My shower is beginning to get the better of me, shower tanking, taping and boarding out… it’s all just a bit much.
Time is very hard to come by and the last month seems to have been spent almost entirely in that shower cubicle.
I’ve gone through the trysts of getting the piping piped and checked, the tray bedded and now it’s just a matter of getting it all decked out, waterproofed and tiled. It’s just such a painful exercise, not much glamour or interest, just slogging away with sealants, boards and paints. I really dislike showers, well putting them in at at least, I so look forward to scrubbing myself clean in one, the release from having to submerge in my grotty bath… it’ll just take some more pain to get it in.
So keeping it brief and hopefully avoiding another winge.
First things first, the drain and trap were installed, this was after weeks and weeks of research finding a suitable replacement for the trap I was provided with when I bought the tray. The one I got with said tray didn’t have a suitable method of piping it in and the company that provided it were as helpful as a carpet fitter’s ladder. It took me two attempts and forty quid to get it right, no thanks to…
Anyway once fitted and tested with lots of water it was in with the insulation and all ready for the taping, tanking and boarding out.
Next it was boarding out the base, the trick with this boarding was to leave the final plinth shy of the top of the shower tray by the equivalent of a tile width and the tile adhesive. A couple of sums later and I’d figured on two sheets of plywood (18mm and 12mm) + a sheet of Hardiebacker board and it would then leave the tray sitting proud by roughly a tile and a layer of adhesive.
First thing was to paint up the first sheet of plywood with some sealant, this first plywood was – I suspected – waterproof but I wasn’t sure hence the need for the sealant. Two coats of sealer and I pinned it into place sealing the edges with some quality waterproof silicone sanitary sealant. Is this my life now… recognising a good sanitary silicone sealant, it’s hardly wine tasting?
Once the base was down I then applied two more coats of paint to the ceiling above the shower, a bit to my wrist watch and a little more to the top of my head.
Next I had a layer of 18mm WBP (waterproof and boil proof – I think) plywood, I fixed it into place with some stainless screws and sealed the edges with more silicone, quality silicone.
Next a layer of Hardiebacker board, I glued and screwed this and the got on with nasty job of taping the joints. Hardiebacker is great but it is such a faff on, once it has been cut, glued and screwed to the walls and floors all the joints need taping. Not a bad job if it just needs a bit of adhesive tape applied but no it needs a pretty specific Hardie-compliant scrim alkali resistant tape applied to all the joints. This tape is a bit tacky to not super-tacky so the best way of applying it is to apply a line of tile adhesive to each joint, embed the tape in it, then apply more adhesive over the top, scraping off any excess. Not a nice job and very messy indeed.
Next I opened up my Aquaseal tanking kit and applied the tanking primer to all the walls and floor of the shower and also the splashback of the sink.
I then applied tanking tape around the base and corners of the shower and also around the tray itself.
Next the blue tanking goo, I applied two layers of this to the full shower cubicle and one to the sink splashback. I also applied some to my forearms too, my daughter found it was a perfect hair removal system and enjoyed making me wince while I read her stories in bed that evening.
The shower looks wonderful in cobalt blue, I just need to choose the right tiles to mask it off.
All done and I spent the afternoon tidying the bathroom of all the dust and debris, I moved the tools out of the room and even mopped up. The room still needs attention getting the paint off the floor but it’s a zillion times better than it was. I no longer have to worry about getting skewered on a nail on midnight visits.
Had an interesting moment when I was drilling a pilot hole to test a wall. I was using a large flat bit and a black spider rushed out of a hole in the wall and attacked the drill bit, it immediately realised its error but stood its ground and then bailed onto the floor and scurried off under the skirting. It was really ballsy (must have eight 🙂 ) and quite a dangerous looking little beasty, I’m quite glad it didn’t get squished though.