After talking about it for years we've finally started remodeling our bathroom.  I'll be removing the old green fiberglass shower in order to build a new tile shower.  I'm also going to build new cabinets.  The existing linen cabinet will remain in place but I'll replace the bottom shelves with three large drawers.  In addition, I'm going to build some nice doors to cover the remaining linen cabinet shelves.  Entry door and bifold doors over the washer / dryer will also be replaced.  The old carpet is going to be replaced with tile. 
        How long will all this take while allowing for required days of fishing and other required activities?  The answer will be revealed by the calendar on the day it's done.
BEFORE
October 15, 2008
Notice the lovely 1970's green sink, shower, toilet.  Yes, those are tile samples spread about.  Hopefully we'll be able to decide on tile sometime before the project is finished.
WORK IN PROGRESS
My home built jointer.  I buy rough cut 4/4 lumber and joint and plane it.  My jointer isn't fancy but it works.
Gluing up large drawer fronts for linen cabinet.
Building and gluing up doors.  Nov 11, 2008.  Cabinet work is beginning to take shape.  We've also chosen tile and granite for vanity top.  The tile took several weeks and many trips to all the local suppliers.  Granite was easier to select with tile in hand for coordinating.
Planer at work. 
Notice the fancy dust collector designed by Susan.  It's actually two pillow cases sewn together.  At the top she cut a "window" and sewed into it a filter made of filler she uses in making quilts.  Along with the filter the fabric of the cases allows sufficient air to flow that the vacuum built into the shaper works great, depositing the chips into the bag.  I then take the bag of chips and dump them on the garden where they make good weed controlling mulch.
Linen cabinet getting its drawers.
Linen cabinet as finished with a before photo to compare.
December 3, 2008
Original Vanity
Vanity begins.  All material in this part of the vanity structure is salvaged or scraps from other projects.  12/12/2008
Assembling the face frame.  The face frame forms the front of the vanity.  It's the part you will see.  The eight drawers and one door will be mounted to the face frame.
Ready for assembly (left) and assembled and clamped.  Note all the dowels.  Every joint must be doweled.  The joints are all held togeather by dowels and glue.  Of course good glue joints require plenty of clamps.  The next step will be attaching the face frame to the cabinet structure.  Once again dowels and glue will secure the joints attaching the frame to the cabinet.
A project like this is always developing as it goes along.  Before starting this one I drew up my plans for the linen cabinet (finished), vanity, shower, and a floor plan to compute tile requirements.  The two above are for the linen cabinet and vanity.  Most of the writting represents notes I've made along the way as I made adjustments, etc.
Building drawers.  Dovetail joints take some time but are much stronger than box joints for drawers.  The vanity will have 8 drawers which equals lots of dovetails.  Lots of dovetails equal lots of chips.  I've had this dovetail jig since about 1973.  It has made lots of drawers in various projects over the years, including all the drawers in the workbenches seen in photos of my shop on this page.
Building the Vanity
Vanity Finished 01/06/2009
The vanity is now finished and ready to move from the shop into the bathroom.  The granite top will be installed after the vainity is in place.  Next step is to remove the old vanity and repaint the bathroom walls.  Once the painting is done and the new vainity installed I'll start removing the old shower. 
Next steps will be removing of the old vanity and shower and building the new shower.

Free counters provided by Andale.
This view is looking up at the re-routed drain.  Most of a day's work getting it laid out, holes in the joists located and drilled, and pipe pieces assembled.  The hole in the floor for the drain from the old fiberglass shower was quite a bit too large so I made a 1" thick donut reducer to fit the old hole with a smaller center hole.  The light colored area where the drain comes through is a piece of 3/4" plywood supporting the donut.  You can see the hole in the joist for the original drain pipe just adjacent to the pipe going through the floor, and another in the next joist.

The photo also shows two water valves that I installed.  The original water lines went turned up right where the nearest valve is.  I cut them off and installed the valves so I can keep the water turned on in the house while working on the shower.  The new shower will have the faucet and shower head on the opposite side from the old one so the water lines also require re-routing.  Yes, that's the jagged edge of the ceiling sheetrock where I very professionally tore it off.
The Plumbing is done and Shower Framed
        It was a slow process but I finally finished the plumbing and framing for the shower.  The water supply lines took longer than I expected.  Most of the delay was due to deciding I didn't like how something came out and taking it all apart to do over.  In the photo on the left you can see the shut off valves I put in, the copper water lines, and the drains.
        Framing also took more do overs than I planned.  The photo in the center shows the full shower framing including the base curb.  The photo on the right is actually the left wall.  The original walls of the bathroom are not square and plumb, of course.  If the tile walls and glass enclosure are to fit properly the shower framing must be square and plumb.  Lots of adjusting and doing over it's now ready for the next major step:  building the shower base.  In the center photo a 2 x 4 installed vertically along the right side to support installation of a grab is visible on the right wall (the one with plumbing).  Also visible at the top left of the right wall is the framing structure for two shelves that will be inset into the tiled wall.  In the center and right photos blocking to support a small seat in the corner is also visible near the bottom.  The seat will be in the corner about 17 inches high, exactly the correct height as tested by Susan.
        In the center photo the first layer of base mortar is visible as the gray floor.  This first layer establishes the 1/4 inch per foot slope for drainage.  Next will come a waterproofing layer made of CPE plastic sheet.  After that another layer of mortar 1 1/2 inch thick followed by the tile.
It's Time for the Top Layer of Mud on the Floor and Curb
Picture on the left shows CPE membrane fitted and installed.  The red object in the drain is a plug holding acouple of inches of water covering the shower floor.  I left the water in for several hours to be sure none would leak out.  Notice the creative garden hose adapted to the shower head.  The next layer will require about 200 pounds of mud so I'll be mixing it in a large tub next to the shower.  The garden hose rig will be my source of water.  The right photo shows the top layer of mud finished.
CLICK ONCE ON ANY PHOTO TO VIEW FULL SIZE
February 14, 2009
Moisture barrier and concrete backerboard are up.  I just need to finish taping the top joints and it's ready for tile.  The next step will be installing the vanity I finished building in January.  I need to get the vanity in place before beginning to tile because the decorative back splash will be continued across and around the entire shower.  Thus, the exact height of the vainity top will establish the tileing master height for the walls in the shower as well as above the vanity.  The black triangular object in the corner of the shower in the right photo is a small shelf or seat.  It looks black because I just filled in the dry pack mud and it hasn't cured when the photo was taken.
The Vanity Goes In
After sitting in my shop for over a month the completed vanity finally made it into place.  With help from neighbor Don the 120 pound (or so) granite top installed without a hitch.  I had even mounted the sink just right.  A little contortionist act hooking up water and drains and it was ready for Susan to begin putting stuff in the drawers.  Now to begin tiling the back splash.
The backsplash for the sink is finished.  I was not happy with the way it came out the first time so I took it down and did it over.  The mosaic in the center comes as 13 inch sections.  The sections are cut straight across each end.  Thus there is a strait line at the junction of each section.  I just didn't like how that looked even though the "pros" at the tile shop assured me that's the way it's supposed to be done.  After removing the center section and scraping away the mortar I took each mosaic section apart and replaced the pieces out of order so there is no line where the sections join.  Very time consuming but much more professional looking, I think. 
Tiling the Shower Begins
February 20, 2009

Feb 28, 2009
Doing one section at a time, then letting it cure overnight before going to the next area I got the tiling finished in one week.  Well, not completely finished.  Grouting the curb and floor are on the agenda for tomorrow.  It looks pretty good, I think.  There a couple of small places I'd do a little differently next time, but all in all a pretty fair job.  At this point in the project I'm 100% satisfied with the cabinet work, 95% satisfied with the shower structural work and plumbing, and 93% happy with the tile work.  That's probably as good as one could expect if one chose to hire professional.
March 3, 2009
The shower is all tiled and grouted.  I'll be applying grout sealer over the next couple of days, along with finishing the wall next to the shower.  But it's time to begin working on the floor.  First step is to remove the old toilet.  Removing and installing a toilet is one of the easier tasks.  They are only held in place by two bolts, and there is just the one water connection. 

Once the toilet is out I give the floor a good cleaning including wiping it down with a damp towel.  Since the floor is OSB board rather than plywood I can't install tile directly.  It requires an intermediate layer of material that will allow for the natural expansion and contraction without cracking the tile.  In this case I'm using a product called Easy Mat.  First step is applying a primer, then laying the mat and rolling it down.  Once the Easy Mat is down I'll put on a couple of coats of waterproof membrane called Red Gard.  I wonder if the name has anything to do with the color it becomes when fully cured. 
Floor tile is down.  Tomorrow I'll put in the grout followed the next day with sealer.  As soon as the grout has a chance to cure the new toilet can also go in.  You might notice that the wall next to the shower and toilet has been wallpapered.  Susan helped with that project before I laid the floor tile.
March 12, 2009
Floor tile is completed and the new toilet is installed.  New lighting is also installed.  The old globe light fixture over the shower is still in place.  I expect to remove that once we're sure we no longer need it.
April 3, 2009
At Last
The bath is fully functioning
New bi-fold doors on the laundry are finished and installed.  The new glass is installed on the shower.  I've also completed a number of small finishing details: caulking all seams, touching up stain, replacing some molding, etc.
April 10, 2009
FINISHED
(Well Almost)
Yesterday I finished up installing hardwood on the floor of the hall leading to the bathroom.  I was lucky find some to match that in the rest of the living and kitchen areas.  The exact wood finish is no longer being produced but Rudy at Floors Plus searched and found 4 boxes of seconds left in some warehouse in South Carolina or somewhere.  I only needed about 2 1/2 boxes for the job so along with the partial box I had saved from the living area I figured I could get enough useable pieces from the seconds to complete the hall.  It worked out fine. 
Today I installed the nice 6 panel solid core door in the bath entry.  It replaces a rather plain hollow core door.  I finished it to match the rest of the cabinetry so it looks much better than the old one.  The only thing left now is I want to make a set of saloon doors to separate the bathroom and closet.