is what I did since last weekend:

  • Finished all the mudding of the drywall
  • Primed and painted the walls
  • Laid all the wall tile
  • Laid all the floor tile
  • Grouted and sealed all the tile
  • Put in the shower hardware
  • Painted and installed the baseboard
  • Put together and installed the vanity
  • Installed the light
  • Installed the medicine cabinet
  • With help from Paul, set the toilet and installed the faucet.

I was on a mission to get this bathroom functional, check out the pictures of the process:

Laying it. The tile.

The boards on the wall holds up the tiles to keep them perfectly level during the installation. After setting up, the boards are removed and a final course of tiles is installed.

The floor tile, no grout. These were a real pain to put in, but they look great.

It is a tight fit, but the toilet is in. Also a nice shot of the finished floors and baseboards.

Nice pair of lights ya got there.

Good shot of the medicine cabinet and light.

IN PROGRESS/UNDER CONSTRUCTION...grouting kind of sucks.

Little peak of the finished wall tile. Less trimmed out window.

The shampoo/soap niche. That's custom, baby.

The Showerhead!

Like the contrast of the wall color and the ceiling.

The tub control and tub spout. All Kohler...WI PRIDE!

Vanity from the top down

Running water should not be taken advantage of.

Little blurry but you get the idea.

We’ve got a new bathroom! It’s been two long years in the making, but that first shower made it all worth it. Oh was it is glorious.

We’ll be back with more from the ongoing back room project some pictures of the bathroom with the door and finished trim.

A squeaky clean farewell.




Big time progress over the past couple of days, though it was looking grim late Thursday afternoon…

The tub we ordered came cracked, which was a massive bummer. The tub took 3 weeks to arrive so getting a replacement direct from Kohler was out of question. I made a few calls to the local pluming supply houses and found one that I could pick up the next day. What a major relief. What looked like a back-breaking delay turned into just a day and now we will hopefully be tiling in week.

Tub in its alcove. I had to make sure it fit, which it did.

Late afternoon on Friday I got started by installing the tub. I have never done this on my own so it was a bit of a learning experience. I had to install the overflow and drain on the tub first, then set it into place and mark the location of the drain pipe. After doing this, I removed tub and installed the p-trap and reducer coupling to take the drain pipe from the tub. This was a pretty serious task. Not only did I need to do that, this tub requires a wet-mortar bed underneath it to give the tub floor some support. So after making sure all my pipes lined up, I removed the tub again, mixed up a fair bit of mortar, spread it on the floor and finally for the last time dropped the tub into place. It felt great to get that beast into its final resting place.

The drain connections for the tub. I'll be honest, not that exciting. BUT ESSENTIAL!

After the tub was locked to the joists with some clip, I furred out the studs with some strips of wood so the cement board can sit over the lip of the tub. With that complete I started stapling in the roofing felt into the alcove. The felt is there in case any water ever gets behind the tile and cement board. With the felt in place I finished the alcove off by installing the cement backer board, its the same stuff that went on the floor.

A nice shot of the roofing felt in the process of being stapled into place.You can never bee too cautious when water is involved.

First piece of cement board in place. So stately.

The shampoo alcove.

I wasn’t done yet, this morning I put up the last remaining pieces of drywall and commenced mudding all the joints in the drywall and thin-setting the joints in the tub cement board. By the middle of next week I should be painting, which is flippin awesome.

All the seams covered in thinset. A real shower is so close I can taste it.

Oooh some mud on that drywall.

The door opening with a nice mud surround.

The medicine cabinet opening, with some mud.

I’ve got my work cut our for me over the next week, but this is the point where we starting peddling downhill. Have a great Easter/Passover weekend you guys.

-M and L

Some Wallboard and tile backer.

Hey folks,

It’s been a while since we last updated. In the meantime I have finished all the framing, the electric and started getting ready to lay some tile.

The bathtub should arrive tomorrow, which is great since it has held me up in getting onto some of the more fun parts of the bathroom work.

While waiting for the tub, I installed all the cement-backer board on the floor. This stuff gives us a good surface to adhere tiles to and it is water and mold proof when installed correctly. It also is much easier than laying a wet-bed of mortar on the floor like it used to be done.

This past Sunday, Paul and I put up all but one of the sheets of the sheetrock, we had to leave one small piece out to allow me to slip the tub into its alcove. The sheetrock is purple because it is the mold and mildew-resistant version. You can also see in the pictures a hole in the wall, that will house the built-in medicine cabinet.

The commode in its natural habitat.

Cement board on the floors. You can see the white mud line, that's thinset mortar spread on the seams to keep any water off the wood subfloor below. Beneath the cement board is a layer of thinset that adheres it to the subfloor. I don't envy the next owner if they don't like our tile.

The ceiling with the two recessed lights and the whisper-quiet fan.

The tub alcove without any wall board. When the tub gets here and I get it installed, I will then put cement-board on the walls to create a water-proof shower/tub stall.

The hole for the future medicine cabinet with a temp light above.

Hey-oh! That's the floor tile we picked out. I picked it up from the tile place today. Can't wait to start putting in in.

Check back soon for pictures of the tub installation and some serious drywall taping/sanding. I hope to have the bathroom painted and ready for tile by Sunday.


We Have Walls!!

I know, we’ve been MIA.  But dry your eyes, we’re back!

The last few weeks have been quite eventful.  After a successful demo, Matt first pulled up all the old sub floors and re-leveled all the floors.  Definitely not a task for the faint of heart (I include myself in this category).  After that, my Dad came down for a weekend and assisted with the “rough” plumbing.  (Rough plumbing is essentially all the plumbing you DON’T see).  After that, the duo framed out all the walls and replaced the window.  Now, we’re onto electric!

Here are some pics of the action!

Looking at the construction site from the hallway.

For comparison’s sake, here’s how it looked a mere 2 weeks ago:

We went from "very bad" to construction site.

We had originally planned to switch the location of the toilet and the vanity (as a general rule, when you open a bathroom, you don’t want a toilet staring right at you).  Upon doing the rough plumbing, Matt found out he didn’t have enough “pitch” for the toilet drain The external drain line coming into the house was too high to create slope (“pitch”) for the toilet drain if we moved it.  Sigh.  Anyway, here’s its current state:

The throne.

Next to the toilet is our new window!  A new window that isn’t slanted!

And yes, we'll get some nice blinds. We don't want to give the neighbors a free show! Or make them move...

Right across from the window will be our new vanity.

And lastly, here’s where our new shower & tub will go.  Matt and I have been showerless for a LONG time.  We can’t wait for the luxury of a shower!

We’re making great progress!  If everything goes as planned, we should be putting up drywall next weekend.

How we’re looking

The demo has officially begun!

Matt and I started “Phase III”: our upstairs bathroom and back bedroom.  I looked through our old posts for pictures of our bathroom, but couldn’t find any.  Maybe it was too horrible to publish.  So, after a two-year wait, here’s what our bathroom look(ed) like:

The pink tile really captures your eye

A claw foot tub? Yes, we're THAT fancy

The same model is still available at Home Depot

Not only was the bathroom awful-looking, it was also small – only 8 x 5 ft.  Although not as cringe worthy, the back bedroom was still depressing,

"the closet"

Check back next week for pictures of the demo!

The DEMO is Coming

In a week Leah and I will be commencing our next major project: The full bathroom upstairs and the back bedroom. Come back Monday for the aftermath of the demo pics.

Bookcase + Books

Matt and I completed all the bookcase touch up work this weekend.  With all the painting done, we finally put in books. 


From a couple other angles:

mini bar

We still need to finish up a few odds and ends, but we’re ecstatic about the transformation.

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