9 Mar

Some of my favorite bloggers are having some work done  DIYing their bathrooms. You can see how well they are doing here and here. Meanwhile, my bathroom is not looking so hot.


This is the top of my shower. I just painted all of that with expensive paint this summer and look what has happened. When it first started I thought that  I could solve the problem by installing a vent fan . Well, clearly that didn’t work. So I’ve decided to tile the whole shower, floor to ceiling in order to keep this from happening again. Here’s the timeline of events.

5:00 – Arrive home. 
              Check mail for paystub – We’re in luck

5:30- Head to Wegman’s for necessary food  provisions

6:30- unload car, head back out to the hardware store

7:30- Arrive home with 6 panels of Hardibacker, screws, joint tape, mortar and a boxcutter. Costing $111.00

7:45- Take the long last look at the shower and hope I know what I’m doing



8:15- Peel off the last of the fake tile, remove shower rod and knobs and really hope I know what I am doing.

I can’t figure out how to get the tap thing  out (not the shower head)- suggestions welcome, it won’t twist and there are no screws of any kind


9:30- remove the last of the drywall and plaster.


10:00- Dry-fit the Hardibacker board

Should I remove all the lath, or is that unnecessary? Most of it is in good condition. I don’t see how it could hurt to leave it in place. Thoughts?


10:15- discover power drill has no battery left. Cleanup, take a sponge bath and then blog about the mess I made.

Hopefully, I can get all the backer board up and tape the joints in the morning. Then I’m off to a baby shower and maybe we can talk tile tomorrow afternoon. I’m thinking white subway with gray grout. Perhaps, a four inch band of white hex tile 3/4 of the way up to tie in with the floor and add interest. Or I could install a band of glass tile but I’m afraid it might look dated in a few years since it is so popular now.

I’m going to keep the two handled hot and cold knobs to keep it vintage and because I’m not a plumber but options at the hardware store for this style were majorly limited and mostly plastic. So I’ll have to keep looking.

I ‘m really not sure how any of this works besides what I have read online so any advice would be more than welcome.

12 Responses to “Shower”

  1. Gloria Jacobs March 10, 2012 at 2:10 AM #

    You are a brave soul. Just remember, every project takes twice as long and costs three times as much as originally planned. I agree that you should stay away from the glass tile. I think it looks dated already. The hex tile would be a nice touch though. Oh, and leave up the lathe. No reason to take it down that I know of.

    Your paint may have peeled because of moisture underneath, but more likely its that the paint beneath it was an oil base and you used a latex.

    We have yet to tackle our lovely bathrooms — I’ll live vicariously through your remodel 🙂

    • ittybittybungalow March 11, 2012 at 9:59 PM #

      Good point about the paint. I’m taking your advice and keeping the lathe.

  2. Ashley March 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM #

    I would definitely keep the lath up if you can. It adds *some* integrity to the walls, and also acts as a sound barrier. We took all of ours down in our bathroom that we’re currently reno-ing, and the sound difference is terrible. You can hear everything! Ours was in really bad shape, though, sonar kind of had to.

  3. Reuben March 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM #

    The faucet should just twist off. If that’s not working, you either need to twist harder, or else it might be totally rusted/corroded in place. Good luck.

    As for the lathe – It won’t make much difference, other than in the thickness of the wall covering. If you’re going to use all of the existing hardware and don’t want to mess around with pipes, you’re going to want the new finished wall to be in pretty much the same place as the last wall. You’ll need the cement board to cover the flanges on the tub. My guess is that you’ll find that the new cement board and tile you’re hoping to install is slightly thicker than the plaster and fake tile you removed. Maybe not. If that’s the case, then you might need to take down the lathe just to gain the extra space. Otherwise, as long as the lathe is dry, there’s no immediate need to remove it.

    The project is looking great, though. Good work.

  4. jayne March 10, 2012 at 10:52 PM #

    Good luck! I’ll be watching/reading to see how it goes.

  5. KarenAnita March 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM #

    Don’t panic! We’ve been working on our bathroom for nearly 6 months now so it’s frustrating at times. But soon, you’ll get to a point where it will be completely finished and you’ll know you’ve done all the hard work yourself 🙂 Good luck!

  6. casacaudill March 12, 2012 at 4:50 PM #

    It looks so great!

  7. The Stucco Bungalow March 12, 2012 at 9:27 PM #

    Good for you – the best way to learn how to do it is to just go ahead and do it.

    Sadly, we are experiencing a similar problem with the upper part of the shower walls in our BRAND NEW (but not quite finished) bathroom. Somehow I was talked out of running the new tile all of the way up the shower walls. I don’t really remember how it happened, but the end result is a mini disaster/giant PITA because the moisture is just ruining the drywall above the tile despite the new bath fan vent thingy.

    Guess what time it is? Time to get my ass up on a ladder to add more tile so it runs up to the ceiling LIKE I WANTED TO DO IN THE FIRST PLACE…

    End of rant.

    Good luck to you with this project. It’s a bear. Can’t wait to read about it!

    P.S. Also agree that adding any kind of “trendy” accent tile may be something you regret in the long run. I think you can’t go wrong with simple and classic for the basics and leave the modern touches to elements that can be changed/updated more easily later down the road.

    • ittybittybungalow March 12, 2012 at 11:36 PM #

      Oh no! I’d be sooo angry.

      As for the accent tile I was going to do the white hex beacause I thought it would be timeless and then I realized that I was already pushing the edge of my DIY skills with the job itself so I stuck to the subway all the way up. Plus I’m doing all the cutting without a wet saw and the thought of cutting all the tiny hex tiles was overwheming.

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