Today is the day. Today is the day I finally tear out the thing we call our master bathroom shower. The builder and I got up this morning and jumped head first into the project.
First we tore out the drywall on the other side of the shower wall to determine how bad the water damage was to the wall studs:
As you can see, the water damage was limited to just the bottom portion of the wall where the leak was. We had opened up the outside of this wall during the fall to let the wall dry out (it had been heavily saturated at one point) and only closed it in with a piece of drywall during the holidays (because nothing says Merry Christmas when you open the front door like a glaring hole in the entryway wall!)
From first inspection, this really didn't seem so bad and was about what we expected to find. The Builder had already told me we'd need to replace the one wall stud and of course the drywall we ripped out.
What I wasn't prepared for was what we couldn't see. I felt like we were on a HGTV show where the host has to come tell the family the bad news that the damage is worse than they initially thought:
See the arrows? That's where the stud is complete disintegrated from the water damage. And it's not just in one spot, it was two different beams. Thankfully, the one closest to the wall is not a structural beam. In fact, after closer inspection, that stupid part of the wall that juts into my shower and makes it the 30 tiny inches that it is is purely by design. So we're removing that section and moving the electrical to widen the shower and make it more functional.
Just in case you forgot, here's a close up of the actual shower itself:
Those gloss blocks were from a renovation after the house was built. No one in my neighborhood with my floor plan has a shower built like this. The arrows point to where we first started seeing signs of mold and water damage. It was coming in BEHIND the grout and caulk. So no matter how much I bleached the shower, it was never really clean. In the last couple of weeks, it started doing the same thing on the wall where the shower handle is too. There was just a little bit of water seepage when we pulled down the tile, but no stud damage, which was good. Can you tell how narrow this shower really is?
Here's what it looked like after we tore things out:
The tile on the back shower wall pulled off without any effort. Not even a hammer. The Builder just stuck his pry bar in to wedge out a corner and the whole thing came sliding down. The other side he did use his pry bar and hammer to remove the tiles. Except for the bottom corner, they took a bit of muscle to chisel out. That's how all the tile should have been!
This was all reduced to a pile of rubble by the time The Builder was done. We're going to have to remove the tile and that small shower pan so the curb is coming down too.
Let's take a minute to look at the section of wall that juts out to my shower:
The only purpose of that small section of wall that juts out the 8-10 inches is to house the only electrical outlet in the entire bathroom. No, you didn't read that wrong. That little plug is it. It charges The Builders shaver, my electric toothbrush, my curling iron, my blow dryer, etc. And of course, the vanity you're looking at is not mine. It's The Builders. He really loves sharing with me. Really...
If you look at the side between the shower and the vanity though, you can see that there is quite a bit of yuck building up:
Yes, that's water damage on the wall. And that section is SO hard to clean. My blow dryer typically hangs on a hook on the side here, but due to the dampness, the hook recently fell off. This vanity is coming out (we're buying new ones for this renovation) since we're widening the shower and we're moving the electrical. None of that will get done this weekend. This weekend is just about the demolition and repairing the rotted studs. We'll have to install new drywall too or you have a straight view from the front door to my toilet. Not my definition of room with a view! Also, since my bedroom is an "open concept" with no door to separate the mast bath from the master bedroom, the wall being down leaves no privacy whatsoever.
The Builder is doing all the stud repairs as I type so expect another update soon!