Monday, March 25, 2013

Trusting My Gut

 I think I may have mentioned when I did the post about the kid's vanity that we are doing a bath crash to the master bathroom. I found mold under some tile about a month ago.
We had a contractor come by and give us a bid. 
That process took a few weeks, but all it told us was that we really need to do most of this ourselves. It is hard to pay for a remodel of this magnitude when we have been DIYers for 30 years. We aren't used to paying for labor costs. It was a bit of shock to be faced with thousands of dollars for labor. In effect, Mr. Bill and I are too frugal (code for cheap) to pay to have it all done. We will let someone else tile the shower, install the plumbing and put in the shower surround, but the rest will be me. Bill will do what I can't. I will have a lot to blog about this summer. 

Anyway, I came home from work today ready to do some demo to the master bath. The plumber came last week and disconnected the gorgeous faucet on the faux marble tub. (Insert sarcastic face.) Tomorrow is trash day and I thought I could chip off enough tile to fill up a box. We very rarely put big stuff in the trash and they will usually take what I put out. 
I thought for sure the tub backsplash would almost pop right off in a big sheet. I was right. 
Now that I have updated you on the state of the master bath, I will get to the reason for this post. 
For years I have been dying to chip off the tile around the tub. All along I thought it would be an easy process. In fact my gut told me I could easily chip it off and put something with a little more sparkle. Something that would tie the old boring tile in with an updated tile for not a lot of money. 

I was pretty content with how the bath looked cosmetically. Oh it was 90's but at least it was white. My big beef was the discoloration to my tub. It was turning off white. I thought a tile that blended a little better and provided some glamour would do the trick.
I held back because Bill was resistant to the idea and I was a little afraid I might have to do some drywall repair. My instinct kept telling me, though, that it would be an easy update.  
Well today I found out how right my gut was. I used a small crow bar and a hammer and in about 30 minutes I had two sides completely finished. When they built the house they used a bullnosed tile. In order to create the bullnose they put another layer of sheet rock on the wall and tiled to it. 
That layer of sheet rock came off almost in one piece. If I had know there would be two layers, I would have pulled this off and enjoyed a bit more high-end tile around the tub.  
Oh well! I should have trusted my instinct and just gone with it one summer day when Bill was at work. I could have had it all done and cleaned up in one day. It would have been fun to see how long it took him to notice the change. ;) 

Here is what I found under the cultured marble tub. 

There does not appear to be mold growing under the wall of tile in the shower. It seems to be limited to the outside corner of the shower door and the corner under the tub. 
There was no mold under or near the tub.  
All this to say that my gut was kind of telling me this was a shower door problem. I got freaked out by the mold and I should have listened to my friend who said tear off the side panel of the tub and have a look. If we had done that, we could have seen the extent of the damage before we started throwing tile away. Bill may have said it was time for a new shower anyway, but we probably could have just gotten a new shower door. 

Don't you just love the construction debris? There was even a cigarette butt. I love that they were smoking in my house. I've never even let my family smoke in the house!

I will let you know what transpires.



  1. You are really makin me feel guilty for not remodeling my bathroom, it is cause it is not as much fun as other rooms..I have an outdated big jacuzzi, it's gotta go...I think you may have inspired me to take the hammar to

    1. It won't be an easy fix by any means, but it is time.

  2. Oh no well sometimes you don't know what is really going on until you start taking things apart.I am sure it will look beautiful when it is all done :-)

    1. Thanks, Anne. I want beautiful for sure but for now I would love a shower that doesn't leak.

  3. Super impressed with the guts you have to tackle a job like this, I wish I was more handy maybe if I was being a homeowner wouldn't seem so daunting! Thanks for sharing

  4. Having molds is a serious problem. It may mean that there's a leak in your bathroom, which is dangerous to your health. Panicking was expected, but you could've followed your friend's suggestion first or at least followed your instinct. But what's done is done, and you're only option is to tread on. However, I'm positive that this has been a learning experience for you. Thanks for sharing your account and your wisdom, Katie!