The Shower Pan Man (and the Plumber) to the Rescue!

Posted on August 12, 2013. Filed under: Home, Master Bath Remodel, Real World |

Remember Nasty McShowerson?

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Yep. Mr. Nasty. Disgusting. It’s a miracle there wasn’t any mold underneath.

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You saw in my demo post how Adam went about destroying practically everything in here. It was cathartic. We eradicated the nastiness.

And a little side story… The junk removal folks took most of the old bathroom debris to the dump. They’ll stop by and give you a quote and you have two options: 1) accept and they’ll haul everything away, or 2) decline and no charge for the quote, but you’re still left with your junk. We accepted.

We did salvage a few items for recycling:

1. Hutch – we plan to list on craigslist

2. Vanity – ditto

3. Shower doors – we are going to try to recycle

There is so much glass; it doesn’t feel right throwing them away. Once this bathroom adventure is over and I have some time to research, I’ll let you know if we recycled and how you go about it.

Back on topic… Before we could address our shower pan, we called in a plumber to check everything out while the bathroom was down to the studs. We’re all about DIY, but we know when to fold ‘em. It was worth it for us to have an expert assess our 49-year-old pipes. We actually got 2 quotes from 2 different plumbers so we could compare. The first plumber told us we needed to replace our shower p-trap (the old one is lead and gross… and OLD) and the galvanized steel water lines. We asked him to move our shower head higher, convert our shower fixture from 2 valves to 1 valve and lower our toilet flange since we were afraid it would be higher than the new floor.

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I liked the first plumber a lot and thought they gave us a pretty reasonable quote. They knew what they were talking about and they gave off good vibes. I’m all about good vibes. Then I called in a larger plumbing company for the second estimate and was underwhelmed to say the least. First of all they wanted $100 for an estimate. I got out of that by telling them I already had another free quote from a plumber and I’d just hire him if they couldn’t waive the fee. It worked like a charm.

The second plumber wanted me to tell him what we wanted done. Excuse me? I know nothing about pipes and drains. That’s why I called you in here. I basically told him I wanted him to tell me what we should do. Let me tell you, I was not impressed. He didn’t bring up our old galvanized steel water lines and told us our p-trap needed to be snaked, not replaced. He didn’t even recognize that it was lead and no snake could tackle 50 years of build-up. After all of that, his estimate was $250 more expensive than our first quote and it was for less work, work done by a moron.

Once we decided on the plumber (easy decision), he came out to do his work before we put up the backer board: he raised the shower head, changed the shower fixture to 1 valve, replaced the galvanized steel pipes with copper, replaced the p-trap and the entire shower drain with PVC, etc. He’ll come back again once we’re finished tiling to lower the toilet flange and install the sink fixtures. He was amazing. If you ever need a plumber in the Atlanta area, message me and I’ll get you the contact information. He even went to Lowes to get another pipe because he didn’t like how one of them looked. That’s dedication.

Then we called in the Shower Pan Man! True story. I was pretty disappointed he didn’t have a cape when he showed up. Yet again, we’d rather pay an experienced professional to slope the base and install the liner for our shower floor since waterproofing and drainage are so crucial. I figured he knew just how to slope the mortar and still make it look right. I know my husband could’ve done this portion of the project, but I reasoned it was worth it to pay someone more experienced to do it. Plus, if the shower leaks, we can go back to him.

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So this is what the shower floor looked like pre-tile. Lots of sloped concrete. There’s a rubber liner in there too to keep the moisture from seeping to the sub-floor. (This was a phone picture and I have no idea why it’s so small.)

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The next step is building a proper curb with bricks and mortar and installing cement board.

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