Subway Tile Shower Makeover
Monte and I love to help our kids. We live a thousand miles away from some of our sons so we are always willing to lend a helping hand when we can. We often try to fit in more then is physically viable in the time frame. I usually underestimate how long projects will take. I forget to factor in the need to sleep and our bodies getting burned out.
Our son and daughter in law purchased an 1100 acre ranch at the end of 2019. They were able to move in a couple weeks before Christmas. Not only did they move during the holidays they had cattle that needed taken care of. The corals and barn need a lot of work just a lot going on.
We had the opportunity to tour the ranch and walk through their home several months before they had moved in. My daughter in law shared some of the changes she was wanting to make in her home. The lay out was decent but definitely could use a facelift.
Monte and I planned a 10 day trip to visit and help get them better settled on the ranch. We came up with a few projects we felt we could get done in the time frame.
Old dated bathroom
The only full bathroom in the house was very dated and in need of a makeover. The tub is blue, the sheet tile is from the 80’s and the walls were painted a bright blue. We decided pulling out the tub and adding subway tile would be a perfect project.
We would have loved to manage a total bathroom makeover but we just didn’t have the time. This was a great place to start.
After a new tub and tile were purchased it was time to start the fun. I love a demolition project. There are always a few hiccups but it is fun to get moving on the update. We started by pulling down the tile. It feels so good when you can get a big piece instead of little chunks.
This project was being done in January in Southern Alberta so it was chilly. We had a dump truck sitting outside the front door so we had somewhere to haul all the garbage.
The next hurdle was getting the bathtub removed. It required some fancy maneuvering to get it unattached from the plumbing and out of the tight space. Thankfully my guys don’t give up and like a challenge.
Out with the old in with the new
Here is the space waiting for its make over. Before we started the project there was discussion about moving walls and plumbing but decided what was there was ok and just needed an overhaul.
Bringing in the tub was tricky. It’s always hard to fit a big item in a tight space. When you do a new build the tub or shower is one of the first things brought into the home before the walls and doorways get closed in.
Monte and son were able to get it in and in place. It took a little time getting it leveled. After the tub was in place then installed the wedi backer board which was purchased at Home Depot. It is heavier then drywall and will withstand moisture.
My daughter in law wanted a big shower niche that would hold all the necessary shower products.
Subway tile installation
After the shower board was installed and all the seams mudded it was time to start installing the tile, piece by piece.
The first row is the hardest because it needs to be level or you will deal with issues along the way. We used acrylic pro ceramic tile adhesive to adhere the tiles. To apply they put a small amount on the wall so it doesn’t dry out then ‘butter’ the back of the tile. Spacers are used to get the desired grout line.
We left our son installing the subway tile while the rest of us started knocking down walls in the dining / living room. We were working like crazy to get the house set up for them so they could be comfortable while they had so much to do on the ranch.
Rub a Dub how many Kartchner’s can fit in the tub.
Our oldest son had a day he could come lend a hand. He has installed subway tile so they were able to make some great progress. That night I decided to spend it with our grand baby. So Monte and son stayed up late and really knocked out most of the tub. When I got back the only place left was the shower niche.
It doesn’t look like a lot but it does require a lot more cutting and measuring. He only had a couple hours before he needed to get the baby back home for a nap but he made some headway. We really needed to get all the tile installed so it could set and we could get the grout done the next day.
This is how the niche was when our son had to leave. You would think it would only take a few minutes to finish. As luck would have it a cow calved and the poor little guy had problems due to the cold so it required a lot of time. Which meant another late night trying to get it finished.
Time for Grout
Monte and I have done a fair bit of tile and grout work. We decided to use a new product to us. Ready mix grout with sealer. Because it was in a shower we thought it would be better to use this product then the pre mix and then add sealer. It was about 8 pm when we were going to get started. I asked Monte if there was any way we could be in bed by 11 pm, he didn’t think that would be a problem. That was before we started working with this product.
Our son and daughter in law were exhausted so we sent them to bed while Monte and I worked on the grouting. About 5 minutes in I knew we were in trouble. It was going to take way longer then we planned. The grout was thick and didn’t go on very easily. Because it has sealer mixed in it is thick and sticky and isn’t as easy to work with. It took some time figuring out how much water to used to wipe off. At first I was using too much water and washing it out of the grout lines. We finally got the hang of it and started motoring along.
It was definitely worth the effort. The subway tile with charcoal grout looks stunning in their farm house.
The finished Shower
This shower makeover turned out amazing. It is perfect for their farm home.
I was so happy we were able to get it finished with everything that was going on. They now have a perfect space to relax after a hard day.