Ayrlee House Master Bath Remodel 2012

After years of hating our master bathroom, I finally found time (sort of) to do the remodel. The floor was peeling linoleum, the countertops were very low 29" cabinets. Being fairly tall, just bending over to brush your teeth sucked. Additionally, I really wanted the frameless glass for the shower to replace the ugly framed, builder grade, shower enclosure. Plus, I had already done the kids bathroom, and really wanted heated floors and jets in the shower, as well as a bigger shower area in general for a bench. First, let's take a look at some "before" shots:

First to go is those ugly shower doors and the tile around the tub:

Dead stink bugs... those things seem to get into everything.

But, if you think stink bugs are bad... check out this video of me removing the tile around the base of the shower:

I was thinking that underneath the shower (where most moisture would be) would have been a mess. But, it was not nearly as bad as I thought:

It was behind the insulation that was really disgusting...

I'm pretty sure moisture had gotten back there because the builders had not used a proper vapor barrier. Here's another great example of the builder's handy work. Let's install a shut off valve in a place where you can't actually turn the valve!!

Apparently, it took the builder two tries to figure out where the drain was suposed to go for the shower. The third hole is mine, because I'm changing shower dimensions to be a bigger shower.

I often will use the camera to see what I'm dealing with under the floorboards. In this shot, I was trying to figure out the plumbing so I could move it to accomodate the new location. What I learned is that the builder had also screwed me on insulation over the garage.

Here you can see where I've created a bench for inside the shower. It's not quite finished in this picture, but you get the basic idea.

Doing this type of work by yourself is difficult unless you've grown a third (and sometimes fourth) arm. To redo hardware around the bath, I had to jack up the tub, and then change out all the plumbing. Not an easy task considering the old valves had essentially rusted on.

Here's the new shower pan going in. Fits like a glove! You can also see where I extnded the wall to the left to accomodate the larger shower area.

While extending the wall a few inches might make the doorway smaller, I'm not worried. It's still wider than the average door, and we're goign to be putting in a sliding barn door anyways (shown at the end).

I pulled up the linoleum, and the cheap plywood it was glued onto. Left behind many of these staples, which I had to pull out one at a time with pliers. Ohhhh, make aching back!!!

Cabinets took about 6 weeks to arrive. I managed to fit them ALL into my minivan. I love my minivan.

Finally ready to put in the hardibacker for the sub-floor. I dont' need a whole bag of fortified mortar so I'll just weigh the bag and cut the recipe in half. Half of 50 is 25lbs. close enough.

New subfloor is in, time to put in the cabinets. Behind the cabinets you'll nice the extra studs I put in to secure my faucets that will come directly out of the wall.

Ah, fun with copper. What you see here is essentially a bath jet system with a 3 way diverter. The bottom handle controls temperature, you shouldn't have to ever change it once you get the temp right. The handle above is on/off. The handle at the top is your diverter, which directs to either a series of jets (to the right of the diverter), or to a handheld shower spray (goes up, to the right, and then back down, or to the rain shower above your head (goes to the left, then turns back up and to the right to be directly overtop.

And, here you can see the plumbing finished for the wall mounted faucet. I'm also running electricity into the center cabinet to plug in our electric toothbrushes and have them hidden away.

Hardibacker going up for the shower. You can see my vapor barrier behind it.

Drywall patching seems to be a constant job.

Finally ready to lay out my tile. There are lots of funky cuts here, so I laid them all out first so I wouldn't waste any time dealing with cuts while my mortar dried. I actually used sticky notes to label all my cuts and created a quick little map of the tiles on paper so I could match the tiles up quickly.

Down goes the heating element for the heated floor!

Down goes the tile on top of the heating element. You can see my sticky notes telling me where my pre-cut tile goes.

Mixing up a bit more mortar. If you ever do a job like this... don't try to hand mix this stuff... or any stuff for that matter. By this mixer paddle and use your drill for this job. You will be very very happy you did.

Some of the vertical wall tile goes up:

Me showing off my cool knee pads... You MUST use knee pads for this type of work, or you will be hating life after about 30 minutes.

Grout goes down on the floor:

Sanding and polishing some of the rough edges from where I cut the tile... I love my rotary tool!

More vertical tile going in with my accent pieces. You can also see the electrical I ran on the right for the added light I'm going to put in (the light goes on outside the shower glass, don't worry).

Half the wall almost done. This will actually go all the way to the ceiling.

Some pretty tough tile cuts. I hope you have some diamond drill bits!!!

Shower Walls finished! Grout is complete!!!! I'm tired.

Chrissie inspecting my work. Yes, I know it's not done yet, but so far so good!!!

Here you can see the working sink and the recessed center cabinet. Notice how the center cabinet is tucked INTO the wall. Pretty cool, eh?

Here you can see the extra light. It's a small light, but it really makes a difference!

In that last picture, you'll notice the jets weren't actually installed. It turns out I estimated incorrectly how far out the copper fittings should come. As a result, I couldn't screw the jets all the way onto the plumbing. I had to cut out the back wall, unscrew all the plumbing from the studs, shim them forward about a 1/2 inch (including expanding the holes I drilled for the tubing), and then screw them back in. It was not as hard as it sounds, but when I first realized the mistake, I almost did a "rage quit". But, fortunately, once I took off the back section, it only took about two hours (or so) to fix the problem.

And finally, with all the drywall patched and painted, followed by new blinds:

And the frameless glass!

Here's some side by side comparison shots:

The only thing left to do is finish my crown molding and find a sliding door to go over the top!!!

Here's some examples of what I'm considering for my sliding door:


Yes, it took me a while, but I finally got around to putting in the door. I needed a door at least 44 inches wide, and that is very hard to find... so I was going to have to build it myself. Every time I walked by the flooring section at Home Depot, I kept thinking how I wished that type of wood was available for me to buy to build a door. Hey! Why not just buy a raw hollow door and overlay the flooring onto the door! In this case, I had to buy two doors.

Those are 24" doors, giving me 48 inches. I used a table saw to shave about 3 inches off one of the doors, giving me a 45 inch door. Perfect to cover a 42" opening. I then ordered lots of different styles of flooring and staged the different colors and patterns to see which we liked best. Once we picked out the one we liked, I begin cutting the boards to fit the door.

Then laying them out to make sure they fit before gluing them onto the door.

I was going to buy some very expensive wrought iron hardware to hang the door. But, I saw this much less expensive one at Home Depot, and figured I'd give it a try. Savings of about $400.

By itself, it looks pretty cheap. But it will actually get covered up by more flooring, hopefully making it blend in. If it looks cheesy, I can always spend the extra money buy the wrought iron stuff... but I hope not!!!

Here it is installed!

And here it is from the inside.

It's still not quite done, as I need to totally cover the aluminum frame with wood. And I need to install a handle on the inside and stain the ends of the original doors. But, for now, it works great, is nice and quiet, and opens and closes super easy. I'm liking it so far!!! Hope you do too!