Taking The Master Bath Back To The Studs

About a year ago most house remodeling projects came to a halt. Costs got a little out of control and I ended up with some large credit card bills. I’ve eliminated those bills and am ready to start back on my projects. I didn’t waste any of that money, it was just a bit too much to spend at once. I now have this radical new idea that I will call “planning and budgeting” and I will apply it to projects going forward.

A quick recap on this project, the house was a foreclosure. Though not trashed, it was pretty dated and in need of remodeling in several places. The master bath showed signs of leakage in the shower. It’s pretty clear that it’s been going on for a while, it had leaked into the adjacent bathroom and into the master bedroom.

Tree roots under the shower tile

I was sure the bathroom wasn’t usable in it’s current condition and would need to be tore down to the studs. As I started to demolish the walls of the shower I found that it was pretty much being held together with tree roots. Roots had grown a good foot up the wall of the shower in between the tile. As the roots took hold of the tile, it probably just made the leaking worse.

Cement gaps around shower drain

This bathroom has not been used in at least 4 years. Yet as I broke up the mortar and shower pan I found the mortar was still pretty wet. There were so many roots that it smelled like a nursery. Finally, I think i have found the root cause. The drain pipe is basically floating, there’s a huge gap of missing concrete around it and I can clearly see where main roots have made their way through the floor (this isn’t the first time I’ve had issues with the cement in this house). I assume that a little water made it’s way around the drain, signaling for the roots to come through. As the roots grew threw the tile the wall leakage just got worse causing more roots to grow. At least I know I wasn’t wrong that there was no saving it.

The demolition is about 99% complete. I intended to get a good amount of this bathroom completed this winter. I’ve got a basic plan put together, but that’s a post for another day.