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Shower Prep

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Progress has been slow in the recent weeks with our bathroom renovation. This mainly had to do with conflicts in our schedules that made it difficult to work on the bathroom.  After my most recent post, Jim and I went to Rehoboth Beach, DE for a few days since it was my Spring Break from work.  It was nice to relax (even though it was cold at the beach) but it took away many days we could have worked on the bathroom.  We got back on Easter and celebrated the holiday with Jim’s family.

The Monday after Easter, we got back to work.  We needed to prime the new drywall.  We took to our standard painting jobs and that went off without a hitch.  During the week, we continued to work on the bathroom but were thwarted by volleyball, CPR certification, and dinner plans. One night Jim attached the light fixture above the sink – which looks great. Another night, we painted the ceiling and got the walls in the shower area ready for water proofing.

Light fixture above the sink!

Light fixture above the sink!

Ceiling painted and complete!

Ceiling painted and complete!

Close-up of recessed light covers

Close-up of recessed light covers

All primed!

All primed!

Another view with the ceiling

Another view with the ceiling

Wall primed and ready to go!

Wall primed and ready to go!

Friday night, we put together the cabinet for the sink.  Getting the cabinet has been an ordeal.  We ordered from a “ready-to-assemble” retailer online.  This is what we did for our kitchen cabinets and it worked out well, so we did not think it would be a problem. We did not go with the same company just because we liked a cabinet from another company better. We first ordered the cabinet at over a month ago (maybe two months). We started to put it together and the bottom piece of the cabinet did not fit into the grooves on the sides of the cabinet. Jim contacted the company and after supplying proof (pictures with a tape measure up to the grooves and bottom cabinet), they sent us a new bottom piece.  When the bottom piece arrived, we quickly realized it was the exact same size as the previous bottom piece – which did not solve the problem. At first, Jim was determined to shave the piece down to make it fit but I was able to talk him out of it.  He contacted the company again who said they would send us an entirely new cabinet (again after we supplied proof of the pieces not fitting). It took another week for the cabinet to arrive and it had the SAME problem.  We could not believe it. We were ready to just return both cabinets and be done with this company, but the woman convinced Jim to give them one more chance and promised they would check to make sure the pieces fit before sending the cabinet (that is, after we sent more proof that the cabinet pieces didn’t fit in the most recent one). We finally received the cabinet this past week.  Luckily, the pieces FIT! Turns out, the grooves on the side pieces were too small and the bottom piece was the right size.  The only problem with the new cabinet was that they clearly put the cabinet together beforehand and did not worry about scratches while taking it apart.  We did have three cabinets to choose from though so we just picked the best pieces out of the bunch.  Building the cabinet was relatively easy, although the directions left more to be desired. It was basically just a few pictures of the pieces of the cabinet going together. There was no text and absolutely no pictures of the 20+ different screws involved. We were left with about 8 screws at the end of assembly, but we are pretty sure we did everything right.  We did have to make a slight alteration of the bottom back of the cabinet to make sure it fit in place in the bathroom. Remember we pushed the wall by the sink back a few inches? Well the very bottom part of that wall is slanted, so the cabinet needs to be cut at an angle to go up against the wall. Jim is a math genius who figured out all the angles perfectly and cut the cabinet without issue.  We aren’t ready to put it in place yet, but it is now ready for when we need it.

The cabinet!

The cabinet!

Saturday morning we went to pick up the tile we ordered.  It did not take too long and got us prepared for the rest of the day’s work – prepping the shower for tile. Since showers are often wet (I know, you learn something new every day), you need to waterproof the walls of a shower. There are different methods of doing this like using cement board, etc, but we decided to use the Schluter-KERDI Shower Systems.  There are different materials you can order from the company. We got the shower base which already has a built-in slope to the drain, a shower step (think of that step you always have to go over when entering a shower), and its polyethylene waterproofing membrane (a big orange waterproofing sheet). The shower base also come with a drain as well.  In addition to adding the KERDI, Jim made sure to apply silicon to all of the sections the KERDI won’t cover (the tile redi built-in shelves, the shower step, and water supply valve box).  In order to keep the KERDI in place, you must first apply mortar to the drywall and then spread the KERDI on top of the mortar.  We knew we would need a step stool to get to the top areas of the shower and did not want to put the step stool on the shower base. The shower base is made of this unusual material – sort of like a very strong styrofoam.  Therefore, we started with the top walls of the shower and then installed the base.  It was relatively uneventful although Jim quickly discovered that applying mortar to a wall is not as clean as on a floor because gravity takes the mortar off of the trowel and brings it to the floor.  Before setting the shower base in place, Jim connected the last bit of PVC pipe to the drain and shower waste pipe.  Everything went pretty smoothly.

First section of mortar

First section of mortar

Smoothing the KERDI in place

Smoothing the KERDI in place

Again

Again

First day of KERDI in the shower

First day of KERDI in the shower

Shower base in place with the KERDI on it

Shower base in place with the KERDI on it

The step going into the shower - no KERDI on it yet.

The step going into the shower – no KERDI on it yet (that hole in the wall is for the shower step we are going to add).

We stopped working around 4pm on Saturday because Jim needed to volunteer at the Rescue Station that night.  He had not been feeling well that day or the night before so he decided to take a nap before his shift.  While napping, he took his temperature and saw he had a pretty high fever.  He called in sick to the Rescue Squad and has been recovering since. Yesterday he went back to work (the paying kind) so last night we got back to work on the bathroom (our own self-inflicted kind).  Jim did the majority of the work on his own because I was weeding and planting some dahlias in the front yard by the mailbox.  Jim almost finished the rest of the KERDI. We will definitely be done at our next opportunity and then we all ready for tile!

The view of the shower (see the shaving step we added? pretty cool!)

The view of the shower (see the shaving step we added? pretty cool!)

Inside the shower - you can see the water supply lines that are ready for the shower panel

Inside the shower – you can see the water supply lines that are ready for the shower panel

Another close-up shot of inside the shower

Another close-up shot of inside the shower

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