Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Now that we've been visited by our insurance adjuster and given the blessing to cut and paste away in the bathroom, we sort of can't wait to get going. So in addition to Darrick ripping out about 90% of the tile (all except that under/around the toilet) and starting to piece apart the subflooring, we're addressing the tub/shower and surround.

The long and short of it is that it's all got to come out and it's all got to be replaced. We've been eyeing tubs and have plans to scope out a deal on one with the same width/length dimensions but a bit more depth. We're limited some by the placement of the drain and pipes, as the master bath shares a wall with the hall guestbath and we're not in the business of attempting any major changes in plumbing layout or structure. We're also limited some by being on the 2nd floor, as concerns over weight limits of the tub mean we can't invest in a a steel one that will last forever...not that we'd be likely to do that anyhow.

The other thing this means is that we're sort of stuck with the placement of all the major fixtures. The toilet in this bathroom shares the same major plumbing line, so we can't get a longer tub because not only would we need to move the wall of tub/shower plumbing, we'd have to relocate the toilet.

With all that said and done, we're eyeing ways to freshen things up and make the bathroom feel brand new without making those major changes. This is where the shower surround comes into play.

We briefly considered removing it, cleaning it, and re-attaching it to the walls after we get a new tub. In fairness, it's in really good shape considering it's possibly 20 years old (the house was constructed in 1992) and seems to be solid. But that's not enough for us. We've decided we want something a little more updated and custom, and our insurance adjuster has generously graced us with some funds to be able to make it happen.

Something like this:

From here.

From here.

From here.

From here. (Just the walls, and just in the shower area. The idea of cleaning that floor makes me feel tired.)

From here. (I like the thick line of colored tile, but not sure if we'd do the whole bathroom like that, or just the shower/tub area.)

But before I get too carried away admiring beautiful and probably insanely expensive bathroom ideas, we had some practical work to be done in removing the shower surround. We'd cut away one side when the water damage first happened, but hadn't removed any. And I guess I was itching to remove something.

(The color on these is all kinds of wrong, but I didn't feel like making it better.)

The wall behind the first piece of fiberglass surround we removed. Darrick sliced the caulking and tonight while he was out I removed this piece.

Yeah, that's going to need to be fixed.

The back of the surround.

A close up of the fixed points.

Kids standing by it for scale. NO they weren't really that miserable. In fact, they are pretty into this whole thing.

Oh, yeah. This. We also took a sledgehammer to the bottom of the tub where the crack was to check out what condition the floor was in below it and allow maximum air circulation in case there was still moisture build-up down there. It looks like there was some level of tomfoolery happening here, with compressed particle board under the center of the tub, which otherwise would have sit a few inches above the floor. We're no experts, but we're pretty sure the half-assed job someone did here contributed to the tub cracking near the side, where there was no support to speak of.

Next up, we need to remove the back wall's surround, but I knew I wouldn't be able to do it myself. It's 5 feet long and the shorter end piece was probably between 50 and 60 pounds, so it's definitely going to be a 2-person job. We also borrowed a shop vac to suck up the dust from tile demo. This weekend has some serious work in store for us.

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