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Chode2235

Bathroom: What are my options, what do I need to beware of?

9 posts in this topic

Bought an older house (1925) in which the upstairs bathroom shower is un-usable.

The bathroom faces the front of the house, and there are 3 piano windows that open into the bathtub. These are old wooden windows, that need replacement anyway.

There is no wall shower, just a hose coming out to a handheld showerhead. The tile is only about half way up the wall, and its the regular plaster above that.

I really want to make it a usable shower for as little money as possible. My thoughts were to get a new window installed. Get a composite or vinyl (something slightly more water friendly than the wood (I can't just block in the window, as its the front of my house and it would ruin the aestetics), and tile the window in to be as watertight as possible. I would ideally like to not have any 90 degree ledges by the window that could hold water. The window will get wet from the shower, but it is high enough that it won't get soaked and have a lot of water. Probably just splash.

What do I need to do to the plaster wall to prep it for tile?

I would like to continue the existing tile (if I can find something that matches it) and continue up the wall and around the rest of the tub.

I do have a back access, but what is the best way to install a wall mounted shower without destroying the existing tile? Do I need to use rigid pipe or can I use something similar to what my washing machine is rigged up with?

Thanks for your help. Below you can see what I mean. First house, and I am lacking the practical knowledge I need to figure this one out.

2629641877_02a34699c9_b.jpg

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The most economical I think would be to just raise the handheld mount to proper height, and install a circular shower rod (which hangs from the ceiling). That way the 360 degree curtain would protect the window and untiled walls.

Otherwise maybe eliminate the window completely, but honestly trying to find the same color tile might be next to impossible. If you were able to find the same tile or a complimenting color possibly, you could just use a plastic curtain over the window. I have done that before.

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Ya I agree with backlash a 360 degree curtain saves time and money!With little or no labor,and the aesthetics will remain the same. If you need to do a higher showerhead search some back posts or maybe someone will chime in! There was a post about surface water line to head a short time back.If it were me I'd leave it and install a head mount for existing shower wand and use it high and low with the surround curtain

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We tried that, and with the way the roof slants you can't really get a oval shower curtain rods in there, without it being 2 ft from the wall. You can see where the roof line comes down.

I found the box of left over tile, so I have the color and everything. Hopefully they are Mendards specials.

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Looks like the shower is sitting in a dormer. It won't look right if your eliminate the windows. Without seeing the exterior I can't tell where the windows are situated in the dormer or how many more might be there. If possible I'd knock that down to one window. Of coarse you'll need to patch in the siding if you go that route. Get a vinyl single hung window and trim it out(picture frame)with vinyl casing set in a bead of silicon(no silicon on the bottoms of the horizontal trim). You'll still need to keep the water off the window with a plastic curtain. Make it out of a shower curtain by cutting it down.

Or get a replacement vinyl picture window. Remove everything but leave the exterior trim(excluding the dividing casing)alone by snipping off the nails into jamb/exterior casing with a reciprocating saw. Make a new jamb and have a custom window made. Trim it out the same as above and use the curtain. You'll need to add an exhaust fan too.

Chances are the old tile was put on over the plaster, might as well just continue up the wall with it.

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They way the roof line looks over the shower head I am wondering if you can raise the shower head high enough to make it a normal height shower. I am 6'4" so thats always an issue for me in older homes.

If you are looking to tile up the wall you can also install a new vinyl window and then use the tile to trim it out. On the flat ledge you will want to lay the tile with the back alittle higher then the front so water will drain off. I had a friend who did this in his house and it worked out just fine. The probelm with replacing the window is that you will likely need a customer order window. Ordering a custom window to fit the existing opening is much easier and probably cheaper in the long run then having to reframe a new opening to fit a standard window and having to patch the siding on the outside

If you are trying to get away easily I would just mount the handheld shower head at normal height, that will save you plumbing work. But if you want to mount it like normal and have easy access to the back side you can probably use the flexible PEX but using copper will make it more stable. Atleast use copper for the top foot or so where you mount the shower head and then secure that part to some bracing using a U bracket.

Then just continue the tile up the wall. YOu can go over the existing plaster if you want although its not ideal. Looks like you will need to remove one row of bullnose tile. Like it was said above matching the tile might be next to impossible, equally as difficult could be matching the grout color.

I just bought my first home in St. Paul this winter and had to renovate the entire bathroom so I have dealt with some of the same fun issues you are facing. If you are careful and do some research you can do alot with a bathroom for not alot of money. In the end we decided it was beast to just tear it down to the studs and subfloor and start completely over rather then trying to mix and match new and old stuff. After all was said and done it cost me far under $2000 for everything and it was all done correctly from the start. The only thing i put back was the light switch covers and I did get to leave the existing window.

If you have the know how and the time to do the work yourself you may be surprised by how nice you can make a bathroom look for not alot of money.

I'll see if I can find some pictures of my finished bathroom to show what you can do when still on a budget.

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Quick and cheap - kneel down!

With all the smart guys on this site I can't believe we didn't come up with this fix sooner.

Sounds like you're all set now. grin

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Thanks for the input guys. Luckily there is an even easier and better solution, shower in the basement.

I would love to see some pictures of your bathroom nofish. Thanks.

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