Leah and Joe: Home DIY Projects & Crafts

leahandjoe.com · Mar 22, 2018

Apartment Progress

Mother-in-Law Suite Motherload

It’s always amazing to me how quickly the finishing touches come together in projects. It’s like an iceberg – the hardest part is least gratifying and often hardest to see. Once the plumbing was roughed in and everything structurally was sound, this project started to come together crazy quick.

Shower Tile

Where did we leave off? Ah yes, in a great big mess. Not a pretty sight.

Joe has since put cement DensShield backer board up for walls.

(Normally it’s not code to have a window in your shower in case you were wondering, but this one’s grandfathered in).

Once that was up, he did some taping and mudding over the seams with mesh tape and thinset.

Tiling the Shower

Then he covered all the seams with waterproof and anti-fracture membrane, like Green Seel

or Red Guard.

Finally, on to tiling!

Then using spacers, he tiled the walls with this white subway tile. Thinset tile saw = happy shower.

And always a happy Joe

Grouting, Sealing and Caulking

Once that was all set after 24 hours, we took out the plastic spacers and grouted using a “silverado” color tile grout.

Immediately after grouting the cracks, I went over the excess using a tile sponge like this one.

Wipe away any excess with a slightly damp sponge. If it’s too wet it will make the grout less strong, so be sure to be quick and light with the sponge pressure. Go back to remove any shower haze later.

Your fingers are probably going to look like this. Keep rinsing out and wringing out your sponge.

After that’s set up and dried, you can finish cleaning up the grout residue with the rough side of the tile. It won’t scratch the tile, but it will remove excess grout you may have missed. Once it’s all cleaned up and dry, onto my least-favorite part: Sealing in the tile. Wear a mask and open a window. Using clean white towels, you’re going to use this tile impregnator to cure it. If there are streaks, simply go over it one more time. Wait 24 hours before touching.

Flash forward to when that’s all dry. The finishing touches are to caulk around all the seams, around the ceiling and where the tile meets the tub.

Shower Hardware

Flash forward again to installing the shower hardware. Joe’s soldering the pipe here for the spout.

First he trimmed the pipe with a pipe cutter, then using a led-free soft solder and flux paste

, he soldered the pipe to add a fitting to attach to the tub spout.

And here is the lovely shower head. That also received a bead of caulk around the tile.

Built-in Shelves

We ripped out a wall with a little shelf nook.

Joe engineered some built-in shelving.

Here’s what he came up with. We’ll show you the finished product next week!


Then Joe installed a tongue-and-groove vinyl hickory floor. You can see it coming together now.

We set the toilet

Put a wax ring on the flange and set the base in place.

The jams

And I tested it out. Hehe (but not for real, for the record.)

Can’t wait to show you the final reveal. Almost finished!

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