Bathroom Mod Blog Six - Plumbing and Shower - jspirate
  • Bathroom Mod Blog Six - Plumbing and Shower

Weekend Thirteen (9/12) - more plumbing and setting the shower pan

This was supposed to be lucky thirteen weekend!  Unfortunately it wasn't, and the first part of the weekend was for crap.  Pure-t-crap.  Its all good though, not everyday can go as planned and I still made some forward progress.  Two notable problems were:

1.  I made four runs to big-box stores because I needed stuff that I did not anticipate.  What a total time sync.

2.  I forgot to order the valve trim kit for the shower.  With just the shower valve body, I could not get the plumbing as far as I wished.

Weekend Thirteen - tub drain

I decided to go ahead and put the trap in for the tub drain.  There is no need to do it at this time, but its a small task that I just wanted to knock out.

Weekend Thirteen - tub trap

Yeah ~ its in! I will not revisit this plumbing until I set the tub in place for the final time.  Its gonna be a tight fit!!!

Weekend Thirteen - shower valve body

Female fitting

To the left is the Delta shower valve body.  To the right is the the female brass-to-cpvc coupling.

Basically, I wrapped each of the 3 threads on the valve body with Teflon tape and then screwed the fitting on and tightened all the way.  For the cold water line, I made up the 90 degree elbow before cementing the coupling to the pipe. 

Weekend Thirteen - plumbled valve body

This valve body does not control any flow of water. That is what the shower valve is for.  I didn't get the shower valve in time; so, we are left with luk-warm water until I get it.  Basically the hot and cold water are dead heading into one another and that really confuses the rest of the plumbing network.  Without isolated hot and cold lines, you are left with one pressure dominating another.   Usually the cold water wins out because it has the path of least resistance (no hot water heater to go through).

The fix to this is to install the the shower valve, but it will not be here for another two days. The work around until then is to turn on the cold water in the bathroom sink before turning on the hot water.  All of the valves in the house are single handle and I really feel like this exacerbates the problem (can't work just one side of bathroom sink).  Basically, the hot water is not quite as hot as it normally is.  My 13 year old is NOT putting me in for Dad of the year

Weekend Thirteen - no noisy pipes

This pipe is very close to the stud, so I used a pipe hanger to keep it from knocking against it.

Weekend Thirteen - shower pan fit check

This is the KBRS shower pan system I went with.  It needs to be set in thinset, so this is the dry-fit check to make sure that the drain lines up.  It was a HUGE relief to see that it did.  The difference in color is because I just brought inside from a good rinsing with the garden hose.  I dried it off with a towel, but the pan is made of a strange material that doesn't exactly dry evenly.

This is really a nifty set-up and I think its gonna be a snap to install.

Weekend Thirteen - setting the shower pan

 Awwww yeah!  There was some sort of small burden that was lifted when the shower pan was set in Thinset and the drain tightened down.  Its hard to explain, but I enjoyed the sigh of relief. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take any pictures because I used the plastic trowel that came with the pan rather than buy a real trowel with a handle.  Basically, this meant that my hands were covered in Thinset.

For those who are curious, you can click the link below to see the KBRS installation video.  Its 4:05 long.

Click here for KBRS installation video.

There are 1/4" furring strips behind the plastic on the wall.  I bought all of Lowe's stock, so I was short and could not do the whole shower.  It was time for the Pirates to be on TV anyway, so the project was shut down for another week!

Total project time to date = 167 hours

Weekend Fourteen (9/18) - shower head line and Durock

Things have been moving moving at a snail's pace, so I burned a vacation day to make up for the colossal waste of time that was last Friday.  The first order of business was removing the 4 mil plastic in the shower.  I decided to go with RedGard on top of the Durock instead of the plastic behind it.

Weekend Fourteen - polyurethane caulking

The KBRS shower pan specifies a heavy bead of polyurethane caulking at the base of the backer board. This is to prevent the moisture from wicking up the back side of the backer board.

Weekend Fourteen - shower head line

Note that the shower head line is now plumbed!

Weekend Fourteen - shower valve

In my eagerness to be productive,  I didn't take any pictures of the guts of the shower valve or its installation. So, here is a picture of the trim. Its a Delta Venetian Bronze trim kit.

I went with Delta because I like how there hot/cold water controls work and because I like the universal valve body that houses the valve.  It makes for a spiffy yet surprisingly simple installation.

Weekend Fourteen - thinset

I didn't think the shower backer board installation out... Every piece except for one had a custom cut of some sort.  It took alot longer than I thought it would!

Weekend Fourteen - taping the joints

USG Durock specifies that you use an alkali- resistant fiberglass mesh tape on the joints.  Basically, you use a putty knife to jam thinset into the 1/8" gap that you left and then use the putty knife to embed the tape into it. 

Weekend Fourteen - RedGard

As seen in the photo, I did not get all the Durock up.  I have one piece in the front.  Also, I am going to make a magnetic access panel that will be accessible if the vanity is moved.

Anyway, my closing task for weekend 14 was to apply RedGard to the nail heads with a brush.  The backer board will receive two roller coatings of RedGard.  The second coat will be applied perpendicular to the first.  The brush coating  on the nail heads is just a little extra piece of mind.

Whew... I could start tiling next weekend.  I think I am going to focus on the tub's blower motor, but tiling is an option!  I'll see how I feel when weekend 15 gets here...

Total project time to date = 181 hours

Weekend Fifteen (9/25) - tile & niche

Yes sir!  As weekend 15 approached I could not make myself work on the tub blower relocation.  I was just too excited to try tiling for the first time!

Weekend Fifteen - photos for the glass man

more measurments

I decided to get some m ore pictures for the glass-man.  If he starts with good info, it should make for a decent installation.

Weekend Fifteen - straight board

Since I knew I was in for a steep learning curve, I mounted a level straight board at my starting point. After that, I looked at the shower valve and the hole that is the start of my niche to figure out tile spacing.  I didn't want any small tile pieces in the corner and I didn't want any overly tough cuts.  So, I measured out a plan and then dry fit the tiles to "eye-ball" it.

Weekend Fifteen - and so it begins...

Whew... I though I was bad at finishing sheet rock.  Now I've found something I am worse at.  I absolutely stink at tiling!  Maybe it will get better???

Weekend Fifteen - cutting hole for the niche


With the tile started it was now time to measure and cut the niche hole .  After looking at lots of pictures on the interwebs, I decided to try to get the grout line to match up with the bottom shelf of the niche.

I also decided to trim the Durock back off the door frame (to right in picture).  These two cuts had me looking at the grinder/cutters at Lowes.  There was a Hitachi (matches my miter saw) on sale for $39.99.  I luv  a new tool!

The only problem with this new tool plan is that it created an insane amount of dust.  My oldest son walked in a few minutes after the door cut and he said "oh my wow!"  It was all good though, I opened two windows on opposite sides of the bathroom and used a fan to start a natural draft.  You could see the cloud of dust as it exited the window. After all the cuts were done, I spent about 2 hours cleaning and dusting.  It was time for a good clean-up anyway and many of the tools in the bathroom were no longer necessary.  Still, the cutting process was definitely a HUGE time sync.

Weekend Fifteen - surprise

After cutting the niche hole, I put down my new grinder and smiled at it.  Then I looked into the hole to see a surprise!  On the other side of the shower wall is the closet that will house the tub's blower.  In the closet is a shelving system that uses plastic sheet rock anchors.  Darn-it... another unplanned speed bump.

Weekend Fifteen - niche problem solved

This is the inside of that closet.  It took almost 45 minutes to pop out the anchors, fasten new anchors to the studs and patch the old holes.  The closet and the bathroom it is connected to will get some paint and stuff this winter. So, good enough for now...

Weekend Fifteen - back to the niche installation

The niche is made by Redi and I purchased the model that has two cubbies.  A small cubby on top for soap and a larger cubby below it for shampoo and such.  Between the two cubbies there are screw holes, so I went ahead and installed a 2X4 to anchor to.  I marked where it needed to be and then used a couple screws on the vertical 2X4 so that the new piece would not ride up when I fasted from below.  I drilled holes and used 2 screws on both sides as seen in the picture above.  The I removed the screws from the vertical framing members.

Weekend Fifteen - more niche work

I decided not to install the lower and upper cross members.  Instead I used a couple pieces of the left over furring strips and some construction adhesive to make a dam for the silicone that will be used to make the niche water tight.   There just wasn't much flex in the backer board and it will only get stiffer with Thinset and tile.  The second concern would be the combined weight of the niche, Thinset, tile and toiletries.  The center board and vertical studs can handle all of that with ease.

While the adhesive was setting up, I cleaned and dusted the bathroom.

Weekend Fifteen - niche is in

Weekend Fifteen - in the other room

My youngest son was keeping me company during a bunch of this work.  He was in the bedroom playing on the PS4.  His nick name is Goose, he is 7 years old and he has the best gamer tag ever!

Total project time to date = 195 hours