On Rotten Floors and a Shower Re-do

The kids and I were gathered, in the middle of doing our low-key summer schooling routine when we heard the noise that strikes fear into the heart of any home owner: water dripping in a place that should be dry.  Water dripping through the light fixtures onto the carpet of our playroom/schoolroom.

Because we are fearless fixer-uppers, I plopped a bowl under the water stream and continued on. That evening I told my Handy Hubby about the issue and we set about trying to figure out the issue. However, just like many of the issues we’ve faced in this house, the cause of the problem was difficult to find.  Some days we’d have a downpour in the basement, other days were dry.  It took weeks of poking around, cutting holes in drywall, investigating theories before Jason knew what needed to be done.

I’ll spare you all the details, but we discovered that the shower in the master bathroom had been built and waterproofed incorrectly by the previous owner (we were not surprised).  It would need to be rebuilt from scratch in order to fix the issue. Jason set about ripping out the shower floor and a few rows of tiles on the walls.  We relocated some funds from another project (so much for a retaining wall in the garden) and set to work fixing the shower.

When the tile was ripped up, our whole house was filled with the stench of wet and rotting wood. Not good.

Jason rebuilt the shower slowly over the next few months. That’s how things go in a fixer-upper. Every project takes 3 times as long as you think it will and costs at least twice as much.

He framed, he waterproofed, he poured concrete, he laid tile, he waterproofed again.  He added a built in shelf to hold shampoo and conditioner. I didn’t help much with this project, I’ll admit.  I offered encouragement.  I brought him drinks of water.  I tried not to complain about dust and tools and messes, because hello? My husband can rebuild a shower!  I cannot rebuild a shower.  My solution would have been to ignore the problem and not use that shower anymore.

A couple of weeks ago, the project was finally complete.  Oh happy day!  It seems so luxurious to shower in our very own bathroom and not find a puddle of water in the basement a few moments later.

Projects like this remind me how blessed we are.  Yes this was an inconvenience.  Yes, I would rather not have had to spend our money on a new shower that looks almost identical to our old shower, except it’s better because now we know it’s done correctly.  But we have a beautiful, warm home, and I have a fantastically talented husband who can fix any problem that may arise.