Our House, Year Two: Weeks 27-29

26 Sep

To say I am behind in these updates is somewhat of an understatement. I’m not quite sure how I let 6 or is it 8 weeks slip by without even mentioning the house progress once but hey it happened! You’d be quite justified in thinking that we’d given up renovating and were happy to just live in our half-finished abode…whilst that feels like it might be true we are plodding along getting on with the kind of jobs that don’t feel like you are making much progress  but in actual fact they are readying you for  a big thing to happen… like tiling the master bathroom.

Previously the master bath was a semi-drywalled shell. I don’t think I’ve even mentioned it for months because nothing has happened with it. It has basically been waiting for us to make a decision on tiling and boy has it been tough. I’m not joking when I say that I have been to the tile showroom 10 times, and come out with a new idea or a “definite” plan each time. The woman in the showroom is about ready to kill me and in the end I will have only ordered a few of the total tiles we need from them. However I like to think I’m not all that bad as I do always return my samples !!!

Whilst I was driving the lovely folks at Ceramic Tile Design crazy, Jon pressed on with getting us to that point where we even needed them. The shower pan had to be formed with concrete and waterproofing. Here’s what that process looks like….

Prepping the shower pan

It takes 3 layers to ensure that  a shower has proper drainage in place. First up they lay down the tar paper barrier over the sub-floor. Then they added in the galvanised wire mesh which when combined with the mortar (concrete) gives you a solid surface for tile installation.

Then it was time to concrete the pan. For this we just made a home mix, it was on the drier side so we could manipulate it easily. Jon spread it carefully across the pan working hard to get a smooth and even finish.

Spreading the concrete in the shower pan

He used a trowel to apply the concrete and get it semi even  and then he smoothed it off using a flat bit of wood. I don’t think Jon has ever done concrete work on a shower pan before so I was very impressed with his technique.

The ultimate concrete smoothing tool.

Once the concrete was dry we moved onto the next layer which is a CPE waterproof barrier. This will provide us with a watertight surface for the shower pan. And then we added in one more mesh & mortar layer and then once dry you can tile on it!!!

We also had to build in the curb for the shower. This was done using a product called Kirb Perfect which made it super easy to create our curb and then mortar over the edges and leave it to set. It has a waterproof barrier underneath it already.

Its waterproof you know!


With the shower pan already to go it was inspection time yet again. We had to fill up the pan and let the water sit there and show that it was watertight in order to pass the inspection. It was a tad nerve-wracking to say the least but we passed with flying colors and that means we can move on and that our home done shower pan works! Technically we could shower in it as it is but I think we can wait!!!

Whilst Jon and David were working furiously in the master bath we had Felix back to finish off the floors in the front of the house.

Front room mid Varnish

The shine he gets on the floor is amazing He uses a Bona varnish that is rated for use in sports courts. We pay a little more for this extra hard wearing finish but with two small boys I can definitely say its worth it. The Bona stuff is also low VOC which is great – it still smells a bit but not enough that you would have to move out of the house for a day or two. Luckily between this area and our bedrooms is a lot of open air space and it was still warm so we all slept with windows open!

The finished front room.

The front room looks amazing all stained – so shiny and new. I’d love to say that it stayed looking like this but about 10 seconds after I took this picture we had to move all our crap into this space to clear out for the kitchen going in. The new floors are covered with white dust. I feel bad for Felix after all his hard work getting them so perfect and one day soon I promise that I will bring it back to this kind of shape.

Up next – the guest bath which needs a WHOLE lotta love.

One Response to “Our House, Year Two: Weeks 27-29”


  1. Our House,Year Two: Weeks 30-31 « The Renovation Diaries - October 3, 2012

    […] With the plumbing all finished we were able to lay down the sub-floor and start the waterproofing process. This was the exact same process we had done on the upstairs bath so I wont bore you with pictures again but if you really want to know you can see that here. […]

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