Renovate a Stand Up Shower for Less

18 Materials
6 Months

This was a looooong process (ya know, life gets in the way) but that's ok, I renovated our awful shower and fixed a leak!

Say you bought a house from a flipper who did a terrible terrible job and took shortcuts everywhere and your main shower starts leaking.

Or, your shower starts leaking.

You gotta fix that shower, no two ways about it. Water does a ton of damage.

In our case, I ripped everything out except the concrete shower base. Why take any chances?

Hey, there's that pocket door I installed! Pocket doors rock.

The only thing I hired out for was a plumber. And he was a monster, sheesh, what a jerk.

Plumbing like this, unless you're very well trained, is not a DIY. It's too easy to mess this up. Best hire a professional. But not the guy I hired.

My goal was to do this right. Do it the right way. The way it should have been done, instead of drywall behind tile and various other huge mistakes.

So cement board went up next.

You need to waterproof your cement board. Which I did. Two coats in the critical areas. Since this stuff is quite expensive, in areas that I know would see less water, I placed plastic sheeting behind the cement board.

But you can't do both -- it's one or the other, otherwise you can trap moisture which is everything I'm trying to avoid.

Stop by and read the whole series over on Flipping the Flip. I shared a zillion tips and helpful tidbits and ways to save money on a project like this.

After patching and skim coating the mess that was the concrete shower pan, a mess I kinda made worse sorta, it was time for my weary self to see some finishes going in.

That drain, man, the anxiety of putting in that little eight buck drain kept me up for weeks.

Next up was wall tile.

I had cut out a niche (find out how to do it the easy way in Part 7 [yeah there are a lot of parts to the story]) but screwed up my math which, if you know me, isn't a big surprise.

3x12 subway tiles were chosen in white since this isn't our forever home and I wanted it to be neutral enough to sell easily later.

Have you ever tiled with subway tile? Whooooie, clear your schedule, it takes forever and a day!

Grouting was next which heh, also took forever and a day as I didn't realize the bag I bought was super lightning fast quick set.

See how I found a way to extend the quick set time in Part 8. Yeah, ya know, heh, this was a very big project and I've never rebuilt a shower before!

Installing the frameless glass shower door was up after that which required an extra hand, much to the chagrin of my lovely husband.

More to my chagrin was discovering that the framing done by the flipper wasn't plumb and true, almost ruining my frameless plans. But thankfully, I was able to work around it.

Some sealing, some spraying, some caulking and finally it was done! Done!! Dee ooh ennn eee done. Whew!

I know, I need better photos.

Wow. I'll tell ya. This was a big one for me. But, I saved us thousands of dollars by doing it myself. And I'm not a pro, not at all, just an avid DIY'er bound and determined to learn.

Absolutely know your limits though and don't get in over your head. But absolutely learn and expand your skillset.

The best part? That first shower. The even best-er part? I fixed the leak. And that was the whole point of this.

Time for me to take a nap!

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Becky at Flipping the Flip
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  • Peggy Peggy on May 18, 2022

    They make a moisture barrier sheet rock, it’s the green one. We used it in both bathrooms and it’s been great.

  • Buckysmomtoo Buckysmomtoo on May 21, 2022

    You did such a lovely job that you inspire me to try this! Maybe I can do it too!!! Beautiful!! Enjoy!!

    • Thank you very much! Just know it is not easy, it's a lot of hard work but it definitely is possible! Good luck and thank you!