The Master Shower: One of a Series.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Ok,  I should get this series of posts going.  The master shower.  Ahhh, the master shower.  My fingers are weary merely typing the words:  master shower.


Ya know.

One of The Most Infuriating things about this damn flipper we bought from, and again I’m going to reiterate my desire for flippers to be regulated and/or licensed, or somehow responsible for their deceptiveness (city inspectors clearly are not the answer), is that if he had spent oh say an extra fifty bucks here, or say oh I dunno, an extra twenty bucks there, this house would not have can of worms issues. 

I knowww, I knowww, some flippers do not care!  Gasp!  Shocker!

All they see is bottom line, profit, money money money.

Who knew Daffy was into house flipping.
They don’t care who buys so long as someone does and that they make a sh*t-ton of money in the process.  They don’t care what happens to actual real buyer people or the house or their (lack of) workmanship.  Money.  Money money money. 

And that’s terrible.  Such flippancy ruins lives. 

In this particular case, if this damn freakin' loser had spent an extra sixty or so bucks, I would not have had to rip out the majority of the master bathroom shower.  I would not have had to spend the most money I have to date on a project.  I could have spent that time and money on other productive fun things.  I like fun!

But no.  Money.  A**hole. 

Yes, this has been the most expensive project to date.  Or thereabouts tied with the first floor bathroom.  No, it's over that.  Hall bathroom?  That barely scratches the surface budget-wise.

Also floor area square footage-wise?, one of the smallest.  Funny how those two always correlate somehow.

Bathroom sh*t (ah, oops, no pun intended) is expensive sh*t.  Every budget under this roof is always curmudgeonly but man, there are just so few ways around bathroom project high price tags.

And typically too, I don't make an actual budget, just kinda outline in my head how much I'm willing to/can spend and/or not spend on things at any given step in the process.  Generally that plan works out well for me.  I would not necessarily advise that method though; it's better to map it out and stick to it.

Especially, especially, if you’ve got exxxpeeennnnsive taste.  --->  Me.

Not sure how I came upon this particular budgeting process but it's probably related to doing props for theater for so many years, the minimal budgets I had to abide by.  Figure out generally what things cost, what's expensive, what's not, then get the most you can with the least spent.  That has generally been my M.O. for so long now, it's ingrained in my soul.

Not that I'm a tightwad, mind you.  Just frugal.  See expensive taste comment above.

Sigh.  Alas.  All the woe related words. 

Granted, in the grand scheme of things this whole shower shebang came together for a load less cash than could have been spent.  Well, I mean, heh, yeah, it coulda been obscene.  Have you been to a tile store lately?  Swoon.

The biggest ticket item?  The plumber.  More on that later.

Anyway, this project has taken far too long to complete.  Far too long.  Heh, faaaarrrr too long.

It appears I suck and did not manage to get a few shots of the before.  Huh.  Just as well, it was an eyesore, no need to scar you.

The staged real estate photo before.  You can kinda sorta not really see the shower there to the right of the door that no longer exists.  The four different tile types, a flimsy a** laugable door (that I did laugh at on our first walk-through).  It had a wacky shower panel tower* thing (not like those but same idea).  An eyesore it was.
This all began began oy, omg, two years ago (!!) when I noticed itty water stains on the first floor ceiling in the vicinity of, below the master shower.  At first I denial-ly thought (hoped wished dreamed?) maybe it was the roof again (oh jeez, no not really, that'd be worse though easier for me:  hire out).

I mentioned my leaky theory to Mike, he bristled, said no, leave that bathroom alone.

Time passed, bigger water stains appeared on the first floor ceiling.  I could no longer sidestep the issue.  I went exploring.

Cupping floorboards?  Wow, eeerrrttt, stop the presses, we're done, there's a leak and it's the shower.

"Babe, we have to stop using the master shower now," was met with a stink eye, a down-turning head and slumping shoulders.  We moved clean up time to the jet tub shower (seen clearly above), the jet tub we never use because by the time the tub is filled, the water is cold.  Sadly fixing the anti-scald didn't help.

That's when we started getting streaming water through the return vent ceiling hole next to my office.

Hey!  Fun, right?!  Yay!  Not.

That was it, that was my breaking point, the point at which I had to defy Mike's "no work in that bathroom" decree.  After plopping a bucket on the floor, I dashed upstairs and took a hammer to the shower wall.  Mike happened to be standing behind me.

"Uh babe, you can patch that back up, right?"  I love his house innocence.  (Not sarcasm.)

"No babe, I have to redo the shower now."  A huge exasperated sigh emanated from him.  As I was sighing on the inside.

What I discovered in the newly opened wall?  Lots of things:
  • Again, the flipper used drywall for the shower enclosure area though it was mold resistant.  OooOoohhh, mold resistant, wooowww.  Big deal, wrong stuff.
  • There's a rubber liner under the floor that goes partly up the wall.
  • The floor is concrete.
  • The drywall was wet and crumbly and the paper browned.
  • The jet tub doesn't have an L shaped lip around the top edge like regular tubs, where the L sits up behind the tile.  Meaning, that cracked grout between the tub and the tile around the entire perimeter was a freakin' funnel for water, hence the streaming water outside my office door.
  • As such, a puddle on the subfloor near the tub.
  • Ceiling insulation all over.
Ugh.  For f***'s sake.

At first I thought the drain was the leak source but upon ripping out thirsty slate mosaic tiles, or trying to, I realized it was not the drain.  Hence the wall hole.
If the darn flipper had just used cement board, ya know, only a couple dollars more, or used some waterproofing,* ya know, forty five bucks or so for a bucket, I would not be out over a grand, that time and effort and stress and hair.

hole shower wall broken tile leak tub
The hole started out small then uh, expanded as my curiosity grew.
It's not rocket science:  do things the right way the first time.  Yes it may cost a wee smidge more upfront but omg, you'll save thousands.  I seriously doubt an extra twenty bucks or so difference between drywall and cement board would have mattered in the end here.

Save thousands > twenty dollars.  Amiright?!  Cutting corners bad.

Great.  That's just great.  Right?  All dark brown behind the tile there from water.  It was this color brown only in the areas where the rubber liner was behind it.  Neeaaaato.  Cough.  
Do. The. Right. Thing.

What sucks too is that these types of things are hidden, ya know, you walk through the house before buying, there's no way to ever know.  Until it's too late.

removing slate tile shower floor concrete
Well.  Since I started.  Now it all has to come out.  What a bitch too.  More on the demo soon.

I probably sound terribly angry throughout this post but I'm really not.  Yeah I'm highly annoyed, irked, exasperated, but there's no point in being angry.  Just fix it, my constant refrain.

So last fall beganneth the shower dismantling and reconstruction.  Mike said, "you sure you can handle this, babe?"  "Babe, I got this," I warbled in response.

And truly, I had every single intention to hurry up and get the project done ASAP.  Like within a week or two.

Haha, a week, hahahahaaaa.  That goal went shooting out the window; now it's freakin' August with the shower door still to install.

But of course now that the shower is redone, that leaves the remainder of the bathroom, sans the spiffy vanity, out of design balance.  Heh.  Yeeeeeeeeeppp.

I think I have a plan for the floor.  A budget-friendly plan.  A scares-me plan, but a cool-if-I-can-pull-it-off plan nonetheless.

Poor Mike.

Not the most thrilling of posts today but it's gonna get interesting!

Jump to the next segment of this series by clicking here!

*The shower tower panels and waterproofing are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. Bless your heart! I feel for you! Water is my nemesis and the bane of my existence. The sound of a single drip of water (heard from clear across the house) in the middle of the night can pull me out of a deep sleep in a panic!

    1. Oh thank you! I am very much the same now -- water anywhere it's not supposed to be or a suspected drip or odd noise and I'm totally panicking so I feel your pain! So sorry it's the bane of your existence, I hope you can get back your sanity soon! Thanks for taking the time to write!

  2. The liner in the shower is a problem also. The curb is commonly a culprit when it comes to leaks. The liner should go all the way past the curb- not stop short (to the left) of the curb.

    That and the drywall wallboard, that you pointed out, is a disaster in the making. Congrats on redoing it before it ruins your house.

    1. Wow, I could not be more honored that you stopped by here for a read. Your website was such a tremendous help to me throughout my redo process.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving helpful tips. Thank you!


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