Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bathroom progress - Retiling shower wall, Part 1

While rub-a-dub-dubbin a few weeks back I noticed some of the tiles in the shower were coming up on the bottom. It didn't really concern me at first. They were pulling back from the wall, but on an even line. This place is an oldie (built in 1920 or thereabout) so I chalked it up to another weird thing about the old bag.

But it continued, so I did what I always do in times like these: called my dad. He said it sounded like some major work needed to be done. I snapped some pics on my phone and sent them over so he could get a better idea (hoping, of course, he would call back telling me how EASY it would be after all).

He called back.  The entire tile wall was going to have to be replaced.  That could cost thousands.  (*Head BANGING against the wall*) Thousands?!

But once again, Dad came to the rescue: "We can do it ourselves." (*Ridiculous happy dance, complete with some pelvic thrusts, the hand jive and disco dancing with my dachshund*)

Ya see, my  daddy-o single handedly renovated a very old house in Mountain Brook before he and my mom were married, so he's super-savvy with handy-man-ed-ness. 

Back to the details of our project... The surrounding walls were fine, so just one wall had to be replaced.  Good, right?  But that brought its own set of challenges and questions: Could we demo the tile on just one wall without damaging the other walls?  Could I find new tile that matched the old stuff?

For awhile (meaning 24 hours--we had to move super-fast to make sure water would stay off the wood behind the tile) I considered creating a gorgeous tile accent wall.  If we were going to do this ourselves we may as well make it amazing, right?  But I have this quirk.  I can't stand it when my shower curtain is open.  Meaning we would be shelling out a few-hundred extras for pretty tile that only me, my husband, and our rubber ducky would see.

Long story short, I found tile that was a close enough match.  We got the supplies and Seth started demolition one Friday afternoon.  Check it:

See all that metal wire?  Apparently it's what they used pre-1960's instead of concrete backer board. Tis not easy to rip out, my friends.  I know because Seth told me at least 50 times (an hour).

But look how macho he is! Here was the progress after Saturday morning:

Exciting to know that the worst part was over, but scary to know we would be isolating our dirty selves for the entire weekend.  Did I mention we only have one shower?


  1. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject…

  2. looks like a serious amount of work, did you not think of getting PVC Showerwall?

  3. Did you catch some bathroom makeovers? Check them out. Its amazing what a little paint and a few updated fixtures can do.

  4. Tiles must blend with all other items in the bathroom. HomeAddons

  5. One thing to check out with these portable camping toilets is the types of waste receptacles you can use with them.