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Unread 03-02-2014, 09:59 PM   #1
Ms. Makita
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An Epic Shower Tale

This will, at first, be a rather odd thread for the general advice forum, since I will not immediately need any help. It will merely be the tale of an awesomely epic shower. I have posted a number of pics in the "Worst Tile Job" thread, but felt that this one took things to a whole, entirely new level of all-round hideousness - both on the surface and below it!

A little back story:

We recently bought a property that was listed by the agent as "the ideal opportunity for an energetic couple to invest in some sweat equity". In proper English that means: "a total dump that I have not been able to pawn off on anybody with half a brain an a decent modicum of sanity". It does, frankly, not say much for our real estate judgement skills, but the area is lovely and the price was right, so there

I know that you are right now chomping at the bit for a first glance at this marvel of plumbing ingenuity, so feast your eyes on this:
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The picture was taken earlier today when, for the first time we managed to shed some light on the subject, to coin a phrase and quite literally too. (It's a long story, and I will not bother you with the details, since this thread is about that gem in the corner and not the state of our electrical connections - on the topic of which: anybody know of a forum like this one, but for electrical stuff?!)

So: let's take that picture apart:
1. Admire the elegance of the mix of tile, glass jewels, glass block, odd rocks and mirror.
2. Observe the elegant step up to the platform from where one gains entry to the cavern of awesomeness.
3. While feasting your eyes on the step, do not neglect to notice the vents under the shower pan.
4. Oogle over the Bohemian collection of flooring materials, applied with neither reason nor care.

Rest assured, though. This is not the limit of the genius that went into creating this modest masterpiece.

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Yes! It has its own dedicated vent fan! The shower controls are nothing short of brilliant either:

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Yes. That is the hot and cold control, concreted into the window ledge. Outside the shower.

Now to be honest: I hate the paint colour and therefor I decided all this marvellousness had to go. No - seriously - that is institutional green, if you have ever seen it... Not?! Well, OK, truth is, my husband and I are just too gigantic to fit through that delicately curved opening in the side there. That's why we decided to demolish it. (That and the fact that it was rank and moldy smelling and totally disgusting, but I digress...)

Please, somebody tell me this: why do all totally inept and eccentric "builders" always construct their monuments with enough vigour and durability to survive the zombie apocalypse?!

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That there is the "head rail" with an armature of chicken wire, wrapped with barbed wire. Nasty and totally effective, unfortunately. After banging away at that sucker with a heavy, heavy duty crowbar (one that would've made Daryl Dixon jealous, I'm sure), I managed to dismantle it in roughly 2" square cubes. Seriously. I must have taken out at least 5 years' worth of aggression and frustration today.

My findings made it all worthwhile, though. Never have any of you EVER seen ingenuity the way I will show it to you in Part 2: Extreme Biohazardry!

Do stay tuned. There are more images where these came from, but my phone is about to die now.


Typed on my iPhone with sticky glue fingers


Relax - it's a rock! What could go wrong?!

Last edited by jgleason; 03-03-2014 at 07:04 PM.
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Unread 03-02-2014, 10:09 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Originally Posted by GraniteGirl
...cavern of awesomeness.
Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

Help an awesome summer camp!
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Unread 03-02-2014, 10:10 PM   #3
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Ahhh, creativity knows no boundaries, eh, Adriana? How lucky you must feel to be witness to such....such....wonder!

Got my bowl of popcorn, got a comfy seat...looking forward to the next episode.

Silicone (not silicon) Sealant Ranger
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Unread 03-02-2014, 10:13 PM   #4
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We should start a betting pool on how much the demo materials will weigh.

For when DIY isn't such a good idea...
Houston TX area Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

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Unread 03-02-2014, 10:21 PM   #5
Distinctive Tile Works
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Clearly artistry at its finest.
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Unread 03-02-2014, 10:23 PM   #6
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My kinda place!
No really!

My first house was a foreclosure. It had "some rot".

"Some" LOL!

Best one I found in that place was a window install. They stuck a chainsaw (i assumed by the carnage) through the wall and cut out a square. Git-r-done!
As if it werent enough that 5' of studs were missing, they cut through electrical. Well, no point stopping there!
They cut through the wire again at the bottom of the window.

The receptacle was the only one in the room though, so gotta save it. Wire patched together both ends with electrical tape (no marettes) and tucked nicely outta sight outta mind in behind the window casing.

Looking forward to more pictures!
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Unread 03-02-2014, 11:17 PM   #7
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Part 2: Extreme Biohazardry

All right! Phone is plugged in and charging. Let's get on with our tale of wonder...

I will start with a journey back in time - to yesterday, in fact:
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This was our first hint at what would await us under the surface of our "unique" shower. This is the wall that joins the kitchen and bathroom after we had removed the cabinets. (Remember me lamenting the durability of horribly built things?! The kitchen cabinets were plywood monstrosities constructed with 3" deck screws applied at roughly 2" intervals. And stripped out, so that nobody ever could remove them. If we ever manage to find the guy that built them - and we are looking, believe me - we will both happily kill him a few times over)


To the left you get a glimpse of the shower corner and the hole to the right shows a washer hookup, cut-offs and drain pipe that had just been drywalled over in a previous remodel. But that is not all! Look closely and you will see this:

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That is Mickey's cousin Jimmy. The guy that disappeared in July of 1975. I think we just might have solved one of the FBI's closed cases. But I digress again...

You will also see, I believe, some traces of mold. Black mold to be more specific. You might also see some pretty awful wiring, but since this is a tile forum, I will not talk about that much. And carpet - I have no idea why, but it's there.

So: back to today! (I can hear you gasping in anticipation! Hang in there my Sweets! You will not be disappointed!)

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The first thing to go was the access platform. That is what you are seeing, on its side, in the wheelbarrow and on its merry way to the dumpster. You have the trifecta: tile spot-set with mastic, directly on plywood. I told you you would not be disappointed. And this is only the beginning! Note the delicate tracery of black mold here too.

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This is the hole where the platform once proudly lay. Not much to say about it, other than that we found no treasure, much to my disappointment.

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This is the shower with the front wall removed. The wall gave way with less effort than the head rail did, even though it was re-enforced with builders' mesh, flux wire AND barbed wire. I kid you not. You will now notice some of the shower's previously hidden features:
1. The super duper Fiberglas shower pan
2. The air gap underneath it
3. The amazing tile work inside it!

But the wonders do not cease!

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"What are those?!", I hear you ask. Might they be tracks made by the ever elusive Chthulu?! Well, let me show you:

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Nooooo! They are merely impressions of the hot glue used to hop the tiles up, Sillies!

Now if any of you had ever heard of Kerdi, I bet you have wondered where they got the idea from. Wonder no more. I have the answer to that question! Behold the "Absurdi Shower System". The prelythic precursor to the wonderful orange membrane.

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(Just as an FYI, here before I get in trouble with Mr. B: this shower has NOTHING in common with the wonderful people at Schluter or their very wonderful product. I am merely being facetious)

What you have here is the following:
1. Drywall
2. Contact cement
3. Painters' plastic
4. Blue 1" thick styrofoam insulation
5. Mortar
6. Hot glue
7. Tile

It could work, right?!


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Before we totally demolish this beast, here is a picture of the shower head and soap shelf (the rock you see there, jutting out of the wall). Again, do not fail to notice the black slimy mold residue on the delightfully textured tile.

And this

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Is me punching a hole through 1" of styrofoam, a layer of tile and mortar and mushy drywall. Oh, and don't forget the layer of painters' plastic. It's in there too. Along with some black mold.

I told you this would be awesome. I am sure I did not disappoint. I wish I could capture the smells and share them over the interwebs. That would have been over-the-moon awesome. Alas. You will have to imagine those.

I will sign off now until next weekend, when we will go back to our little Pandora's box with a jack hammer so I can make a dent in the elegantly curved side wall, which turned out to be solid concrete, re-enforced with a titanium/kryptonite alloy (and barbed wire)

Good night, and do not have any nightmares now. Look at the bright side: You positively know now that your difficult reno project is merely from Purgatory and not from the 13th layer of Hell where this one was spawned! You have it easy!

Typed on my iPhone with sticky glue fingers


Relax - it's a rock! What could go wrong?!

Last edited by jgleason; 03-03-2014 at 07:11 PM.
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Unread 03-02-2014, 11:20 PM   #8
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There were definitely some drugs involved with that bathroom design!

But then why do they have to build it like a brick s**t house? I think you might want to use a small shape charge for that demo!

"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."
George Washington

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Unread 03-03-2014, 06:36 AM   #9
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Holy cow ... I can't wait to see how this progresses. Thanks for sharing the pics.
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Unread 03-03-2014, 07:08 AM   #10
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Wow, just wow. I can't tell from my phone, so what kinda critter is Jimmy? Do you think removing him will put a curse on any future renovations?

Tile Your World,
cause' painting sucks!
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Unread 03-03-2014, 07:47 AM   #11
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Wow, crazy bathroom. I feel much better about my home now.
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Unread 03-03-2014, 08:06 AM   #12
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Adri, we just bought a total gut job house. But after seeing this, I am not as whiny.
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Unread 03-03-2014, 09:03 AM   #13
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What a lovely specimen of "Americanna". Are you sure there isn't a museum somewhere that might want that?

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Unread 03-03-2014, 09:36 AM   #14
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Absolutely LOVE your writing, GraniteGirl. A Cthulu reference and everything...

Oh, and please save me that pink toilet. I'm working on another bathroom. I'll pay the shipping. Do I get the black thing in it free of charge?

Last edited by Platypus; 03-03-2014 at 09:42 AM.
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Unread 03-03-2014, 11:01 AM   #15
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Here is a picture of something totally different:

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Pink mold! (Now you see where I'm coming from with the "Biohazardry" bit, eh?!)

Now I can hear you all wonder out loudly: "Why is that shower up offa the floor there?" Wonder no more:

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That there is the drain pipe. A sweet connection innocent of a P-trap, straight into the sewer line.

Wow! I never thought that shower would gain a fan club. Thanks for your support

Here are the answers to some of your questions:

Vegas: Jimmy was a big mouse. Maybe a rat or possibly a squirrel. Without getting DNA from the Hoffa clan, it would be hard to tell. He is now peacefully buried in a 40 yd dumpster, along with the skeletons of probably 7 or 8 more of his kin - all found in that wall. Along with mouse traps. Yes - in the wall. The logic defies me, but it is true. We put him away with all due ceremony. Hopefully our process will be blessed from now on.

Marty: I think this would classify as Canadiana. Hippie variety. Our other bathroom has a tree in it. I tried to sell this to the JB Museum of Worst Tile Jobs, but they politely declined, saying that they probably could not afford such grand awfulness anyway and that I should be quite honored to keep it, knowing that I won the all-time lifetime award of best worst job ever. I am honoured indeed.

Platypus: You are welcome to the pink toilet. Be aware, though, that the tank lid is not a matching colour. It is a slightly less appetizing shade of beige or maybe nude, since it has a pink tone to it. The ring on the inside you can have for free. The slime on the inside of the tank I'll let you have too. You are welcome to come pick it up. I restrained myself and did not break it when I put it in the dumpster. OK - I was too grossed out and was afraid some of that stuff might come flying out onto me and cause me some totally exotic disease like Ebola or something. A total possibility. I will even give you a beer or two or three while you are here We are in Canada. It would be awfully rude of you to refuse such hospitality anyway. Thanks for the compliment on my writing. I can only try


Relax - it's a rock! What could go wrong?!

Last edited by jgleason; 03-03-2014 at 07:12 PM.
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