A Shower of Problems...

One of the primary selling points of our little house was the huge custom tile shower. Now, please don't misunderstand, the shower itself was wonderful. What was not wonderful, however, was some of the small mistakes that were made during its installation that later lead to BIG PROBLEMS. Any homeowner knows that whether you own a new home or a really old one, you are going to have issues. Even if Frank Lloyd Wright designed it himself, something will go wrong. While the shower was beautiful and functional upon our moving into the house, there was a small leak underneath the tile that lead to months of excavation and eventually, a full-on shower rebuild. I am by no means calling out the builders of our home...this kind of problem could happen to anyone and it is not necessarily their fault. The reason we are including this story in our posts is that through our tile shower journey, we learned a great deal about tile and how it should be installed. We also learned quite a bit about the different options available for custom showers. Home improvement nerds, get ready to enjoy:

This is what our beautiful tile shower looked like when we bought the house. It's pretty great, right?

Well...this is what it looked like after we realized that a tiny leak was leading to major saturation. Tile lovers beware...this can happen to anyone. Make sure if you tile anything that will get wet (i.e. a shower), it is sealed like a submarine. My Dad, who is a professional contractor, has always said that "water is an immediate enemy to any structure". Well, Dad was right.
A tiny bit of water leaked into the floor of the shower, underneath the tile and here is what happened underneath, despite my obsessive cleaning habits.

I will spare you any further details about the nastiness found underneath our tile. The takeaway from this post is....if you suspect a leak in a tile shower, take care of it ASAP. Just the tiniest bit of water leaking underneath your tile will lead to major issues and, as you can see, gross mold and fungus-y types of things. No matter how much you think you're cleaning your tile shower, it will never be clean underneath the tile is water is trapped. Had we not fixed this when we did, the water would have destroyed the pine floor in our bathroom. Whew...that was a close one!

We took the the lemon that life gave us with the shower leak and made some brand new, custom shower lemonade. We chose new tile and re-designed the shower to include a ledge (for easier leg shaving) and a recessed soap shelf.  We did not actually install the tile ourselves. After our experience with the leak, we decided this was better left to a pro.

Here are some photos of the finished product. It does look similar to the original, but there are a few major differences. 

<------Interior of tile shower.

So, the moral to the story is this: Problems arise with any house and not EVERYTHING can or should be DIY'd. We learned so much about tile, water damage and plumbing in general through this experience. 

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