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LeviDIY 03-18-2011 06:07 PM

Condo Master Bathroom Reno (demo, bathtub to shower conversion, flooring)
Hi there ya'll! It's been a while since I've been an active poster on the forum, but I've been lurking.. been busy with work, some travel and finishing my kitchen (may get around to a showcase one of these days - that's a whole 'nother thread).

I'm in the planning stages of redoing my master bathroom in my 2BR/2BA condo. I'm hoping to use you all as a resource as I go... with this being the main thread, and potentially other threads in their respective categories as appropriate.

If you have been around the forum a while, you may remember my first project from a couple years ago, the 2nd bathroom:
That thread has most of the basics.

Thanks in advance for your help, constructive criticism and needed encouragement as I aim to tackle some more complicated tasks in this project.

LeviDIY 03-18-2011 06:28 PM

What I've done and what will be new
So we bought our condo in May 2008 and been renovating rooms slowly but surely. I thought it would be helpful for you to see a list of what skills I've used (certainly in no way mastered), much of the knowledge from these very pages... and what new tasks I'm anticipating on this job.. so you can see where I'm coming from...

First projects: Move in stuff
  • painting
  • installed laminate flooring
  • swap out electrical outlets and lighting fixtures (basic wiring)
Bathroom Reno (
Kitchen reno

What I think this new project will require that I haven't done:
  • More involved demo (mold, entire tub coming out, bathroom to studs)
  • Tile floor removal possible, which would lead to tiling the floor (haven't done that yet either)
  • New shower base (will probably hire this out.. will discuss later with the crowd :thumbsup:)
  • Potentially moving some plumbing
  • Waterproofing the shower surround!!! :thumbup:
  • New ventilation system (will need to describe in depth.. led to mold issues.. I'm in a condo building.. lotta issues here with what I can/can't do)
  • maybe some more stuff I haven't even thought of yet! :boat: (that's me up the creek w/o any paddle)

LeviDIY 03-18-2011 06:40 PM

Couple quick kitchen pics
2 Attachment(s)
Because I got the camera hooked up to the computer, why not, right? These are after I finished the backsplash and then the under cabinet lighting. On the opposite side of the kitchen from this perspective is a run of base cabinets, a window cut out and granite counter and granite bar.

Attachment 31016

Attachment 31017

LeviDIY 03-18-2011 06:56 PM

And now for the lay of the land...
6 Attachment(s)
OK.. now so you all can get your bearings, here are some pictures as the bathroom currently is (the gross *BEFORE* shots).

Couple ground rules... no judging. :no: My wife and I are clean people, we've just given up on this bathroom.

This is the view looking in... its your standard 8'x5' bathroom with the tub area along the back wall, then moving toward the camera on the right is the toilet followed by 36" standard vanity. Plumbing for shower/tub on the left side, while plumbing for the vanity and toilet on the right:
Attachment 31018

Here I just wanted to show you the threshold into the bathroom from our master bedroom. One thing that I need to assess soon is whether or not I'm taking out this floor:
Attachment 31019

Now for the reason we need this done soon. Anywhere you see black, guess what that is. :eek: Its bad. We've known we were going to do this bathroom, so hung in there with temporary measures, like sealing off the room and blasting with bleach and chemicals and such, but that stuff is embedded in the walls so it just keeps coming back.

During inspection, the previous owner must have JUST had it cleaned. I am at the point where I think this is causing me to constantly get sick, chest colds, etc...
Attachment 31020

Ceiling... more of the same...
Attachment 31021

Close up of tub walls.. on the underside of that soap dish is absolutely horrifying..
Attachment 31022

Besides wanting to gross you out, the picture below is where the tub/surround meets the rest of the bathroom. The idea is to remove everything (obviously), including the tub and convert this into a standing shower, ideally keeping the same footprint (i.e., not expanding the shower area or contracting it... basically be in the same spot as the tub.
Attachment 31023

LeviDIY 03-18-2011 07:00 PM

Questions right off the bat...
So, now that you've seen what I've done in the past.. see what I'm working with currently... couple of questions:

1) I want to bring a pro in to get some estimates/thoughts on the shower pan/base. Should I demo the bathroom down to studs and THEN call someone in, or have them come in now? (bear in mind I've never hired anyone to do work, so I'm a noobie on that too!)

2) Demo of that tile floor... would love some feedback on how hard this is... I know you wont know until you try and see what they've done to get the tile on the substrate... I'm on the ground floor of a garden condo, I believe on the slab.. so I'm going to assume concrete under there. The tile isn't the prettiest, but its in good condition and neutral.

LeviDIY 03-18-2011 07:06 PM

General plan of attack
Should have posted this before the previous post with some questions, but here is the general outline:
1) Remove vanity, mirror, medicine cabinet, toilet, shower doors, ceiling, walls, tub surround
2) Remove bathtub... I figure once I have the walls and everything out, I'll see HOW this is attached.. seems simple now, and hoping it is, but will see.
3) CONSIDER demo floor (see above post w/ question)
4) Replumb shower lines if necessary
5) Shower base/pan install -- thinking I will hire this out
5a) Shower bench?
6) Shower walls w/ CBU & waterproofing method (am thinking Redguard)
7) Ventilation - gonna have to have separate thread on this I think, but will pose the problem here first... no windows, and no ventilation out of the bathroom... and the condo will not allow me to puncture the outer walls to run a ventilation line... meaning I've got to consider dehumidifiers, fans, etc.
8) Drywall (greenboard?) the rest of the bathroom and paint
9) Tile shower
10) Install new fixtures, vanity
11) Enjoy!!

Seems simple :thumbup:

Jim F 03-18-2011 08:27 PM

As far as a shower base with the same footprint as a tub consider a Kohler Sailient cast iron receptor. This can be done DIY. Being cast iron it would be somewhat heavy but would also be very durable and not crack like an acryllic can.

LeviDIY 03-18-2011 10:08 PM


Originally Posted by Jim F (Post 612240)
As far as a shower base with the same footprint as a tub consider a Kohler Sailient cast iron receptor. This can be done DIY. Being cast iron it would be somewhat heavy but would also be very durable and not crack like an acryllic can.

Jim - thanks - this really has got me thinking.. running this by my Project Manager (the wife).. she was set on tile floor, but that would require hiring out, and this may be a great alternative.. will do some research.. a quick search of this site looked like general good reaction to it.

THIS seems to fit the space, existing plumbing. Around 200 lbs! :eek:

LeviDIY 03-22-2011 05:45 PM

Posted this question about my ventilation problem that led to mold to begin with, and how to remedy in new design in the general "remodeling" forum:

mikeylikesit580 03-30-2011 06:50 PM

LevDIY, Im glad your working on this, Im going to start redoing my bathroom pretty soon too. Why do you want a shower and not a bath? I was thinking the same thing, then I talked to some contractors and they told me Might as well just put in a tub. I feel a tub is more waterproof. I was doing some research and found that the Kohler Sterling Tub is one of the best out there right now in the 300-600 dollar price range. It is a "caulkless" Design and is very durable.

LeviDIY 03-30-2011 10:22 PM

Mikey - we're in this together :)

We wanted a stand up shower in the master bath. Our 2nd bath has a tub, so we're not worried about not having that option if we need it.

Jackofall1 03-30-2011 10:29 PM

With the assistance of the internet and this site, it really isn't to overly difficult to build a concrete shower pan DIY and build it right.

But looking at those pic's you certainly need to do something, good luck.


mikeylikesit580 04-01-2011 07:29 PM

leviDIY, I am going to get some pictures of mine up and start a new thread. I really like how well you have this planned out. Are you going to use greenboard or concrete board in the shower?

LeviDIY 04-05-2011 12:11 PM

Good question!
Mikey - thanks, will check yours out as well - going to use CBU (cement backer board) for the shower walls... we went tile shopping and actually think we're going to use 12x12 porcelain, and continue that 3 feet (3 tiles) up the walls around the bathroom entirely, so actually, that's a good question for you/the group:

Before we were planning on tiling 3 feet up the regular bathroom walls, was going to use Green Board for non-shower areas and ceiling and paint... should I use CBU for the 3 feet from the floor on where the tile will be going around the bathroom or stick with greenboard there and thinset over that?

mikeylikesit580 04-06-2011 06:17 PM

LEVI, Sorry I would not know, Im just learning this as I go to. If I were you, I would assume to stick with the CBU

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