We’re back with a bathroom update about our first step in rebuilding the bathroom — hanging the cement board in the shower and laying it on the floor. Not the most exciting of events, I know, but it’s a necessary step in the process.
The morning after finishing demo, I had to go to work, but Ed had lined up a neighbor friend and my dad stuck around for a few hours to help get the cement board up in the shower. We used Hardibacker Board because that’s what our local Lowe’s recommended and we read good reviews online.
Until now, I haven’t revealed any definite plans for the finished look of the bathroom, but I guess I can’t get away with that much longer. So here goes. ………………Drum roll……………… We’re doing white subway tile for the tub/shower surround with a light gray grout and black and white honeycomb tile on the floor. Livin’ on the edge, folks.
Both are simple, clean, and classic. They will never look too trendy and out of style one day (I hope). As much as I wanted to do some awesome sparkly tile or penny tile everywhere, we ultimately decided classic, simple, dare I say plain for the elements we don’t want to replace anytime soon.
We bought the subway tile and the MAPEI grout from Lowe’s. We really, really wanted the color Waterfall for the grout (you can see all colors here), but they didn’t have any in stock, and it would have taken 11 days to come in if we had ordered it special. Oh no! We were so sad. Seriously, even Ed was sad. We thought the bluish gray color would have given just the right amount of oomph, but we’re flexible, we can be reasonable — Er, I mean we’re impatient, so we just chose another color. We went with Silver, which you can also see at the link above. It’s pretty similar to Waterfall and was in stock. Score one for improvising.
We think it will look something like this (found on Pinterest, originally from here):
I was adamant about having white and black honeycomb tile, and I shopped around until I found it in our price range. I eventually found the best price at Home Depot online, so we ordered and had them shipped (Home Depot ships most orders over $50 for free). We plan to do a dark grout with them. We haven’t picked out the grout yet, but we’ll let you know what we decide just as soon as it’s bought. Here’s what we think it will look like (via):
So that’s what we’re doing for the tile, now for the purpose of this post — installing cement board. Because I was at work and Ed did this part, I’m going to turn it over to him for a bit.
The cement board we bought was 1/4 in. thick and came in 3 x 5 pieces, so we had to cut it to fit the shower space. Cutting CB doesn’t really involve much cutting though. After we measured the spaces we needed the CB to fill, I drew off lines on the CB itself. Then I took a plain old box cutter and scored the CB. After I went over the scoring lines a few times, we just snapped the CB into pieces along the scoring lines. Super simple. (You can, apparently, cut CB with a power saw, but this results in lots of dust, and the scoring method worked pretty well for us.)
After we had our pieces cut, we had to sand some of the edges (the snapping method, while it is easy, doesn’t always result in the cleanest edges), which we did with a handy power sander (courtesy of Kristen’s dad’s power tool stash). We’ve gotten out several power tools we haven’t used before since we started the bathroom remodel. It’s been fun and educational (on a level somewhere between HGTV and 3-2-1 Contact).
So with sanded CB pieces, we only had left to hang them in the shower. When we picked up the CB at the store, we made sure to get some screws that are made specifically for hanging CB. To hang the stuff, we just held it up in place and screwed the CB in place. The only thing to pay attention to was the space we left between each piece of CB. Since the CB is in the shower, and since the walls are made of wood, we needed to leave a little space between each piece of CB to allow for the expansion and contraction of the wood walls.
After all the CB pieces were hung, we filled the seams with joint compound, topped with CB adhesive tape, topped with more joint compound. Any gaps between the boards we thought unsightly were completely filled with the joint compound. After this sets overnight, we’ll sand it down so we have a level surface to tile on.
Okay, Kristen back.
The same process was repeated on the floor. Some people opt to tile on plywood, but most tutorials we read said to use cement board, so we did. It was also a lot easier to cut than plywood and came in smaller pieces and wasn’t much more expensive. We do have a piece of plywood around the toilet from a fix a year ago, and we’re just leaving it because it’s fairly small and the right height, but the rest of the floor got 1/4 in. cement board to make an even, waterproof surface for the tile.
We’ll use the same joint compound and tape on the floor that we used in the shower.
So there you have it. Our current bathroom status is cement board on walls and floor. Next up we’re hanging beadboard on the walls and priming and painting it. We’re also planning to begin tiling the shower soon. We’ll be back soon with an update on those steps.