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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 cannot 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 latter 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 is 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.

The biggest challenge for this bathroom is creating a big walk-in shower with a floor-level shower (no divisions and no tripping blocks between the bathroom floor and the shower).

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 pre-slope.

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Shower Pan Liner Roll  |  Measuring Tape

That wall corner on the left (above picture) is the shower's 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 benchtop 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 a water test was done to ensure there were no leaks in the 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:

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.

Mud Bed Mix  |  Heavy-Duty Plastic Bags  

Water was added to the mud bed mix per the product instructions, which I thought was rather dry.

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 1/4" per foot pitch, where the drain is the lowest point. Once the perimeter of the shower (highest point) was set, it was time to work towards the center of 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. :)


Water was, again, sprinkled around the subfloor before installing the mortar.

Once again, the mud bed material was mixed with water and set on the floor, compacting it and ensuring 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 on one bag of mud bed mix at a time, 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 on to the next step.


The thinset was mixed with water per the product's instructions 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 be laid in either direction, but nope. It looked way better laying the mosaic horizontally.

This is the moment to do a dry fit. If you're using a larger tile, you want to set the installation symmetrically to avoid small pieces in the corners.
Hex floor tile

The tile installation started in the shower pan, the thin-set 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, with a new tile mosaic held above the previous line and then pulled 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 room's entrance was reached, and just like that, this small bathroom had a new face! :)  I love how it looks!
Small bathroom renovation where a walk-in shower replaced a dated bath shower combo

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

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

The following are the links to the projects done in this bathroom:
Here's how I easily change the look of the shower.

      *This post contains affiliate links.
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      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! But again, it is looking AMAZING!!!!

      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.


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

      4. Wow! This is beautiful! Does the slope in the middle of the shower to a drain keep all of the water from coming out on to the main part of the bathroom?

      5. It looks did great job!

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