Bathroom Renovation - Floor-Level Shower Install

Hexagon white with dot black ceramic tile installed over thinset.

Hi there!

I'm finally back with another installment of this bathroom renovation. Oh, I feel so bad when I'm not able to keep up with at least one story per week here on the blog. The thing is, either I work on the pictures and write the post OR I continue working on the bathroom to try and finish it quickly.

Well, the later is winning lately, most of the time I end the day with no energy to sit down and put together these posts. The good news: there's lots of progress, but of course it's taking me forever to bring it to you, unless you follow me on Instagram where I usually post little videos and pictures of the progress.

So, let's get on with this, the installation of the floor - All hired-out work →
Since the beginning, when I started gathering ideas and inspiration for my bathroom, I knew I didn't want to have a bathtub/shower combo. First, because I didn't have a big space to add a free standing tub (ha, the only ones I like 😍) and second, the reality is, I hardly ever take baths.

So, creating a big walk-in shower WITH a floor-level shower, no divisions, no tripping blocks between the bathroom floor and the shower would be one of the biggest changes this bathroom will take.

The idea was to create a sleeker room with less clutter and a spacious design. Oh, and it will be easier to use now that we're getting older. 😉

The walk-in shower area was extended a bit more. We took 16 inches of space from the, let's say attic, just enough space to accommodate a shower bench. You can read more about that right HERE.

This next picture is how the bathroom looked after fixing some plumbing issues and right before unfolding the shower membrane. The shower-pan was installed without a preslope.

*This post contains affiliate links.

1. WATERPROOFING THE SHOWER AREA
Shower Pan Liner Roll  |  Measuring Tape
That wall corner on the left (above picture) is the shower ending point. A glass panel will be installed right there to enclose the shower. Here, the guy was measuring the area to be waterproofed.

The Oatey liner roll was laid across the shower area, starting 5" above the bench all the way down...

Until this division he created with 1 x 2 material (picture below). An area larger than the shower.

The drain was installed next.

The bench top was brought in place.The shower membrane was attached to the sides of the wall, above the 5" mark and the corners were folded in place before doing a water test to ensure there were not leaks on the installation.

2. CEMENT BOARD INSTALLATION

Before continuing with the floor installation, the cement board or shower walls needed to be installed.
RYOBI Brushless Drywall Screw Gun  |  Lithium-Ion High Capacity Battery Pack  |  Drywall Screws
The Ryobi Brushless Drywall Screw Gun was the tool in charge of this task. It all went really fast, driving each screw at the perfect depth every time.

See it in action right here:


3. INSTALLING FLOOR REINFORCEMENT MATERIAL
  Wiss Straight-Cut aviation snips  |  Steel Lath  |  Steel Carpenter Square
Steel lath was cut to size, folding it and flattening its sharp edges. Inside the shower pan it was simply laid in place. Outside the shower pan it was held in place with nails.
Durock 
4. INSTALLING THE MORTAR IN THE SHOWER PAN
Mud Bed Mix  |  Heavy Duty Plastic Bags  
Water was added to the mud bed mix as per product instructions to what I thought, was a rather dry mix.

However, what I liked the most was the way how this guy mixed the product, check it out:

The mortar was brought to the shower pan where the first area to be compacted was the perimeter around the walls and the temporary division that was created to separate it from the rest of the flooring.

This shower pan area needs to be on a slope with a pitch of 1/4" per foot, where the lowest point is the drain. Once the perimeter of the shower (highest point) was set, it was time to work towards the center or the drain, creating the slope.

You can see the temporary division (picture below). The level and a piece of wood also set the perfect height for the shower pan.

We let it dry for a whole weekend before continuing with the rest of the floor. But, we started to check how to lay the tile. :)

5. INSTALLING THE MORTAR OUTSIDE THE SHOWER PAN

Water was again, sprinkled around the sub-floor before installing the mortar.

Once again, the mud bed material was mixed with water and set on the floor, compacting it and making sure it was completely level.
Cement Trowel  |  Husky 48" In. Box Level  |  
All the floor was worked by areas, setting your measuring line (in our case, the high of the level).

It was all worked one bag of mud bed mix at a time and constantly checking that everything was perfectly level.


Working it all the way out of the room.
We waited a couple of days for the mortar to dry before going onto the next step.

6. INSTALLING THE CERAMIC FLOOR TILE

The thinset was mixed with water as per instructions on the product to a pancake mix consistency.
VersaBond ThinSet Mortar  |  Thinset and Grout Mixer  
Be sure to check which direction you want to lay the tile. At first I thought this small hexagon tile could go anyway in my design, but nope. It looked way better laying the mosaic on the horizontal.

This is the moment to do a dry fit. If you're using a larger tile, you want to set the installation in a symmetrical way, trying to avoid ending up with small pieces in the corners.
Hex floor tile
The tile installation started in the shower pan, the thinset was spread over the wet floor using a V Notch trowel.
Flooring Trowel
The only tool you'll need to cut these small tiles is a carbide-edge ceramic tile nipper. Here, making the cuts all around the shower drain.
Carbide-Edge Ceramic Tile Nipper  |  Drain  | Hexagon Ceramic Tile  |
The tile installation continued, holding a new tile mosaic above the previous line and then, pulling it in place.  The mosaic was then settled in place by pressing it down with a tile float.
Tile Float
Check a little snippet of the tiling process:


Well, laying the tile continued until the entrance of the room was reached and just like that this small bathroom got a new face! :)  I love how it looks!
Small bathroom renovation where a walk-in shower replaced a dated bath shower combo

NOTE:
This is not a tutorial but rather a recount of what I saw the person doing this job did. He was recommended to me for the quality of his work and for the amount of experience he has accumulated while doing this kind of job almost every day.

My next post is all about installing the ceramic subway tile in the shower. Stay tuned!

Here are the links to visit the previous work done in this bathroom:



*This post contains affiliate links.
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4 comments :

  1. Beautiful!!!! Still getting bids on mine and not real happy so far! I'm about to take a sledge hammer to it and just do it myself...I knew this "hiring" thing would test my patience...lol! But again, it is looking AMAZING!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cristina,
    The hexagon tile flooring is beautiful and a classic that should stand the test of time. Thank you for showing the process of redoing your bathroom. I'm thinking I should redo the shower room in bathroom so their is no threshold to step over. I have been checking out the threshold linear drains, but that project will not take place within the next year. I will be watching to see how you like the sloped floor to a central drain after it has been used for a while.

    Judith

    ReplyDelete
  3. THMs or trihalomethanes are in any publicly treated water supply. best shower head handheld combo

    ReplyDelete

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