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What can I do to save money on a new walk-in tile shower?

What can I do to save money on a new walk-in tile shower?

Old 08-18-14, 12:56 PM
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What can I do to save money on a new walk-in tile shower?

I'm currently renovating my first home, a small condo. I've removed the tub/shower combo, and I plan on replacing it with a walk-in tile shower. I don't plan on using expensive tiles, or getting too fancy with it in general, but I do want it to look nicer than your average bathroom and somewhat upscale. I'm not looking for the cheapest, I'm looking for the best value.

I'm alright at DIY projects, but since this is an upstairs condo and we're dealing with water, I'm thinking I should hire a pro. I want to do whatever I can to mitigate my risk of water issues. I want the tile to run up to the ceiling, and I'll also need the rest of the floor tiled.

I'd like to know what, if anything, I can do myself to save money. I also know every market is different (I'm in Portland, OR), but I'm hoping to get a ballpark before I start requesting estimates. I'll be reinforcing the subfloor with another layer of 3/4" plywood, which is what is down there now. The size of the shower will be 60"x32" (about 85 square feet).

Pic of the space, and the current condition.

Old 08-18-14, 06:06 PM
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Use a plastic surround instead of tile. That's the cheapest way out. Other than thought ask some tile places if there are any discontinued tiles in stock. They might have enough to cover you job.
Old 08-18-14, 06:32 PM
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It's tough, a pro is not going to want to give up any crucial step in the build to allow you to save money. It is more a need to know it is done a certain way as opposed to not trusting. You can definately finish the flooring (explain the partial joist in your picture). You can purchase all the materials to save some money. I would still have the contractor advise on what to purchase though. Anyway, I'm 3 days into a master bathroom remodel and can not think of a thing I would relinquish to the homeowners other than materials and paint.
Old 08-18-14, 06:44 PM
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I'm currently installing my own 60 x 36 shower stall and looked at tile and went for a 4 piece. A good shower base was going to cost me more than the entire shower unit. I will still tile above and ceiling with some along the front edges.

Your picture indicates you will still need to replace the drywall and all of the plumbing will need to be relocated before you have a pro do the work. The preparation work might be something a pro could help you with while getting a quote.

Old 08-18-14, 06:48 PM
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Best suggestion is buy the tile at the big box stores. Tile shops are $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
Old 08-21-14, 09:18 AM
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Thanks for the tips guys. It seems like a pre-made shower base is the way to go for me. I won't be using a plastic surround or a shower kit, the one I removed was in good shape. I knew going into this that I wanted to put some money into the bathroom and that it wouldn't be cheap. I also want to learn as much about this stuff as I can, and I don't want to waste money. I just need to find the balance between those things, if it's possible!

It sounds like I should try to find a contractor who would be willing to advise me on what I can do, before he comes in for the actual shower and tile work.

Do you guys think I should remove the rest of the drywall from the bathroom and hang the green stuff? I've heard mixed things, with some saying normal drywall is fine when used with a bathroom paint. I don't want to cut corners while I'm in here, I plan on owning this place forever.

Regarding the tile itself, luckily I'm not looking for anything small or fancy!
Old 08-21-14, 11:42 AM
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I'm one of the ones that sees no benefit to using water resistant drywall in a bath rm. Regular drywall when primed and the coated with latex enamel gives plenty of moisture resistance. Regular drywall paints better than green drywall. The 'wax' they integrate into the drywall to make it repell water also makes it harder for latex paints to adhere to it.

Bath paints have more mildewcide and are formulated for the harsher environment of a bath with shower. Regular latex enamel is bare minimum, flat latex paints have no place in a bath w/shower. Which sheen to use is mostly about personal preference.

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