After HAND chiseling the walls for 2 weeks, going through a mortar bed and concrete plaster
we mostly Eric got them down to this. We did use a grinder to get off some of the mortar/plaster but the hand chisel method worked best.
Once all of the mortar and plaster was off of the concrete block walls, we coated it with a special water sealer. It was dark purple and it looked like what Gumby is made of. You can never waterproof too much, we waterproofed that bathroom 5 times before it was over!
We put Portland cement thinset on the concrete blocks then adhered the backer board to the walls. Since the backer board was secured to the wall with portland cement, we didn't have to use as many screws as usual.
All of the backer board is up and it went a lot easier than we expected. We thought we would have to use 2 pieces in some areas since the previous mortar bed was so thick and feather them together but we didn't. Major relief!
After the backer board was up, we went over it with 2 coats of the purple water sealer. Then Eric taped and put thinset over the backer board joints. And finally we were able to tile.
The tile was pretty easy after we figured out the math part. I put up the tile and E cut the corner pieces. We used a brace to keep the tile from sagging and left it up overnight just to be safe. The next day we finished the tile below the brace.
After the tile was set for a couple of days, it was time to grout. The decision of grout color wasn't an easy one to me. I decided to go with dark grout. The color I chose is Woodsmoke by Prospec. I didn't want black or gray, so the WS is a grey with a brown undertone, just like our walls. We caulked the corner seams (after this picture) and used silicone at the tub/tile joint then went over it with caulk to match.
Our tub was sagging. I don't even remember why now, but don't worry it isn't about to fall through the floor. As a result our tiles weren't perfectly level on the bottom row. If our caulk line had been white, I don't think you would have noticed but since it was dark it looked really bad.
But we were in a hurry to get the project finished because we had a kitchen in the same demolished shape and company coming so we left it with an uneven caulk line.
It wasn't that bad when we bought the house but we used that tub to clean out paint brushes so it got pretty bad. We weren't too worried about it because we thought we would have NuBath come out and just take care of it. Nope that was going to cost $6k for the most basic unit. Um ok no thanks.
So instead we bought the reglaze kit from Lowes. I had heard good and bad things but for $40 why not. I put the reglaze on myself. That was all fine and dandy for about a year. Then we had one bubble come up and it was all over. We scrapped every bit of reglaze off (not fun in case you were wondering). And called Miracle Method to come out and professionally reglaze the tub.
And since we were reglazing the tub we decided it would be the perfect time to redo the bottom row of tile. Eric decided to run the tile vertical instead of horizontal and it was the perfect choice. Much easier to cut instead of cutting slivers off at a time and it looks like a border, instead of a mistake.
before reglaze & after!
I still haven't found a shower curtain that I want. I need one that is 84" long and they are a little hard to find. So in the mean time (going on 2 years) I made one out of extra wide quilt backing and painted a little charlie brown stripe across the bottom with wall paint.
A couple of tips:
**This was our first shower project. We aren't experts but we read the books and learned. Plus I am fortunate to work with some people that are experts on tile and I asked a lot of questions.
**Make sure you stuff a rag or something in the drain of the bathtub to prevent debris from going down and clogging the drain. Same thing on the toilet hole (not sure of real name).
**Also we didn't think about the bathroom fan. Ours isn't connected to the outside so a TON of dust went into the attic. It wasn't fun having to wipe down EVERYTHING in our attic to get the plaster dust cleaned up. So cover the fan and close your air vents.
**We initially thought this bathroom would be a guest bathroom. Being used every now and then and every weekend during football season. But now it is "Eric's" bathroom. So I am very happy that I chose the dark grout instead of the white. Much easier to clean!!
**I am not a fan of bullnose, to me it will ruin the whole look. So I used a bullnosed edge on the 3" side of the 3x6 tiles for the edges. At the top we used a bullnose on the 3" & 6" side of the tile for the corner and a bullnose on the 6" side of the tile for the top tile. Not all tiles come with a bullnosed edge, but check hopefully yours will and it will look a lot cleaner than going with a separate bullnose piece, and in most cases cheaper!