When I arrived this bathroom had a lot of tile already. The floor was a pattern of green and white squares and the walls were covered with outdated green and black tiles. Much of it was in good shape, but the homeowners were wanting a larger shower and a new window that they could actually see through. The plan was to move a wall over to make room for a shower in the existing closet. In the process we would give the bathroom a tile makeover.
The floor tile would remain, but the rest of the tile would be demolished and removed. This is never an easy job, especially for a second floor bathroom. The old tile was installed over wire mesh with at least 1″ of solid mortar bed under the tile. It’s basically a cement slab on each wall with tile as the finished surface. For the most part I remove it using a small sledgehammer to break it into pieces that can be pulled of the framing in chunks. Sometimes, it comes off in large pieces. It depends how well the wire mesh was attached to the framing.
With the tile removed I then could take out a portion of the wall where the new shower would be and frame in new walls to enclose it. I also removed the old glass block window and replaced it with a vinyl replacement window. The bath would no longer be used for showers so this worked fine and allowed some air movement once the window was opened. The glass block threshold had been a source of some leaks so that had to be addressed as well with a new window sill and some framing. I then took a break and let the plumbers and electricians do their part.
White subway tile was chosen for all the walls in the bathroom, including the shower. This is a classic look that will hopefully not go out-of-style and would complement the green and white floor tile that would remain. It’s also nice because it’s fairly easy to get the assorted trim pieces that are needed for the corners and edges to make it look fantastic.
You can read more about the shower and the Kerdi-board I used for the substrate in this article.