Before tearing out the old tub, I inspected the “surround” to see if it was reusable. A heat gun did make the adhesive cooperate, but it also warped the thin plastic, making it unsuitable to re-use. I had braced myself for this, but hadn’t purchased a new surround. The nearest home improvement store was over 2 hours driving (each way) so I was dreading the time it would take to get one. Amazon.com rescued me and I had a new surround to my door in 2 days! Yeah, it was cheap and thin, but so was my last one.
While awaiting the delivery, I focused on preparing the stall with caulking, texture, and paint. Birdy and I picked a mellow off-white with a yellow-ish tint called “Porch Swing.” Being a small interior bathroom, this brought brightness to the room, even in the darker hours.
Before I could hang all the panels, I had to re-install the plumbing. With the previous shower all mounted to a single 2×4, I was quickly able to make a cardboard template for hole placement, then install it. I added some plumber’s tape to eliminate the wiggly knobs, and attached the new PEX leads with easy press-fit couplings.
I read the instructions, and followed the recommendation of dry-fitting the panels first. This was critical, as I had maybe 1/2 an inch of overlap in places, so it was important to mark their location on the wall. I used the ‘tub & bath’ edition of Liquid Nails, and glued the panels into place. (When they say 2 tubes, have a third, I was a 1/2 short.)
I was doing this throughout the week, taking showers at Birdy’s house. While the glue was setting up, I installed the second-hand toilet we had acquired. The next evening, I caulked the seams. I had one place where the plastic had a memory, and was slightly bowing away from the wall. I used a pencil across the seam to hold it in place, allowing me to apply a bead underneath it. This spot cured up just great!
In the end, this shower ended as an upgrade:
Now, before I could fully separate the two bathrooms, I had to build a door into the back one. I cut the doorway out from the bathroom side to the master bedroom. I drilled four corner holes to mark the opening to the bedroom. Then I closed up the bathroom with a fan blowing out the window. The idea was to create negative air pressure, so that as I cut from the bedroom side, it might pull some dust away from my bedroom. That and a shop-vac minimized the mess.
Next, I pre-textured a couple sheets of drywall. I took one to the rear bathroom, installed the last two wall studs, and used the other to close off the two. I filled and sanded all the screw holes, so it’s ready for the final tape & paint. This left me just enough time to load up all the garbage I had been collecting, and run it to the dump!
Wait a minute…how did I get that camper off, after the jacks had been ripped out?! Ah yes, well that’s a whole other blog post, now isn’t it? Stay tuned!