Increasing Size of Shower Stall [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Mark Wallace
01-18-2003, 12:37 AM
Hello all,

I have been following all the great advice on this forum, and now have a technical problem of my own that someone can hopefully respond to.

I would like to increase the width of my shower stall without moving the wall.

The wall on the right hand side of the stall has no plumbing or electrical inside, and it is not a bearing wall, so I am considering cutting down the thickness of the wall. Currently the wall is 5.5 inches thick, counting the tile, Duroc, studs, and drywall on the other side. I'd like to make this wall 2" thinner, and thus increase the width of the stall by 2".

We are retiling, so after removing the tile and Duroc, the studs will be bare on one side. At that point I would like to cut down the width of the studs, without damaging the drywall on the other side. I am considering using a circular saw to do this. Is it practical to do this without damaging the drywall?

After cutting down the studs, I am planning on reinforcing the wall with additional studs turned sideways, so there will only be 1.5" thickness of wood.

Does this procedure make sense? Am I likely to damage the wall, or could I end up with a wall that is too thin to support the tile?

If it matters, I am planning on using medium-thick 6x6 field tile.

Thank you for any help or suggestions you may have.

Thanks, -Mark

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01-18-2003, 08:28 AM
That's a lot of work for 2 inches! You will have problems at the top plate and floor plate (the 2x4s at the ceiling and floor). And, with all the banging and thumping, I'll bet you damage the sheetrock anyway.

Sheetrock isn't as hard to do as tile, so why not move the wall? Vanity, or toilet in the way?

01-18-2003, 08:58 AM
Gotta agree with Bob, not much chance you can do what you describe without needing to repair the sheetrock on the other side. Actually, there is not much chance you can do what you describe without wishing you'd just left it all alone. ;)

What's on the other side of the wall? Another room? A closet? More of the same bathroom? Why don't we just move the wall a little if the shower is too small? How small is it?

One other hint: It's never a good idea to say there isn't any electric in a residential wall until you have one side opened. Plumbing is a safer bet, but still not absolute. Have a peek in there first.

Mark Wallace
01-18-2003, 11:19 AM
Thanks for this feedback. This might help me to stay out of a lot of trouble.

The shower stall is 36" wide, which is pretty good already.

On the other side of the shower is a toilet. It is 15" off the wall, on both sides, so it can't be moved with adaquate clearance.

There is no electrical in the wall. We had it open already when the last tile job was done (incorrectly.)

This is really a repair job. The installer from the previous tile job did not know how to set tile straight, or how to contour a shower pan.

Since I am going to have to open it up again and start over, I'm looking for ways to improve it.

01-18-2003, 01:37 PM
You've come to the right place. Do a search for showers and you'll find DaveM's thread. That'll get you started. When you have more questions, come back to your thread. That way we can keep up with your project.

John Bridge
01-18-2003, 10:19 PM
Hi Mark, Welcome. :)

San Rafael. Love it. ;)

I agree with my buddies. I wouldn't try that to gain a couple inches, and you're right about the toilet. You've got the minimum requirement there.

How about we just help you build a dynamite shower in the space you have available? :D