Guest Bathroom Remodel

June 17, 2010 · 2 minute read

On the left is what the guest bathroom looked like when we moved in. This spring, we finally got around to updating it. We were going to try and rip out just the rightmost cabinet and squeeze in a shower kit. However, nothing really fit well, and it became obvious that we would also have to tear out the vanity.

Given that, it freed us up to design whatever we wanted. I always had an  affinity  for glass block, so I wanted to see if I could make that work as a shower wall.

It turns out Pittsburgh-Corning has a Sketchup library which allows you to design using all of the shapes they have available. I played around with this until we had a design that fit the space how we wanted; a screenshot of the final design is on the right:

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Ripped out to the studs; the work begins. I’m committed now! On the right, after the plumber has finished installing the drain and supply lines, and laying out the glass block to know the dimension to build the pan.

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The shower pan was built by a separate contractor (this and the plumbing being the only jobs I farmed out on this project:

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Tile on the shower pan and the curb, to make a nice even base for the glass block:

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The first row of glass block goes on. I built this using, instead of mortar, the “ProVantage” system. Basically, it consists of using silicone to glue the blocks together with plastic spacers:

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The block is up, and Augie helps me remove the shims I used to get the block completely level as the silicone cured up:

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Drywall seaming and then grout going into the glass block. Until the grout was in, the glass block wall was jiggly like Jell-O. After the grout, it’s solid as a rock:

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I put a shelf in over the protrusion of the concrete foundation wall, which had a slanted top. Now it’s quite usable as a surface. First coat of primer is up:

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The first coat of real paint is on the wall, and the tile work on the shower walls begins:

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Toilet goes back in, grout complete in shower:

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And here are the final shots with the vanity installed and all grout/caulk completed:

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All in all, it was a hell of a lot of work, but a hell of a lot cheaper than having it done by someone else… and a lot more satisfying.