Monday, February 20, 2012

Shower Installation Round #3

With a house that's just over 100 square feet, you wouldn't expect the plumbing system to be very extensive, right?  Well, that's true, but I've still managed to get my fair share of experience.  It all started after I framed the walls for the bathroom.  Upon putting them into place, I noticed that the fiberglass shower insert DEFINITELY wasn't sitting level.  In fact, it was about 1.5" lower in the back, as proven by a quick measurement from the floor to the top of the shower (since the house is on a trailer and isn't naturally level, its been challenging to make other things true).

I don't know why the shower wasn't manufactured with even foot pegs, but that's what I have to work with.  At first I thought "No big deal- it won't show with the finish material", but then I started considering all the work it would take to fit trim just to cover up that mistake.  So, I got out the handy "cat's paw" and started popping nails out.

Now mind you, my impression of these shower stalls is that they're kind of a one time installation deal.  Once you crack fiberglass, there's not much repairing it.  Thankfully, I was able to get all the nails out without considerable damage.  It was when I tried re-positioning the shower that I discovered why it wasn't level.  I had placed it to match up with the drain pipe, which inconveniently is in the middle of a floor joist.  I spent some time trying to shave the joist down just enough to slide the drain over, but eventually just grabbed the Sawzall and chopped through.  At least I have plenty of plywood sub-flooring tying everything together, right?  

I had a prospective fellow tiny houser coming by for a tour at 4:00, so I scrambled to get the shower back in place and everything cleaned up.  The stall still wasn't exactly level, but that was alright since I discovered the next morning that, oh, its gotta come out again!  The valves on showers are typically mounted on a piece of framing added to the wall.  Just for fun, I decided to put the covers and escutcheon plate together to make the bathroom look a little more complete.  When the cover didn't quite fit, I discovered that we had framed the valve about an inch too far forward.  So, out came the cat's paw again.  Moving the framing back meant that I also had to cut out and redo all of the plumbing attached.  This wasn't too bad, since honestly I wasn't that satisfied with the job I had done previously.  This time around I tried to straighten out the lines and simplify them some.  I can't guarantee that they won't leak and I'll have to tear everything out again, but at least they look a bit neater :)

By Sunday evening I had everything back in place (the shower still isn't exact, but much improved), looking just like it did Friday morning.  I guess with a project like this you have to expect some setbacks and redos and just appreciate the opportunities to learn and improve.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  Now its on to gas fitting!  Gotta do a lot more planning and practice so I get that just right...


P.S. With the warm weather Friday, I was able to put a second coat of paint on the windows to deepen that Mesa Red!

1 comment:

  1. Now it's better... safe and tight. Can't wait to see your final touch. And the roof is really great... good job!