Showers up! (Beach house #66)

I finished the shower and bath structures!

The Durock was pretty easy. Anything I couldn’t cut with a boxcutter came out easily with a sawzall.


You can’t puncture the PVC liner with screws, so you can’t use Durock on the shower curb. You have to build it out of metal lathe and mortar instead. I beat it into shape first between a few studs first so that the bends would be crisp – and beat a couple of my fingertips too.

Blood, sweat, and tears, I’m telling you. The rehabber’s trifecta.

I also got the durock on the floors mortared down with thinset and screwed every 8-10 inches. So those will be ready to tile pretty soon.

The hardest part was the shower pan. I knew it would be – I’ve probably watched just about all the Youtube tutorials.

First I had to get a level all the way around, with a minimum thickness of 2-3 inches – and then adjust the drain to the exact height that would give the pan the right amount of slope. Sounds easy, but it has to be just perfect.


Oh yeah, I got my first layer of mortar on the curb too. It came out pretty nice and square. It takes a different kind of mortar than the thinset or the pan mortar.

My shower pan came out rougher than the ones I saw on Youtube, or maybe that’s a function of seeing mine up close and touching it vs. seeing it on a video the size of a cell phone. The slope is good though, and that’s what’s important.


It is funny how it looks so flat in this photo. In real life there is a decided slope to it, all nice and neat down towards the drain,especially on the shortest sides. Up close it certainly doesn’t look as beautiful or smooth as the ones in the tutorials. I’m not too worried though. It’ll all get smoothed over with thinset. And in any case, as long as water runs downhill it can’t be too bad, right?

The drain is up from the surface by about 1/16″ less than the thickness of the tile I’m going to use for the floor. The idea being, of course, that it rests lower than the tiles so the water can flow into it.

I waited overnight for the pan to harden enough to walk on, then spent today covering all the seams with fiberglass mesh – much like drywall mesh tape but a different formulation to withstand concrete’s alkalinity – with thinset. That was actually pretty enjoyable once I got the hang of it.


I decided to cut a shower niche into the bathtub wall as well.


Well technically, I decided to go back and excavate the shower niche that I’d framed out, that Carlos had Durocked over (he did the bathtub walls). It was tempting to leave it hidden – easier, faster, and cheaper to tile! – but personally, I hate it when there’s nowhere to put all the shampoo bottles in bathtubs. I’ve never really understood why there are usually niches in showers but not in baths.

Tomorrow the newly thinsetted seams, edges, corners, etc. will be dry enough for me to cover with a waterproof fiberglass fabric and waterproofing “liquid membrane” (goopy, paintable silicone-ish stuff). A few days after that, the shower pan should be dry enough for me to waterproof it and everything else, too, and then I can start actual tiling!

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