Everyone dreads tearing apart a portion of their bathroom, mostly from fear that they will destroy everything else in the room in the process. While this could definitely happen, we should assure you that it doesn’t happen that often at all!
If you are ready to ditch that shower and bathtub combo and install the shower of your dreams, we say go for it!
The first thing that you will need to do is turn off the power to the bathroom, so you do not have any problems if an electrical line gets cut. You should also turn off the water, in case a pipe breaks during the demolition process.
The hard work begins now, because removing a shower and bathtub combo is not as easy as you think. However, it is not that difficult either. You’ll want to use a prybar, drill, and hammer to help you pull everything out until you reach the studs. These materials are heavy, so take breaks in between and enlist the help of some strong friends if possible!
As soon as everything is gone, you will be ready to install your new shower. Hopefully, you made the decision of what you wanted before you began this whole demolition process! Many people will purchase a premade shower pan to put down, as it is the easiest and fastest option. You’ll place your brand-new shower pan onto the subfloor and then attach it to the wall studs and the drain.
It is then time to install the wall backing for your new shower. You cannot use drywall for this, as it will get filled with moisture and deteriorate before too long. Instead, you will need concrete board, which is a half inch thick. Before you install the board though, you will need to create a vapor barrier with plastic sheeting. Staple the vapor barrier to the wall studs and then install the concrete board, filling in the joints with silicone caulking afterwards.
The concrete boards will then need to be waterproofed, which is easy with a paint on solution that is sold in any home improvement store. Once the waterproofing has been rolled on, it needs to dry completely.
The tiles are then installed over the waterproofing barrier. We recommend tiling the floor of your new shower first and then covering it with plywood or cardboard to keep it from getting destroyed. This will also keep the shower pan from getting ruined. Then you can continue up the walls until the entire shower has been tiled, grouted, and caulked.
The last step is sealing all the grout and caulk, so that water cannot seep through to the layers underneath. Skipping this step will mean that you are going to be doing this project all over again sooner than later.
Tearing out and replacing a shower is a time-consuming process, which is why many people hire a professional to do it for them. However, it is possible for anyone to do it themselves, if they do not mind the entire project taking longer than they anticipate.