The Tiled Shower Stall Thread

Gomez Adams

Grammar Fascist
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Dec 1, 2020
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Suwanee, Georgia
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Well, it's finally going to happen. For Christmas, my wife wants a tiled shower stall. She's always wanted one but it's a massive project that:
  1. Is so expensive we kept putting it off.
  2. Is so time consuming we kept putting it off.
  3. Is so difficult I kept putting it off.
  4. Is so expensive we kept putting it off.
Of course, she isn't going to get it by Christmas. My daughter will be back for a bit and one bathroom for 4 people isn't going to work. I'll probably start after Christmas and the herd thins out.

The first challenge was that the tile I tiled the floor with is no longer made. It took forever to find something that's going to work decently. My wife absolutely loved this very high gloss marble tile from Turkey, so we bought it. Here's a piece of it:

20221127_135934.jpg

It's very hard to get a good picture of it. It has a bit more of a yellow tint to it and is so shiny it kept reflecting the ceiling and overhead light into it. It is VERY highly polished. It's also a half inch thick and VERY heavy. (Going to have to go to an 1/8th inch layer of quickset at least to hold this stuff up.)

And here's 1200 dollars worth of it:

20221127_133732.jpg

They had this stuff on sale that I'm going to use for the floor of the shower:

20221127_133727.jpg

You can just see on the extreme left a floor tile that was used back when I did the floor. The shower will be a lighter shade of that but has the same color tones. I'm actually impressed that we found stuff as close in tone as we did.

Here's the shower head assembly we'll be using - we're going bronze on everything as we have throughout the rest of the house:

1669575062348.png

And the new Delta faucet:

1669575117676.png

I'll be using the KBS system for the shower base, backer board, shelving, corner seat, drain, etc.

I expect to start by no later than January 2nd. I am of the opinion the project will take 4 to 6 weeks to complete, not because of any over-the-top difficulty, but because I'm old, half crippled and will taking it nice and slow.

I'm going to go ahead and sticky this as I'll be coming back to it after I start and posting the whole thing as I go along.

I'm estimating the total costs to be around the $5,500.00 mark. To have one done by a contractor like this would easily top $18,000.00.
 
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Any time I've done a project on this house, I always find out just how shitty the workmanship was of the builder that put it together. This is no different.

I'm simply amazed at how bad it really is. I was afraid I would find a mess, and boy oh boy did I.

Here it is with the door, shower head and faucet removed. Note the pencil line - that's my cut line. Typically on these things there's a flange about an inch to an inch and a half where they screw it to the framing to support it, so I have to cut beyond that to expose it so I can remove the screws and be able to remove it.

20230225_111943.jpg

So here it is after cutting around it and removing the drywall. Notice something? Take a good look. I'll wait.

20230225_122939.jpg

There are no screws securing this shower to the framing at all. Not one. It was, quite literally, held in by drywall and gravity.

Yeah. This is going to get ugly as hell, I'm sure.
 
This is where it gets really, really ugly. Using a Sawzall and a 10 tooth per inch GP blade, I cut the shower out in sections. The left wall went first, then I worked to the right taking out the middle, then the right (or shower head end) and finally the floor.

Here's the carnage behind it all - We'll start from the left side ( non shower head side):

20230226_084851.jpg

Notice the overlapping 2 x 4's at the top? That is illegal. It is also about as wrong as you can get. Obviously, they screwed up when the framed out for the garden jacuzzi tub and put the frame too far to the left.

That wouldn't be a bad mistake if you simply added another frame to that, but that's not what they did. They simply nailed a few short sections of 2 x 4 to the upper part of the framing so they'd have something to secure the drywall to and let it go at that.

This picture is that same side, looking down at the floor.

20230226_084914.jpg

Here, rather than run a board to secure all the way across, they just picked up some scrap piece and nailed it to the subfloor. That is what the shower was held in by. You can kick that 2 x 4 with your foot and it wobbles around. I'm betting when I go to remove it, I'll be able to just pull it out with my bare hands.

My saving grace on this side is that the framing around the garden jacuzzi tub is rock solid. ( Amazingly)

So I'll be able to make another frame just like that, using it as a blueprint, then secure it right beside it and that will shore up the entire thing.

This is, I'm estimating, another $250 - $300 and with my old ass a two day operation added to the bill.
 
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Now we move on to the center:

20230226_084900.jpg

It actually looks fine. It's the only thing that does.

Looking at the floor, that's not a bunch of shit from me cutting the stall out. That's all OSB particles from where they apparently KNOCKED a hole in the floor for the drain plumbing rather than cutting one.

Look at the picture full size and you'll see how bad it really is, even just tearing apart the aluminum shielding layer rather than cutting it.

I know you're already looking at that WTF situation to the right, so we'll move on to that immediately.

Here's a better shot at the right side:

20230226_084906.jpg

Now, there's cheap, then there's dirt cheap, then there's Winmark Homes - take-it-out-a-whole-new-door cheap.

Looking at this and thinking about it, I can only come up with one reason why that is done that way:

Some idiot sealed everything up before they remembered they never turned the water on. (There's a valve on the back side of the main junction where the pipes come together where you can turn it off.)

They also couldn't remember where the water valve was, so they cut a small hole in the bottom first and that wasn't it. So they do the cheap patch, cover that up with plaster on the other side and cut another hole higher up. They hit paydirt there, turned the valve on, then pulled the cheap patch again.

So that's everything out. Now I have to get my measurements figured out and order a custom drain pan because this is NOT standard sized. (Go fucking figure.)

I'll of course be ordering the rest of the materials as well. Once that's done, I'll be heading up to Home Depot to buy blades for the new tile cutter, lots of thin set, mixer, bucket, a few trowels (the marble my wife picked needs a bigger depth than the one I have) and other odds and ends.

I'm hoping to get everything ordered by Tuesday. But the way this has been going already, I'll be happy if I get it all ordered by the end of the week.

I'm off to have a couple of beers. I'm exhausted.
 
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Got most of the hard parts ordered: $1863.43

That's the base, which was $999.14 all by itself, the waterproof backer board, the water proofing paint, caulk and cloth seal for the corners, a niche for the wall for soap and shampoo and a new drain assembly in bronze.

The base (mine is slighty different sized, but essentially the same):

1677600850778.png

This is the niche that will go into the long wall:

1677600973795.png

This is the new drain:

1677601106701.png

That leaves me only a bunch of accidentals for installation yet to buy - the grout, quickset, a new notched trowel, some miscellaneous trim, a grab bar, etc.

The only major expense left will be the shower door. The wife wants a frameless and those typically run around $1500.00 or so. Problem is, you have to have your measurements absolutely spot-on or they leak like hell, so I'm going to wait until I'm done before I bother with ordering that.

It's going to take them about 2 weeks or so just to make the base. I was hoping it would be quicker than that, but oh well.

So far, and I'm knocking on wood as I type this, it's looking like I'll be able to make the goal of keeping it right at or under $5000.00.
 
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The shower base came in.

Note the gigantic hole just below the 'Handle With Care' sticker.

20230311_121852.jpg

I made the FedEx guy stand there while I took pictures of it in case it was damaged. It appears to be in perfect shape as it was packed very well with Styrofoam.

Spent most of yesterday getting the rest of the supplies I need.

I tell you, my old S60 has probably hauled more lumber than any F150 in Gwinnett County.
 
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The shower base came in.

Note the gigantic hole just below the 'Handle With Care' sticker.

View attachment 2304

I made the FedEx guy stand there while I took pictures of it in case it was damaged. It appears to be in perfect shape as it was packed very well with Styrofoam.

Spent most of yesterday getting the rest of the supplies I need.

I tell you, my old S60 has probably hauled more lumber than any F150 in Gwinnett County.

I swear that looks like the indentation from a forklift skid.

I will say my when my desk was fully unpacked I was simply amazed at the amount of Styrofoam that came out. And despite all the dings and dents on the boxes it was in perfect shape.
 
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I will say my when my desk was fully unpacked I was simply amazed at the amount of Styrofoam that came out. And despite all the dings and dents on the boxes it was in perfect shape.
Same here.

When I was taking the pictures I told the guy, "This is a thousand dollars. Sorry to hold you up, but I want pics of you with it so nobody can say I made this up."

I couldn't believe what he said: "Well, you'd think they'd put it in a tougher box if it's worth that much. I mean, they have to know it's going to get the hell beat out of it if they ship it with us or UPS."
 
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