The New Shower Design: Reality vs. Pinterest- Round #4,509,459

5:21 PM Katy 5 Comments

Well now that I am tits-deep in an emergency bathroom renovation, I've been burning up google and Youtube to research my shower options. It's been a long time since I installed a new shower - the Tybee house had one shower, like so:
So ... this bathroom calls for something quite a bit larger and more expensive. :(

August, the hideous steam shower before the demolition.

November - wall has been moved forward, new door openings framed, and that room behind the shower is now big enough for a laundry. It was originally intended to be either closet space or a sauna!

currently - working on tile now!
Here is what I have discovered about all the new shower trends.
Martha O'Hara Interiors via Home Bunch

This crap is really hard and expensive to bust up when a pipe bursts and you need to fix flood damage. End of story. I'm going to end up installing something similar to the above image but with a couple of insurance upgrades.

After all of my feverish research, the Schluter-Kerdi shower system appears to be the best for waterproofing a shower these days, and the easiest for me to install myself. I bought one of the kits and we're through the worst of it and into the tiling.

The shower pan in the Schluter kit is a lightweight styrofoam. That means that if your pipes burst and your whole bathroom is destroyed, you won't have to break your back trying to bust up a concrete pan with a pick ax!!

So. I have the Schluter-Kerdi kit. I have my new plumbing fixtures. I have (almost) decided on the tile.
But whats up with this new "frameless glass enclosure" tidal wave on Pinterest and design mags? I am not sold on it. I don't like being on display when in the shower, like a goldfish in a bowl. So that's why I have pony walls around the shower. Kinda like this:
Brooke Gianetti

Another consideration is that we have hard water. Which means all the glass is going to look like crap in a year. I want to minimize the amount of glass, the amount of nakedness on display, and the amount of back-breaking work to fix it in the event of a plumbing event.

More and more I realize: I design everything based on the worst-case scenario. Which might be an engineering thing, but it might also just be paranoia. When the shit hits the fan, how expensive will it be to fix? Because I am a glass-half-empty sort of person. Or, as Prince Charming likes to say: "waiting for the other foot to fall off" (shoe to drop, thank you.)

Bathroom renovations are crappy but at least it's not the kitchen yet!! (knock on wood!)

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  1. I hear you about planning for the next disaster. My shower has a solid surfacing pan & solid surfacing walls that look like beadboard. I also have a horizontal window in the shower that starts about shoulder height, all trimmed in the solid surfacing wall material. They caulked the shit out of the 2 corners and the seam on the back wall under the window & around the window. And because I didn't spring for the special niches I have no other penetrations in the wall other than the plumbing. Of course, I didn't have any storage either, so I hung a clear shower curtain with mesh pockets over the window. Not only does it provide the storage I need, it covers the window, seam under the window and both corners for extra water protection. I ran out of money for glass shower doors and use a plain white fabric curtain with a fabric liner. & I love it! When open, my tiny bathroom is bigger, no glass to get nasty with the hard well water & the shower is a breeze to clean. The large walls are shower curtains, so no cleaning required. I machine wash all the shower curtains, clean the plumbing wall, the bottom half of the opposite wall & the pan. Then I hang the spare set of shower curtains & all done. I thought no glass shower door would be a disaster and water would get everywhere, but it's been awesome. I always hated glass shower doors because of the cleaning aspect. Maybe frosted glass would prevent you from being on display and also hide the hard water nastiness?

  2. I almost demolished my bathroom during my DIY shower installation. I wish I knew more about this Schluter system. Thanks anyway. I will know what to do next time I grab the sledge hammer.

  3. I bought a shower squeegie that suction cups to the tile, hidden on a wall people can't see unless they walk all the way into the bathroom. Takes 15 seconds after a shower to at least get rid of some of the hard water residue before it sets on.

  4. Hi Katie! When I installed the glass enclosures during our bath renovations, the install company offered a product (they spray it on like Windex) that protects the glass from all the water spots. I did not want to pay for that upgrade, but in the end the installers offered to do it for much less so I took them up on it. It works.
    I just had another smaller door installed at our beach place and saw an ad for a product that sounds similar: Endurosheild. Plan to track it down and try it on the new door. It's suppose to protect the glass from bad water spotting for up to 3 years. I'll let you know if it works or lasts for more than 3 weeks! :)

    1. hey Teri! So did the glass spray stuff work?? :)


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