Do we even need a shower?

This last weekend it was cloudy and raining so we obviously couldn’t do anything outside like usual. So instead of sitting and watching football all day, I suggested that we fix the shower drain that we had been putting off. Luckily our neighbors had the same issue already and it was an easy fix! Take the drain off, put silicone around the edges, put the drain back. Done.

We took off our existing drain, vacuumed out the water that was sitting around the drain (which smelled terrible!) and headed to Lowes to get some silicone! After getting there, looking around and talking to the most arrogant Lowes employee I’ve ever met, we decided that there unfortunately wasn’t a quick fix. The only way to know exactly what we were dealing with was to tear out the entire shower, fix any big problems and re do it.

Both my husband and I were raised in families that didn’t have the money to throw at plumbers and laborers for house projects. So, we figured it out and did it on our own. I can honestly say that in my 24 years I have never seen my dad call someone to the house because he needed something fixed. Luckily my husband was raised the same way so we both agreed we were going to do it on our own! Challenge accepted. Standing in the plumbing aisle at Lowes,  we decided we were doing it! We were going to tear out the shower, pray that the wood underneath wasn’t ruined and re do it with tile! We had always wanted a tile shower and planned on re doing it at some point, just not in an emergency last minute situation!

So we began taking everything apart, cutting out the silicone and pulling the glue from the dry wall. Knowing that we weren’t going to need any of this material to put it back together, we were not careful. The sooner we got it out and knew what we were dealing with, the better. In about an hour we went from a full shower, to nothing but a drain in the floor. The problem was the shower pan was not installed correctly, making it so that the water wouldn’t drain completely. Instead it would pool up under the shower, hence the smell. The good news is the wood underneath was completely dry. Now it was time to figure out how to put it all back together with tile. Thank goodness for the internet! I mean really, what did people do before youtube!


We spent hours on the internet reading articles, watching tutorials and creating a list of things we would need. The hardest part being the color, size and shape of the tile. Decorative border or no? Light grout or dark grout? How much space between the tile? All the way to the ceiling or not? Right back to the internet, thank the heavens for Pinterest. After extensive research we decide we needed to pull out the dry wall and replace with concrete board, re do the shower pan, pour cement, apply sealer/mortar/tile/door. After making our list, we spent $800 and 3 hours wandering through Lowes! At one point I literally plopped down on the floor and stared up at my husband in an attempt to say, “we have made a terrible decision.” That wasn’t even the hard part. We pulled into our driveway with a truck full of supplies and a headache. The hardest part was just beginning, because I forgot to mention that this bathroom is on the top floor. Happy Day! Hauling 80 pound bags of cement, 25 pound bags of morter, 12 boxes of tile, and 9 sheets of concrete board, along with several random tools up 2 flights of stairs makes for one heck of a workout. Needless to say, we didn’t crawl into bed until 1AM. I am way to old to be staying up that late on Friday nights!

Today we tore out all of the dry wall, in preparation for the shower pan and concrete. Have you ever taken dry wall out before? I have a solid inch of dust covering the entire area! Also, if you ever build your own house make sure and put windows in the bathrooms. I HATE not having a window in there! Trust me, just do it. We wanted to get a little more work done today but Justin was a good sport and helped a friend move this morning, leaving us a small amount of time to work on the shower before driving to Evanston for the weekend to see some family! Next week we will start the shower pan and concrete board! I will update as we go, so if you don’t hear anything, send help.




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