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Timeless Styles and Traditions

My Shower Remodel to a Groutless System

We always had a walk-in shower.  Last year when we remodeled the house, I decided to let the shower go until a later time because we had done so much on the upper level already.  So the only change in the master bath was new granite countertops, set-in sinks, and a commode.

Right After the First remodel- check out the joint between the floor and the tile

However, the gods thought differently.  This year we developed a leak in the old shower.  John found it in the downstairs bedroom. The drop ceiling was severely water stained and when he removed the panel he found the problem. Well, kind of, the plumbing, joists, and heating/cooling pipes were all in the space under the shower, and we could not locate the leak. We decided to call in professionals.

The local hardware company: Hartville Hardware came out, and they duplicated our findings.  The shower upstairs is an all tile and grout shower. The grout itself was missing in some sections, and the patches over the years had yellowed. We had an old glass shower door to contain the water. I always knew the shower needed replacing, just to comply with the new aesthetics of the house — my budget just was not ready for the expense. Luckily, they had a one year no interest financing arrangement, which I grabbed up. I pay each month.

The old shower with cracks in the grout

The remodeling crew came out to the house.  I still wanted to have a walk-in shower and thought the layout would work for a replacement.  One thing I demanded was a groutless shower; I did not want to worry about leaks from the grout lines again. 

 I did not wish to have a fiberglass surround.  While the idea of marble, granite, or even travertine stone appealed to me as part of a remodel; I remained afraid of seams and leaking, and the cost was astronomical!

Tile Stains and Grout Missing

The person from the remodeling department introduced me to something called cultured marble.  Apparently, it is a composite medium with real ground marble in the mix, poured into individual sections, and guaranteed nonleaking.  Now, it was expensive, but nowhere near the cost of the other natural stone options. 

After some research on Houzz and other sites,  I opted for the less expensive cultured marble.

That decided I awaited my final estimate and schedule for the start of the project when the construction crew told me the floor would require replacement. 

I could not understand that, but then they told me the old floor would likely leak.  The current level of tile abutting against the tile of the shower floor was angled and unstable.  The crew wanted to actually raise my shower floor and then join it with new flooring.  

You can see the flooring connection. I hated those glass doors.

So another trip back to the stylist at the remodel section.  I have hardwood floors in the rest of the upstairs, but the two bedrooms are carpeted in brand new neutral beigey gray carpet, and the walls have all been repainted gray.  

The stylist recommended a gorgeous tile for the floor, but I once had a fall on a wet tile floor, and so I didn’t want tile in the bathroom.  I did not wish to go to wood; well, it’s a damp bathroom, right? And besides, I didn’t want to try and match my wood floor color. She recommended a rubber tile floor that looked like wood. I never heard of it, but it is a new flooring idea that Lowes and other home stores are recommending for bath and other wet rooms; i.e., laundry, mudroom, and kitchen.

We chose a gray wood -like color combination that picked up the gray in the shower and walls and was utterly different from the wood floors in the house.

The plans settled, and a 10-day completion schedule agreed, they started soon after.  The demolition was the first part.

Demolition

They tore the old shower out. All the old tiles etc. what a mess, the dust was horrendous.  Even though they put up plastic walls to contain it, the dust went everywhere. I slept in the downstairs bedroom in an attempt to sleep in a clean environment.

New pipe- plastic not copper- new valve

They never did find the leak, so they replaced all the plumbing and put in a fancy shower adapter for the new hardware with a better hot water control valve system.  The crew tore out the old drywall and replaced it with new insulation and green board. And a new floor pan was made to ensure no more leaking.

I covered all my furniture with sheets and stripped and covered the bed before they came.  I would recommend anyone contemplating a similar project to remember to try and cover all your furniture, have them put up plastic barriers and floor coverings.  I also highly recommend, sleeping elsewhere or at least in a different section of the house.

I closed all the doors to the other rooms. I covered my upstairs living room furniture with sheets.  I dusted the upstairs with a damp cloth to trap the dust every day and ran a damp mop over the floors.  I ran a portable floor vacuum on the carpets every day after they left. It didn’t take that long to do this, and it did help to keep the dust down.

They now have to put in a new floor the old sloped tile floor is gone

It was a ten-day project.  The construction crew had to build up most of the shower to take the precut marble slabs, cut the flooring, raise the commode to meet the new floor hight and adjust my bathroom door to accommodate the height change.

New insulation will put in new green board

The crew cleaned up thoroughly every day as they left and the final cleanup was immaculate. I cannot praise the workmanship enough.  Hartville Hardware is an Amish/Mennonite family company that I have dealt with since I moved to Ohio. They are much more expensive than say Lowes or Home Depot, but the work is complete and highly skilled.  I always use them for significant services.

In my next post, I’ll take you through the completed remodel. So Happy to have a groutless system without the worry and bother of cleaning or replacing grout!              

 I absolutely love my new Spa Bathroom!!!!

Thanks for listening.  Please send meany questions you may have, and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Talk soon

Take good care

Dee

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