DIY Bathroom Remodel In Our Walnut Creek Rancher

This was our move from San Francisco (circa 2011) to the suburbs to a very nice tract in Walnut Creek where we gutted and remodeled a small bathroom. This was posted on our old blog (pre-MidMod fever) , but I decided to end the life on our old site and because there were about 100 comments, decided to preserve the post.

The Remodel Featured:

  • Floating sink cabinet

  • Solid surface molded resin sink

  • Frameless sliding shower door

  • Mosaic shower tile

  • Linen ceramic wall tile

  • Italian backsplash rectangle tile

  • Subway floor tile

  • Toto toilet

  • Custom-cut glass

  • Frosted mosaic-effect light fixture

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Walnut Creek Bathroom Remodel: Step 1–Demolition

This smelly bathroom had water issues, a squishy floor, constantly mildewy tile grout, and several patch jobs that weren’t holding up. The first thing we had to do is go down to the studs where we found rot, terrible construction techniques, and termite damage.

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Walnut Creek Bathroom Remodel: Step 2–Framing, Flooring Repair, New Shower Valve

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Walnut Creek Bathroom Remodel: Step 3–TileRedi Shower Pan

The shower pan dictated much of the work ahead of us. Getting the walls ready for tile meant installing Hardiebacker cement board on the walls and also on the floors where tiling was required. The pan needed to be installed to finish up plumbing, cement board, and seams where the shower curb would hit the floor, and where the wall shower tile would hit the regular drywall outside the shower. In the past, we’ve fabricated custom concrete shower pans. I must say, after doing this once, I was eager to try something simpler. TileRedi.com had a shower pan in stock as a direct replacement for a 3ox60 inch tub opening – pretty common in these 70′s tract homes.

Despite the hundreds of bad reviews on the Internet for this product, I opted to go for it and figure out how to make it work and prove many of these people wrong – many of whom were 35 year veterans of remodeling. In the end it worked out, and I was eager to share all the tips for this pan.

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Tips for TileRedi Shower Pan

  1. Don’t follow the instructions - They mention a bag of concrete or mortar across the bottom and the video makes it look simple, but from the 100 comments on the post, it doesn’t work well.

  2. Use a generous amount of Versabond tile mortar in about a 1” bed, temporarily framed with a 2x4. (Some have found success using a bed of spray foam.)

  3. Lay it down into the soupy bed of mortar, moderately press it in place, then check with a level. Then remove it to see if you have it covered on the ribs, add mortar where needed, then place it back down and level it. Put something heavy on it while it dries.

Walnut Creek Bathroom Remodel: Step 4–TileRedi Shower Pan Flashing & Shampoo Niche

The rest of the cement board gets installed with the TileRedi flashing kit, which goes in behind the cement board, but on top of the shower pan to allow water that gets behind the cement board to drip back into the pan.

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Walnut Creek Bathroom Remodel: Step 4–Tiling

The main thing we learned here was managing grout colors. Don’t mix grout sponges!

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Walnut Creek Bathroom Remodel: Step 5–Vanity, Toilet, Shower Door

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