Concrete Shower Pan Goes Down Smooth

01/26/2010

Last weekend we tackled the most intimidating part of the bathroom renovation (in my mind, at least): pouring the concrete shower base. I’ll just show what we did through pictures. And of course I use “we” very loosely here.

Shower all cleared out and ready to go.

Mixing up the concrete mix and water in our pitiful, rusty old wheel barrel. (See the broken wood handle?) I was going to do this part but it turns out my arms are too weak. Each bag of mix was 60 lbs dry.

I prefer to watch this guy in action anyway. I’m excellent moral support.

First bucket full of concrete gets placed. That float is named the Task Force.

Second bucket down. Creating a slight slope toward the drain was very tedious. And important. Jason and his task force can handle it.

The consistency is like wet sand. Not as liquidy as I had imagined.

Four bags/bucketfuls down. 240 lbs. More of the very meticulous smoothing and creating a slight grade toward the drain.

Some days I am very grateful to be married to a perfectionist. Another half a bag to finish it off and get that slope just right. (4.5 bags of sand mix, 270 lbs, 4’x5′ base at 1-1.5″ thick in case you want details.)

All done. Just needs 24 hours to dry. Phew! The whole process only took 3 hours but was very labor-intensive. I’m so glad it’s done. Thank God it all went smoothly. Now on to finishing the rest of the tiling … another update coming soon. I HOPE!

Keeping up with our progress?

Bathroom Renovation Stage 1

Bathroom Renovation Stage 2

Bathroom Renovation Stage 3

Bathroom Renovation Stage 4

Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!

Bathroom Renovation Stage 5

Bathroom Renovation Stage 6

Bathroom Renovation Stage 7

Bathroom Renovation Stage 8


Bathroom Renovation Stage 8

01/21/2010

Tile is officially HALF done! Yay! We’ve been working hard on it and our goal is to finish the shower this month. (Sorry for the pieced together photos. Couldn’t get it all in 1 shot.)

We started putting drywall up to close off the laundry area with some leftover pieces from another project.

We designed built-in shelves into one side of the shower wall. In order to finish them with cement board so we can tile, we had to put drywall up on the laundry room side.

Jason bought the concrete for the shower pan today. Saturday is the day we mix and pour and level and pray. I’ll try to remember to keep my camera handy during the process.

Phew! We’ve come a long way! Need to catch up?

Bathroom Renovation Stage 1

Bathroom Renovation Stage 2

Bathroom Renovation Stage 3

Bathroom Renovation Stage 4

Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!

Bathroom Renovation Stage 5

Bathroom Renovation Stage 6

Bathroom Renovation Stage 7


Bathroom Renovation Stage 7

01/06/2010

Our master bathroom makeover has been slow moving, mostly because of the busyness of the holidays. But now we’re back at it full steam with a goal of finishing the shower this month. It’s going to be a challenge since we’re averaging about 4 sq. ft. an hour with these little .75″ unglazed porcelain tiles. One wall is almost done.

We’ve got a good system going now where I pop half the tiles off of each sheet in a random pattern at about the same pace as Jason can stick them up on the wall. If I crop out the unfinished parts and you use your imagination with the grout (we’re thinking gray) this picture gives a pretty good idea of the finished look:

Lost? Here’s the process up to now:

Bathroom Renovation Stage 1

Bathroom Renovation Stage 2

Bathroom Renovation Stage 3

Bathroom Renovation Stage 4

Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!

Bathroom Renovation Stage 5

Bathroom Renovation Stage 6


Bathroom Renovation Stage 6

11/25/2009

Moving along on the bathroom renovation one Saturday at a time. Last weekend we put up more of the tile. Eight sq ft are now up. Only 112 more to go. Can you see why this is going to take a while?

Also, we finished up all the concrete board. (I use “we” very loosely here. I wasn’t feeling great but I am excellent at providing moral support.) We covered the curb so now the concrete shower pan can be poured at any time:

On one side of the shower we built in 2 shelves for shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving cream, etc. (As the woman of the house and the obsessive organizer, I’m taking credit for this idea.)

Things to do in the near future: pour shower pan, install rain shower in ceiling and plumbing in wall, install recessed light in shower, install ceiling shower fan, put up 112 more sq ft of tiny tiles.

Trying hard not to lose momentum here!

Where we started:

Bathroom Renovation Stage 1

Bathroom Renovation Stage 2

Bathroom Renovation Stage 3

Bathroom Renovation Stage 4

Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!

Bathroom Renovation Stage 5


Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!

11/18/2009

I’m not calling this a stage because it’s not really a stage change in the bathroom. The tile arrived over the weekend and on Monday, Jason and I decided to put up 2 square feet to see how it looks. We have 2 different colors of .75″ x .75″ tile that come in 1 sq ft sheets and it’s up to us to pop off 50% of the tiles (112 per sheet) to make a random pattern.

Let me just say that this process sucks. It takes a lot longer than I anticipated and the mesh is like sandpaper on my fingers! But I know it will all be worth it. Jason and I are really pleased with how it looks once the 2 colors are randomized together:

It took us 20-30 minutes to make 2 sq ft. So … multiply that by 60 (120 sq ft total) and it looks like we can plan on 20-30 hours of tile popping. That’s not counting installing the tiles on the wall.

… Putting each tile we popped off back into the other color sheet …

… And making sure they’re all straight and flush. But it’s going to be SOOOOO worth it! I can’t wait to see how it’ll look when the whole shower is done.

Meanwhile we still have a couple of sheets of concrete board to hang and the shower pan to pour. Once we realized how long the tile is going to take we figured we’d better get started right away so we can takes breaks to do other parts of the process.

Yes, I know we’re crazy. Did I mention we got a really good deal on the tile?


Bathroom Renovation Stage 5

11/12/2009

Wow – a lot got done this week! First we cleaned out all the rubble and moved all the salvageable and scrap drywall pieces into the laundry room (we have a laundry room!). Next, we cut a hole in the floor so we could move the vent.

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Then, while Jason was prying up wood flooring we had the first accident of our renovation. A board went airborne and hit Jason in the face causing a top tooth to cut deep into his bottom lip. It was pretty bloody then purple for a couple of days but thankfully, nothing major.

Once the flooring was removed we installed drain flange and the rubber PVC liner for the shower pan. Then we hung the concrete backer board on the shower walls – that’s the moisture tolerant concrete material on which we mount the tiles. Notice Jason’s mask? Yeah, after 3 weeks of inhaling drywall dust and waking up in the middle of the night with dry throats we finally decided to buy some masks.

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We didn’t finish hanging the board because it got too late and we needed to actually clean up the bathroom. I’m pleased to report that we’re taking a break from renovations this weekend because our friends from Erie are visiting. Yay! Maybe I’ll have something other than bathroom renovation to blog about next week. Look how “clean” it is, you can actually see the floor in this picture!

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See our progress here:

Bathroom Renovation Stage 1

Bathroom Renovation Stage 2

Bathroom Renovation Stage 3

Bathroom Renovation Stage 4

Bathroom Renovation: Tiling!


Bathroom Renovation Stage 4

11/04/2009

Ok, so I’m reluctant to even call this a stage because it’s kind of in-between two stages. We did demo 2 weekends ago and last weekend we started reconstruction. It’s so fun to start framing the walls! I already feel like I have a laundry “room” and we can finally get a sense of the size of the shower.

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We got this far—framing the walls that divide off the laundry room and walk-in shower—using only the repurposed wood from the toilet closet Jason tore down. Talk about reduce, reuse and recycle!

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We need at least 4 more 2×4’s, maybe more depending on what kind of built in shelves we decide on in the shower. That’s not bad, though! I’m sorry these pictures don’t give you a scope of the whole space; they were all taken from the doorway.

I’m excited to get back to work on the bathroom this weekend. First priority: clear out all the debris we can’t reuse (door from toilet closet, wood door jam, broken slabs of drywall…) We still need to move the HVAC air vent on the floor before we can finish framing the shower. Then on to more fun stuff: pouring the concrete shower pan. Not sure if we’ll get that far this weekend.

In case you missed it:

Bathroom Renovation Stage 1

Bathroom Renovation Stage 2

Bathroom Renovation Stage 3