Here is a small bathroom remodel we did for a client in St. Petersburg (St. Pete Beach), Florida. The old shower was constructed with the traditional pan liner. The one thing it didn’t have was the pre-pitch under the liner and vapor barrier on the walls when originally constructed. The shower did last about 16 years but eventually the weep holes became clogged and the mud pan held water. The grout was destroyed by shading & mold along with the lower portion of the shower rotting out from water wicking up into the wall substrate. The homeowner had already done the bathroom flooring rip out but knew the shower should be taken care of by a tile contractor specializing in waterproofing and skilled more in the process. The day of the rip out the wall tile, substrate, shower floor tile, mud bed, pan liner and drain came out fairy easy. It was a small stand up 3×3 shower so there is less debris to get rid of.
We had to do some 2×4 stud replacements because some were rotted and a few bowed out. That was to make sure our cementboard and tile installation would be flat and plumb. Most amateur/unskilled tile installers don’t bother going the extra distance and will tile on and over whatever is there making the finished tile job looks like a mess. The curb was also rotted out so we rebuilt it also. The bathroom floor passed our deflection test so we installed the 1/4″ HardiBacker which we set in thinset and nailed to the floor every 6″-8″. We installed the new 3 part clamping ring drain, installed the felt and wire lath and then did a sand & portland mixture creating the pre pitch. We installed the plastic vapor barrier in the shower from the ceiling down over the pan liner. The homeowner bought a plastic curb product called Kirb Perfect, While I’m not a fan of them it did do what it was supposed to do and that is not to use nails through the liner on the curb. I usually wrap wire diamond lath over the curb and mud it with fat mud.
I then installed the 1/2″ HardiBacker on the walls and did the layout of the tile marking level and plumb reference lines where they will go. The wall tile they selected was American Olean St. Germain SE60 Blanc, Which is a 1×2 porcelain mosaic tile on a sheet. They were going with a modern looking shower so we installed then running together and lining up. The 3 shower walls, ceiling and return walls all lined up. We installed the wall tile first with a non sag thinset from Laticrete called 255 MultiMax. Then packed the mud bed shower floor and installed the pebble shower floor with thinset into the fresh packed mud. I like doing this because when the mud bed is still wet you can embed the rocks and beat them flatter into the mud easier. The pebbles they selected were from ModWalls but are not available any longer. After this all dried we grouted the wall tile and pebble floor with a sanded grout color #90 Light Pewter from Laticrete. I used the plank 6″ tile as the top and face of the shower curb, the homeowner didn’t want the usual gray marble sill.
Then I installed the 6″x24″ plank tile which was the American Olean St. Germain SE61 Cream. The tile was installed with the same thinset used on the walls and during the in I paid careful attention as to not line up any joints. A repetitive set pattern on plank floor tile can look bad if the small joints line up and make “H” in the planks. The plank tile was also grouted with the Laticrete #90 Light Pewter. We sealed the Pebble shower floor with 2 coats of a penetrating sealer and then installed a wood threshold at the doorway to match the existing wood floor in the hallway. The homeowner installed the wood base, vanity and had a plumber install the toilet, sink, shower head and shower controls. The job came out great and we have be referred to others from this happy customer.
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enjoy the pictures during the bathroom project……..