After removing everything from the bath surround, it was time to re-build the shower. We decided to be extra careful and add a vapor membrane. It’s such plastic liner that you can find in the painting supplies aisle at your local hardware store. It’s essentially the plastic drop cloths. We used clear silicon to adhere it to the wood frame.
Tip: Make sure to overlap the edges of the plastic.
We actually tried calling several general contractors to have a professional put up the membrane and cement board for us. However, everyone was extremely busy and couldn’t fit us in with such short notice. Many people also told us that we didn’t need to include the vapor membrane. They said that the modern day 1/2″ Hardibacker cement boards are sufficient.
While that may be true, we didn’t want to take the chance. It wouldn’t hurt to have an extra layer of protection. This is our first major home DIY renovation. We didn’t want to chance any water damage. Ultimately, I’m glad we put in the membrane. Our cement board cutting and placement wasn’t perfect. I definitely feel that the membrane is going to save us.
Installing the Hardibacker cement boards was the hardest part of the re-build. Yes, this board is a score and snap. But it’s freaking cement, folks. Cement is really hard. And it’s heavy! If we cut it a little bit too big, it was the biggest pain in the but to cut off small lines of the board.
If I did it again, I would use a saw and deal with the dust.
In the above photo, we hadn’t placed the cement board in the window yet. Now THAT was the most difficult thing to do. I will tell you more about that window in another post. It added many more days to this renovation. People on the “how to” pages don’t spend enough time talking about all the things that slow you down and add DAYS to the renovation.