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3detailer 04-26-2010 12:03 AM

Help us make a remodel decision for selling home pleas
Hi everyone. Newbee here with some questions about a bathroom remodel. Warning...long explanation needed.
First off, my wife and I are at odds with each other in regards to the future sale of our home, in relationship to a difference of opinion.

Her view: An existing private entrance door to the bathroom is more valuable to a home sale than a seperate Shower in said bathroom. Remove existing Jacuzzi Tub and install new Fiberglass Tub/shower combo and surround.

My view: Seperate shower is more valuable than private access from an adjacentbedroom. Especially since plumbing is already installed and there is another access from the hall.

We have a second floor bathroom, which I began remodeling over 2 years ago, only to be stopped dead in our tracks due to health and the economic collapse. At that time I had already plumbed and installed a Jacuzzi tub that was in "like new condition" when my wife purchased it at a yard sale. It sat around for almost 5 years before we could use it. Since this was a Jacuzzi, and was almost 2" higher than a standard tub, I decided, that since I had room for it, I might as well plumb for a new seperate shower too. I roughed in the supply and drain but thats all.
However, this is where my wife and I disagree now.

Times and economics have changed, and we now conclude we must sell this home as soon as we can. Unfortunately, this means a ton of work just to make it sellable. The first project is this bathroom. However, before I can proceed, a very important decision must be made. You see, when I roughed in the plumbing for the new shower this area was a waste of space, as there was a private door to an adjacent
bedroom(see Sketchup below). As there is another entry to the bathroom literally a few feet away, this door made no sense to me. Hence the idea for a shower here. Unfortunately, this area wasn't deep enough for a full 36" deep shower stall. This meant I had to reframe the stall INTO the adjacent bedroom. Fortunately though, there was already an wall offset in the bedroom that merely had to be extended for the back wall of the shower. No problem. At the time, this plan made sense. And since that time, my wife already purchased a new 36"x42" shower pan, and a highend shower glass door, although it is only 26" wide(thats another problem)
But heres the problem now. My wife contends for the sake of more time and expense(the surround) that we should eliminate the shower, and keep the door to the bedroom intact as it is a feature "most" people desire in bedroom-ie...a private bathroom entry. However, this bedroom is NOT the master bedroom and as there is another entry door to the bathroom right outside the bedroom from the hall, I contend that the Jacuzzi and Shower is of more value to the sale of the home.

For a few weeks I went along with this idea, untill it dawned on me that now the Jacuzzi would have to serve as a shower as well. This means a complete tub surround must be installed. Unfortunately, this Jacuzzi is a fiberglass unit, and is not designed like a standard tub which has a lip for the drywall/hardibacker/tile .The edge is designed for interfacing with a horizontal tile surface. So, I began looking at other options. One, is a new complete fiberglass tub and surround. However, they are more expensive than installing a complete tile surround in the original Shower plan.
A week ago, I was at a contractors yard sale and found a "like new" fiberglass tub and surround for a whopping $50. I jumped at it. Hindsight is 20/20 though. I "assumed" this unit was a standard 32" deep unit. Ha! After I transported it 100 miles home, I discovered it is 38" deep, which throws off all my plumbing centerlines. Not to mention the existing plumbing is right along a floor joist, and this units drain would require cutting the joist and blocking for support. Geeezus!!
Ok, back to square 1. Mainly, were not financially endowed enough to simply go out and buy everything we need. I have to make a silk purse out of a sows ear so to speak. And we don't want to throw a bunch of money into this just to sell the house either.

For instance. Originally we were going to buy twin Vessel sinks and use granite tiles for the countertop. However, at the contractors show, I purchased a perfect granite blank for $135, which already was bullnosed and polished. No sink or faucet holes. I'd simply have to have it cut to length,(106") and drain/faucet holes drilled.
Now, in order to buy a new fiberglass tub unit, we must forget the vessel sinks,and use cheap porcelain standard bathroom sinks. Which also means forget the granite, as it would cost more to have the sink cutouts machined. Arrrrggggrrrrrr!!
Then, on the otherhand, with a seperate shower, I have to have TWO faucet units. The name of the game here is juggling money, time, and materials to end up with the best option to sell this home.

Ok, here is what it looks like today. The tub is still up for debate as far as leaving it a Jacuzzi with a shower or installing a new Fiberglass tub and surround.

Here is what it would be framed like should the shower stay.

So, what would you do? Please help us make a decision. Thank you

oh'mike 04-26-2010 05:45 AM

I like the tub/separate shower option. I think buyers will see a more deluxe bath there.

Two doors into a bath? not a big selling point.

You asked for my opinion--Well , there it is!!!---Mike---

Snav 04-26-2010 06:52 AM

Yeah, I agree - two doors isn't a selling point for me, either. I never have liked needing to lock two doors when I'm in.

You shouldn't take away any inch from the existing room space. Odd wall protrusions are a no no.

Instead, consider removing one of the two closets that are next to the bathroom (the one farthest from the bedroom).
Relocate the hall-door over a bit to take up the area where the closet is.
Expand the closet that's next to the bedroom to make up for the lost space. You won't be able to double it's size, but it'll be reasonable.
This way you can put the shower in that bathroom corner without cutting into the wall at all.

Everything else in the bathroom can be plumbed as planned.

3detailer 04-26-2010 10:34 AM

Hi guys. Thanks a mill for the quick response.

Well, this may help convince my wife my view isn't completely wrong.


You shouldn't take away any inch from the existing room space. Odd wall protrusions are a no no.

There are various reasons I came to this solution.
1. As you can see in the Sketchup, the "protrusion" already exists, and can't be altered because of a door to the Master bedroom.
2. The wall between the bathroom/hall door and the bedroom wall is only 28" wide to the door trim. If I knew how to build a "custom" shower pan, I might have considered making a narrow shower, but at the time, this was for ME!:laughing: I didn't want a narrow shower. Plus:
3. I can't move the bathroom door to make it deeper, as the wall behind the other closet is only 23" wide...barely enough for a bathroom cabinet. BTW, I am a cabinet maker and will be building the cabinetry myself too.

This is why my solution was chosen. Maybe not the best of circumstances, but this ole house has a million "compromises" already. Man, you should see whats facing me in the kitchen:eek::laughing: GAK!! Most rediculous kitchen I've ever seen. I think the previous owner must have been on drugs.:whistling2: I'll be posting THAT one soon enough too. Put your thinking caps on cause this one is a doozie. Ha! Makes this bathroom project childs play.

Ok, well, time to show my wife your opinions. I appreciate it. One last thing. Things may even change today. I'm going to check out a local plumbing store for Fiberglass tubs and surrounds. Maybe even a standard porcelain tub. It all depends on how we can manipulate our budget...which isn't very big. Bottom line is I have to get this project done in 3 weeks because I'll be laid up for a few weeks after a surgery then.

Ok, thanks again gentleman. Your opinions are appreciated.

Remodelguy 04-26-2010 11:03 AM

Help on your decision
Dear 3Detailer,

After reading your post and looking at your drawings I would have to say your best bet is to stay with what you have already put in place. Do not ad any changes.

You mentioned that you don't have a lot of money to inject into the project and that you are needing to sell the house asap. It sounds like if you stick with what you already started it will cost you the least to finish in both time and money. Your plumbing is already in place and you shouldn't move it if you don't have to.

Here is my reasoning here. You are going to sell the house so it is not a feature you are looking to use. The two doors into the main upstairs bathroom is a bad idea cast aside in new construction many years ago and is not a good selling feature. The compartmenting you have drawn out is more appealing in a privacy way for the toilet and the tub. You have already begun the original plan. (I could go on but you get the idea)

If you still can't decide then you should befriend a couple of real estate agents that are "good at selling houses" and ask them what features stand out the most to their "buyers" not their non buyers. Non buyers are just looking around and don't offer a good basis for decision.

I hope this helps you in your decision.

Glenn Gehrke

Snav 04-26-2010 06:47 PM

ah! You're right, I didn't realize the protrusion was already there - you'll just be relocating it, it will still be a usable wall section, then (you know - big enough for someone to hang pictures, etc).

So - nevermind me :)

3detailer 04-26-2010 10:21 PM

Hey, no problem Snav!:thumbsup:

Ok guys, thanks to your opinions, the decision has been made. My wife finally sees the light.

So, heres where we stand. We're keeping the Jacuzzi and building the new shower stall. However, not being experienced in many aspects of this type of work, I have some questions. Here is what I need to know at the moment to get this project going tomorrow.

We've decided to tile the Shower with a standard(cheap per square foot) gloss 4" ceramic tile..either white or some color. As of this moment,place there are 2x4 wall plates at each end of the tub, a plate in front of the tub and a plate at the end of the counter. I placed these in order to tile the floor. I installed the tile before anything else was done for two reasons. One, so I could install the toilet right away cause we needed it, and two, we were trying to get a refinance loan(which we did) and had to finish as much of the bathroom as possible for the appraiser to see at least the fixtures were in. So, the floor tiles are already in place.Thank goodness I did some planning on placement of the showerpan and its plumbing etc. Everything is lining up pretty close. Now I need some information before I can start.

Ok, #1. I have 42 3/4" clearance for the length of the shower pan. This is ASSUMING the existing drywall on the bathroom end wall can stay, although this may have to be opened for another aspect as you will see. What I need to know is this. I was planning on installing Greenboard on the shower ceiling(which I'll be lowering to clear the top wall plate in the back wall), on the backwall, and the plumbing wall, PRIOR to installing the showerpan. Since we will be using tile, I ASSUMED I need to install a product like Hardibacker too. In my mind, the FACE of the shower pan LIP, must be 1/2" from the drywall on all three sides or , so when I install the hardibacker, it will DIE into the lip, with the face of the hardibacker flush with the face of the lip. That way the tile will cover this joint and die into the showerpan inside offset. Is this correct? I can furr out the drywall on the plumbing wall or whatever to bring the hardibacker to whereever its supposed to be. However, haveing 3/4" play, it would appear this just about allows the 1/2" drywall on the plumbing wall to go all the way to the floor, and then the hardibacker, being 1/2" maybe overhang the lip a smidgen. Depending on your answers, I may have some furring out to do on one end or the other.

No big deal, right? However, I've read two different scenarios on this issue, one the way I see it, and two, furring out the drywall so IT actually goes over the pan lip? Which way is considered correct?

2. My wife bought a high end shower glass door a while back. This is one of those 1/2" thick glass doors with the big heavy chrome hinges
that screw to an endwalll or other. I could even change the hinges to one that grasp another piece of glass, but I ain't got deep enough pockets for that scenario even though thats what I would PREFER to do. You see, the door is ONLY 26" wide...GAK! This means I have to build either one OR two narrow wall extensions, covered with tile, to create a door opening for this door. Not really what I want, but nothing is perfect here. Just got to get it done. My problem is this. HOW do I frame these wall extensions in relationship to the shower pan. It would appear that there are a few solutions. My solution is to notch the studs for the front of the pan, which is full length. The other is to notch the pan itself, which I don't think is right.

All I do know is this door is HEAVY, and the wall extension that the door is hinged to, must be substantial and rigid. Even the closing edge of the door should probably come to rest against an Aluminum angle extrusion or some kind of stop, and it too must be substantially rigid, right?

My biggest concern is fastening this stud assembly at the floor and ceiling. I will provide a couple of studs in the plumbing wall to fasten that end to, but, should I open the existing drywall in the other end to make sure I have a stud to fasten the wall that the hinges mount to? See below for my framing idea for these. Is this ok? The plan is to have these completely encased in tile.

3. The shower head. I already purchased one of those BIG shower heads that look like a frying pan. Ha! I like the kind of spray that comes out of these. However, for ME, I was going to plumb the pipe to the shower head, so it comes out of the CEILING, straight down, instead of the wall. What do you think about that in relationship to selling the house? Should I just keep it in the wall, and put a standard head on it?

4. This glass shower door is a full 80" high door, which tells me the shower will be almost completel shut. Should I provide a small gap at the top for ventelation, and or should I provide a VENT FAN unit in there?

5. Should I provide some kind of waterproof product UNDER the shower pan?

6. As far as the tub is concerned, I have three issues. The most important is ACCESS to the Jacuzzi motor. This is a toughee. My plan was to frame up to within 3/4" of the tub lip. Then cover the framing on the front and top edge with hardibacker, and then tile this with the same tile as the shower. As far as a splash is concerned, I was simply going to tile to greenboard on the surround, about 1 foot high, and paint the rest as there
is no shower. However, there is one little detail in the wall that seperates the tub from the toilet area. My wife was thinking about a small window or glass or even glass block to provide some light in here as we were planning on putting a Louvered door at the divide between the tub area and the toilet area. What do you think about that. see below. Anyway, frankly, I haven't figured out the access door as it would have to be tiled as well. I'll have to work on that one. Maybe the whole front of the tub should be removable, although I don't know how I would have that tiled and still allow a bullnose tile at the top edge....arrrrrrggggrrrrrrr...details. They'll kill ya everytime...and I"M a detailer. Ha! Well, I'll have to think about that one.

7. Ok, now for another biggee. Water pressure. I don't have a clue on this one, except some kind of storage tank or small waterheater upstairs, with some kind of pump or something. You see, the pressure upstairs, especially the Hot water is...well, ZILCH!! Takes a half hour to fill the tub. Heres the deal. My house sits WAY UP on top of a hill. It must be 150' above the city water lines that come up my street, which actually is at or below SEA LEVEL. My street comes off a frontage road that runs parallel to a slough, that connects to the ocean, 5 miles away. So, by the time my water reaches the house, the water pressure has already dropped quite a bit. I've got good cold water pressure, downstairs, but the hot water pressure is just so so. But SUCKS!! And if theres one thing people like is good hot water pressure in a shower. WHAT do I do here. I have a area in front of the toilet that I was going to put a towel cabinet in. but maybe this should be used for whatever unit I need. Got any ideas?

Ok, enough of this for now. Got plenty more questions later, but got to go start the cabinetry now.

oops, my hosting site is down and I can't post any more pictures right now. I'll be back with them tomorrow. In the meantime, If you can answer any questions by virtue of extrapolation, I'd surely appreciate it. Thanks!!

ps. Sorry for the verbose posts.

Remodelguy 04-26-2010 11:36 PM

Greenboard and Hardi backer
Reading your last post I realize that you are overdoing it. You either cover the studs around a shower with green board or Hardi backer not both. You place the shower pan in it's location first and hook up it's drain. Then you secure it to the studs.

Also if you aren't building a steam shower you do not need to build a lowered ceiling for it, Just use the original ceiling and the only area where there needs to be hardi or green board is where the shower can actually spray on the walls. Not above the shower head but nothing stops you from running it all the way to the ceiling. You do not need to cover the ceiling with green board.

I would keep the shower as open as possible to allow good ventilation so after the shower is done being used it dries out easily.

Notching the studs for the shower door extension wall is a workable solution to just getting the right sized door for the shower pan. I wouldn't worry too much about being real heavy duty on the non hinge side of the door unless you think it is going to slammed shut all the time. Did the door come with any frame or mounting hardware? If so that would work fine.

The motor for the tub needs to be accessible by code in most all areas when the tub is in place. For mine I hinged an access door right into the front side of the tub base and then I used 5 minute epoxy to fasten the tile to it. I used plywood for the backing of the door and the face of the tub deck so it was all even. If I didn't show people where the door is they don't see it because I use the grout line for the seam. If you want to see a picture of what I did just ask.

Now for the low water pressure. The elevation of your house and water outlets is one factor but to have slower hot water than the cold tells me there is blockage in the hot water line somewhere and it might be right as the water enters the heater. Also there are booster pumps that hook to your water main and actually boost the pressure to the whole house. I did that for a customer once that had a similar situation. The downstairs worked fine but the upstairs was weak and that was with all new pipes.

The louvered door between the tub and toilet area sounds like it is going to shrink the whole room down to sardine can size and make it dark. If there is a window in the wall next to the toilet I would make sure that every bit of light from that window flows into the bathroom at all times. You are making the room smaller by putting in the separating walls for the shower and the tub and that is going to make the room feel small. My experience with new homes is an open spacious feel gets a lot of attention and closed in and small get complaints. I just had to say that because I know you want to sell the place asap.

Glenn Gehrke

3detailer 04-27-2010 02:20 AM

Hello Glenn. Thank you so much for your insight and opinions. I probably will knock those end walls to just above the counter and tub. Thought about Glass block but maybe I'll just leave them short with nothing to block the light.

Ok, I'll go to the local plumbing outlet. I've seen those pumps there. I'll get the scoop from my favorite salesman there. He is real helpful and knows the area.

Well, time to get this thing done. Thanks everybody.


3detailer 04-27-2010 02:31 AM


You place the shower pan in it's location first and hook up it's drain. Then you secure it to the studs.
Oops, I forgot to ask. Since this lip is 1/4" thick, do you furr out the studs so what ever sheithing is used will go over this lip without bending or what? It would seem that if tile is used then this surface shouldn't have a bend, even slightly, right? I've never installed one of these so I don't know all the ins and outs. Thanks

Remodelguy 04-27-2010 10:55 AM

Greenboard and Hardi backer
The firring is up to you but usually the pro rockers just bring the rock down to the top of the lip and the tile setter lowers the tile down to grout thickness from the shower pan. If you feel more secure having the hardi of the greenboard down over the lip then get some lathe strips and place them on the face of the studs first.

You have to keep in mind the shower valve and getting it finished when all the wall covering is in place. If it is set too deep then the trim of the valve wont fit and the handle will be too close to the wall. And the opposite is true for too far out.

3detailer 04-27-2010 11:36 AM


You have to keep in mind the shower valve and getting it finished when all the wall covering is in place.
Hey thanks Glenn. Being a 20 year detailer, I've learned to lay out EVERYTHING in Cad first. I measure everything, and draw sections or whatever to guarantee success at whatever I'm doing. Thats why I ask so many questions. I HATE after the fact 20/20 hindsights, although I'll be the first to admit they ARE the reason I get so anal about this stuff. btw, just to illustrate my point, here is a console I've recently built for my studio. This took TONS of precise CAD work to make it come out the way it did. Detail is the name of the game for me. A little off subject. but DIY nevertheless.:laughing:

Heres the overall Studio 3d:

here is the real console before I finished the studio.

here is some of the detailing..some to .0312 tolerance for clearances

this is one of two monitor bridge interlocks I built for the "fold down bridge"..not too bad for handwork huh?

this is the bridge frame itself

Here is where CAD tolerance layouts paid off. There is a linear motion carriage/track under the wristpad. Very little clearance.

Here is the track and carriage

and one of the cable chase legs

Not too bad for DIY. Works for me no matter.

Thanks for all your input Glenn. Believe me, your insight is appreciated. I'll be back for more! btw, I LOVE DIY, thats why I'm here.:)

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