Still Not Finished…But Closer

Well, I ghosted y’all last week, and then didn’t want to show up today, either, but Matt made me. 😀 I told him, “I just can’t get on my blog and talk about that shower AGAIN. I can’t do it. I’m so sick of that shower, and I know they are, too.” But he said, “You have to. Just give a quick update so they’ll know how things are going.” Ugh. So against my wishes, and with lots of protest, I’m here because Matt made me. 😀

The shower (I say as I shake my fist towards the sky) is still not finished. Oh, it’s getting there. It’s at a snail’s pace, but it’s getting there. I had sure hoped to get all of the tiling done by now, but other things have commanded my attention over the last few days — my mom’s birthday, family stuff, etc. So I’m just taking one day at a time, working when I can, and trying to keep focus.

Here’s where the shower progress stands as of this morning…

The back wall is tiled, and about 2/3 of that wall is grouted and still very hazy. The upper 1/3 is not grouted. The only reason that part of that wall is grouted is because I wanted to see if the grout made a whole lot of difference with the accent tile before I committed to tearing out 1/3 of the tile and the accent tile on that wall. I don’t usually do my grouting in such a random, piecemeal way when doing a tile project. (And I got a cute little teak shower stool from Amazon.)

The side wall is all tiled except for the niche. It’s not grouted yet.

It took me a while to decide what to do with the niche, but I think I finally have it figured out. Hopefully I can get it finished today.

And then I got the shower head wall tiled, but obviously, it’s not grouted, either.

So that just leaves this narrow wall, which is the back side of the bathtub/mural wall.

I kind of lost steam when I realized that I was missing two pieces for my shower fixtures. I didn’t realize that the elbow that actually connects to the pipe in the wall, and into which the hose for the handheld sprayer connects, has to be bought separately. I figured it would come with the handheld shower sprayer set. I mean, it seems so absurd that it would come separately, right? Anyway, that was frustrating.

And then somewhere along the way, I have misplaced the 8-inch backplate for the water control. UGH!!!! So I had to order a new one, and now I wait. The shower can be used without it, but it just won’t be completely finished until it gets here, and it said that could take about four weeks. (Cue the tears of frustration.)

As I’ve been working in this shower, I’ve come to realize that having such a big, open shower is probably going to get pretty cold, and I can’t stand the thought of being cold in the shower. So I’ve been thinking of ways that I can keep the warmth inside the shower while it’s in use.

Having a shower curtain cover the opening into the shower is not an option. I just don’t want a shower curtain to be so front-and-center from the main part of the room. So after giving it lots of thought, I’ve finally decided to hang a pretty curtain rod across this area of the shower, and then hang a pretty (but probably solid white) shower curtain on the pretty curtain rod.

I’ve had a couple of challenges with this plan, though. First, finding a curtain rod hasn’t been easy. The span is 80.5 inches, so a tension rod won’t work because they’re not long enough. I’d prefer a rod that can hang from the ceiling so that I don’t have to drill holes in my tile (something like this), but finding one in the right length, the right color and finish, and that actually has three brackets that can work when installed on the ceiling, has been impossible so far.

Anyway, I think it’ll actually be quite pretty. Y’all know I love to use fabric, and I look for ways to add fabric to my rooms. This shower is very large, and the configuration isn’t standard, so I think a non-standard placement of the shower curtain will work. I’m actually pretty excited about how it looks in my mind 😀 , so I hope that’ll transfer to reality. My track record with the accent tile wasn’t good, so I hope I do better with this.

So that’s the progress. For my own mental health, I hope to goodness that I can get this shower tiling done in the next couple of days so I can move on to something else in the room!

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  1. Can you use electrical conduit for your rod? I’m thinking less than $10 for a ten foot piece. I did that for my living room curtains, I spray painted it the color I wanted. Keep going, You have this!! (and I love reading about it, lol) xo

  2. God bless you Kristi for your perseverance! I’ve been working on wallpapering my bedroom since MARCH!! I ran out of paper and am still waiting for more to ship from England. Obv when it arrives it will likely be a different color! I’m so disheartened. I lose my oomph in the middle of my projects…it’s a curse. Well, here’s to the two of getting back on that damn horse!!!!!

  3. I have a shower with no door and we have a combo vent/heater in the ceiling just outside the door. Makes it nice and toasty when you get out….

  4. That looks amazing! Painted conduit pipe and ceiling mounted brackets of your choice is the way I’d go. You are the energizer bunny!

  5. I have a solution to your entry area and a shower curtain that may satisfy you. Put a header into the entry area to make the opening the height of a door and then put the rod high enough so it can’t be seen and runs behind that header of the entry area and then when the shower is in use you pull the shower curtain out to enclose cover the opening, but when not in use you pull it all the way back into the corner where it can’t be seen from the bathroom at all.

    This way when you have the doorway from the new master you won’t see it when walking into the bath from that direction at all.

    1. We have a 5×8 curbless shower. It does not get cold because the hot water creates warm steam while you are showering.

      1. I have a large curbless shower in my bathroom too – not as big as Kristi’s but I’ve never found being cold an issue. One generally stands under the stream of water, and when you step aside the steam in the area generates enough warmth.

    2. I was thinking that too. Because if there’s a shower curtain in the middle of the shower it’s cutting half your shower area away and when try to move around and shower you’ll be hitting the shower curtain and I hate that because the curtain is cold itself. Also how would Matt have enough room to maneuver with a shower curtain in the way?

  6. Girl, you get more done in one week than I can do it 10 years. Don’t berate yourself, you are the best! Looks great!

  7. I can relate to your feelings in this post, haha! I love the tile. love it. Even though I also loved the penny tile, I didn’t like the modern feel of stripe in this bath.. maybe in the niche? I love your idea for a shower curtain. I must admit, I was thinking you’d put the adhesive (gasp), plastic (double gasp) rod holder on either side, throw some pvc up there and call it a day. However I realize the span may be too great for there to be enough support to keep it from bowing. So I love your idea. I am wondering if you can seal the brackets with something to make them waterproof? Also, I bought the Bellicon for my son. We love it. I would not recommend it though for someone with an autistic son, like mine who is 190lbs, and jumps daily for hours. He has already broken a handful of the adorable bands (we bought the rainbow ones). Thankfully they have a great warranty, but I am looking at buying a whole set of bands every other month. However for the average fitness partaker, it is an amazing rebounder, and puts the stuff from Walmart to shame. Totally different category, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it.

  8. I’m going to be doing a ceiling track for my shower curtain. They have them on Amazon and you can see some great examples on Pinterest.

    1. This was my first plan, but I haven’t been able to find a good, low-profile ceiling track. The ones I’ve seen have a bulky look. Have you found the exact one you’re going to use yet?

      1. Check out IKEA’s Vidga. It’s white so it will blend into the ceiling. You can combine them to make it as long as you need it.

        1. Ditto VIdga from IKEA. Also, look up RV supply stores. Most of their room dividers run on ceiling tracks and they are very small and inconspicuous.

          Re crown molding… have you considered foam crown molding (can be painted and sealed for use in wet areas) and putting LED strip light around the perimeter of the shower? I find that a single overhead light doesn’t always illuminate a shower enough. We have a powder room with no exterior window and I put these in and it’s awesome in addition to the vanity light and lighted mirror. They are dimmable and voice controlled via ALEXA. I actually bought my molding and LED lights from a father/son team in Texas. Love them!

  9. I am wondering if you might have a local fabricator that might be able to craft the appropriate type of curtain rod? You might be able to get it more custom that way. And I have found that local people often have similar price points to what you might order in.
    And that is a lot of tile! I know I moved pretty slowly last spring when tiling my bathroom which is much smaller than yours!

  10. So have you made the decision to hire out the remainder of the tile for the floor and stool room yet? 😅 Your bath is going to look stunning in the end. I would suggest a towel warmer.

    1. Part of me wishes I would do that, but I’m way too stubborn to hire it out at this point. I get more determined with each passing day, and now there’s no way I’ll give up. This project may send me to my grave, but I’ll go down swinging. 😀

      1. I would really consider having aomeone else lay the floor tile in the main area. That stuff is heavy and back breakingly awkward, plus not easy to cut.

  11. Gotta say, Kristi. I am NOT sick of your shower.
    I’m actually sick of instagrammers who make me feel like crap because they renovate an entire room in a week.
    I’m grateful to see that other people stall and stumble and persevere and question everything they do…because that, to me, is how the real world works.

    Sorry for you, because I get sick of far less complex projects, and that’s no fun. But good on you for showing that nothing is the piece of cake you think it’s going to be and that real world DIY comes with it’s own measure of frustration!

      1. I’m pretty determined not to have a glass door simply for Matt’s sake. Even though he’d have me helping him, any addition of doors of any kind make things more difficult. And he tends to bump into/scrape walls, so I’m afraid he’d be scraping up against a glass door.

  12. WE are not suck of it, we are here every step of the way!! That is amazing progress, you are meticulous and it takes time. I am here for a shoutout to Matt and his support, love and keeping you accountable – teamwork makes the dream work!!!

  13. You can get a ceiling track for a curtain from a medical supplier that makes and installs curtain for hospitals, skilled nursing homes and hospice houses.

  14. NOT sick of hearing about the shower. It is real life, real projects, except I get stuck or delayed or slowed down on small projects, not gigantic ones….. And it helps to know I am not alone. You are not alone either! You have done a LOT of tiling since last post! (And of course you have still been living life in addition to laying tile.) It is looking so good. Check out Ikea for ceiling mounted curtain rails, like Vidga and Framfusig — in case they might work for your project.

  15. Maybe a swing arm rod that attaches to the ceiling or right next to the entrance, and can swing to cover the entrance and then swing back to the wall to stay completely hidden when not in use?

  16. Kristi, if you are going to use a whitems shower curtain, go for the nylon kind. Doesn’t support growth of mold, can be easily washed and bleached if necessary.
    I would use a piece of 1 inch water pipe and attach to the ceiling. Very strong. I used one with just the end supports across 11 ft in a spare room for sewing fabrics and clothing I was making. 1 shower curtain would be a breeze! Alternatively, eyebolts in the ceiling with cable would work but interferes with pulling the curtains across.

  17. What about a frameless glass door in the doorway? It could hold in heat and moisture while you are in the shower. If you don’t think it would look good closed when no one is in the shower, you could have it swing inside the shower when it is not in use.

    1. I’m really hoping to never have to put a door on the shower for Matt’s sake. Any addition of doors adds extra obstacles in his day-to-day life. Any time we can remove those obstacles, it makes life that much easier for him.

  18. I am amazed by all of the projects you tackle! Installing tile, wood floors, cabinetry, mouldings, painting, refinishing furniture, sewing drapes, on and on. More than I would ever dream of doing! The tile looks great. What are you planning to do along the top edge of the tile? Are you installing an accent tile? crown moulding?

    1. I’m going to do crown molding. 🙂 I hadn’t mentioned it yet because I know some people will think I’m insane for putting crown molding inside a shower, but I’ve done a ton of thinking about it, considering different options, looking at probably hundreds of pictures of bathrooms on Houzz, and I keep coming back to crown molding. So that’s the plan unless I suddenly change my mind in the next few days…which is always a possibility. 😀

  19. I feel you on loosing steam…the hubby and I do that about every single time on home projects.

    On the shower curtain, you could wait and see how it is using it first. Maybe it’ll be cold, maybe it’d be okay. What’s the plan for the top of the wall? Another row of tile?

      1. I enjoy the warmth of the steam also. When i built my walk in shower that was a concern. I didn’t want curtains or glass because i had a 3/4 wall on one side which didn’t help. Point being is that wait until u are done and using shower to see if curtain is necessary. My shower is warm and cozy without. Towel is hanging nearby so when stepping into room, I remain warm. Oh my ceiling is 9 feet or 108 inches making shelf bought impossible……I made one for guest bath. This is a project not a race so take your time!!!! They make crown molding tile!

  20. Do you have a ceiling fixture IN the shower? How about a heat lamp? Like the ones in hotels, etc. that are on a timer. I don’t know if those require more than just a ceiling fixture, but maybe it can be modified before you get it all done.

      1. I have a heat lamp/exhaust fan combo and ooooooooo, I highly recommend!!

        Btw – I hear/feel your fatigue…I’m in the same spot. Chin up and thank you for all you do – you are SUCH an inspiration (as I hide under the covers ignoring my overwhelming projects and read your blog instead :))

  21. Sooo I recommend waiting to see if you need a curtain from experience. A suggestion I got is not a formal curtain rod, but a Rail system – VIDGA (…from IKEA) may be a good idea it’s extruded aluminum and power coated white. The casters are plastic. If you do this buy extra casters, they seem to change rails every few years and the casters are gold once it’s discontinued. This system is not 100% If they aren’t installed carefully the rollers can get stuck at transitions, but you can mount it to a ceiling. The connectors were great in the last system (Kvartal) it used more metal which was a nice sturdiness when needed. this one nut it “tool-less” which you got to force plastic parts closed to secure. We use a panel curtain as a sheer over a door in a narrow/busy hall. My toddler does play with it and part of a rail has come lose once, not multiple times over the past year.

  22. Hi, Kristi
    What about heating bulbs or exaust fan/heaters?
    I don’t have it but I’ve seen them in many hotels in Europe and Scandinavia. My job was traveling and
    I was always paying attention to everything related to decoration.

  23. It looks beautiful and love the shower curtain idea. I think Matt is right about your update to us. We love seeing your progress. It also helps us realize others have the same frustrations and struggles. I think it might also help you get rid of a bit of your frustrations also. Your home and work is beautiful!!!

  24. Well, you know, you have a choice. You hate the shower and don’t want to do anything to it because you’re sick of it. Well, it’s up to you – you can just leave it. Walk away. Don’t do anything. It’s your house, your shower, and if you hate it that much just don’t do anything. Finish. No more.
    It won’t make any difference to us. Finish or don’t finish we’re going to be just fine.
    Yoda in Star Wars said something like “Do, or don’t do. There is no try”

  25. We have a walk around open shower like this I have never once felt cool or cold in it. But if you truly want a curtain I like the idea of the header and the rod behind that. You are getting closer to the finish line💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

  26. Check out AGLASSOFBOVINO’S lucite curtain rods. I think that would look pretty cool and should work if you’re mounting from the ceiling. Keep on keeping on. Sorry this has been frustrating.

  27. Wow look at Kristi go. She may be beating herself up but the rest of us so admire her tenacity and steady progress. Just takes a little bit each day to add up to a completion. Team Kristi continues to cheer her on

    On a side note. Gleeful nothing dramatic has caused a hiccup like someone getting really sick, etc

    Count your blessings Hon. Count your blessings

  28. It’s Beautiful! It’s also very hard work. If you use three brackets on the ceiling to hold the curtain, your curtain won’t be able to pull across all the way. You would need two curtains. Maybe you mentioned this before so sorry if I’m repeating you! Hugs…

  29. I agree with the others about not needing a curtain for warmth. When we moved into house with a walk-in shower I thought it would need one too but totally not necessary. Maybe you should try it before you spend time energy and money on it in case you find you might not need one ither

  30. Thank you, Kristi, for catching us up and thank you, Matt, for encouraging her! We are out here rooting for you even with all the frustrations and love to hear how you solve your dilemmas. We have vent fan/IR heater combos in all our bathrooms, by Nutone which I think is Broan now. So nice to flip that switch when it is cold outside! We have them wired along with the overhead lights separately so you can use any combination. It’s a Broan-Nutone 4 function wall switch for a 1 gang box. Can find at HD. And I love that shower stool!!!

  31. I didn’t weigh in before but I’ve wondered about the “cold factor”. However I never thought a curtain inside that chops up this gorgeous space was on your radar. It just doesn’t fit be it white, clear or a riot of color. Seems to me an unobtrusive, modern ceiling heater would fit the bill if you find the resulting steam doesn’t warm you enough. Can’t wait to see the finished spa.

  32. Kristi, I have a fairly large shower, albeit not as large as yours. Midstream in the process, I decided not to do a door. I am very cold natured and I do not get cold as long as I keep the bathroom door shut. However, if the door is open, I do find I am a bit cold. Maybe you could try that before you put up a shower curtain. I really love the openness of my shower without the restrictions of a door or curtain. Bonus… one less thing to keep clean!

    The tile is looking amazing, btw!! <3

  33. I have a huge shower and it doesn’t get cold, even with the A/C going constantly here in Florida.
    I was thinking about your hand held shower. I find it very helpful to have a Shower head Bracket on the grab bar. And yes, they sell them on Amazon. When I’m sitting on my shower bench, i don’t have to constantly hold the the “hand held shower” I just hook it onto the grab bar bracket, adjust the height, and the hand held is next to me, to easily adjust the spray. It’s great if I’m seated and washing my hair. There are a bunch of different sizes to match the diameter of your grab bar. Both you and Matt might find it useful.

  34. It’s looking so good! You’re almost there. ikea has long curtain rods (Hugad) and ceiling mounts (betydlig) for them and I’m pretty sure they sell them in white black or gold.

  35. Hi Kristi, two things: I had a very similar size shower tiled in the exact same way all the way to the ceiling (except for your wonderful baseboard) as well as the 3 walls of the bathroom itself (only 2/3s up instead of all the way). It took the pro FOREVER to do. FOREVER. It took so long I decided not to have the second bath tiled in the same way. I couldn’t bear witnessing the tedious labor. I felt BAD paying someone to do it. Like it was exploitation. Nothing I was paying him was worth the pain of the job. So, I hear ya!

    Second, I also have a large opening into my shower. I was originally going to do glass doors, but I decided that even living alone in my own house with a lock on the bathroom door I was too uptight to have see-through doors on my shower (issues, I know!) so I DID do a white basket-weave textured shower curtain, and it really looks great. My bath was going for a white-neutral monochromatic vibe, and the heavily textured curtain surprisingly elevated the bathroom for me. It’s been 7 years and I still haven’t tired of the curtain. I too love fabric and pattern and texture. Go for it! Always love to see what you are doing.

  36. I enjoy the warmth of the steam also. When i built my walk in shower that was a concern. I didn’t want curtains or glass because i had a 3/4 wall on one side which didn’t help. Point being is that wait until u are done and using shower to see if curtain is necessary. My shower is warm and cozy without. Towel is hanging nearby so when stepping into room, I remain warm. Oh my ceiling is 9 feet or 108 inches making shelf bought impossible……I made one for guest bath. This is a project not a race so take your time!!!!

  37. Can you do a “barn door” functioning shower curtain mounted on the inside back of mural wall so the doorway only gets a curtain when pulled shut? Otherwise it seems like you a shrinking the usable area,of your purposefully large shower :[

  38. We’re not sick of the shower, Kristi.

    We’re supportive of you dealing with a difficult task that’s zapping your creative juices because of the challenges you’re currently facing.

    This shower has turning into a project from hell for you because you keep beating yourself up over it, and so, because it’s making you feel bad, your brain wants to avoid it like the plague.

    But you don’t need to feel bad about it. You’re doing a great job. Things aren’t working out, but that’s not your fault. You’ll get there, and it’ll be awesome when you do.

    Personally, I think you should allow yourself to take a day off and do some creative craft stuff to get your interest and engagement level up again, and then come back at it with a fresh mind.

    Good luck!

  39. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said what I did. There is no excuse, especially since it is such a hard job you are tackling on top of all your other duties and I’m sorry.

    1. Rusty – you’re a bigger person than many others out there by calling out yourself. I commend you!

      Kristie – your shower is looking amazing! I can’t wait to see the entire bathroom finished!

  40. Yea for Matt! So glad he convinced you to post your update on your tiling progress. 🙂
    I have so much admiration for you…that you didn’t “settle” for what you didn’t like and are pushing ahead to make things exactly like you want them to be.

  41. Kristi, the white tiling looks very very nice. I bet youre going to make your own shower rod right? Probably out of a curtain rod.

  42. You should take all the breaks you need, Kristi. This is hard work you’re doing, and when we’re not professionally experienced at a DIY job of this magnitude, the frustration can be off the scale. So yeah, take days off from The Shower. We’ll all be here to celebrate its finish with you -whenever that happens to be! 🙂 As to the “cold” issue, I like the suggestions to see if it really IS an issue, and then consider the options. Get reeeally big towels that you can literally wrap up in; they warm, and help get you dry faster.

  43. I always “hotel-ize” my shower curtains. I use French seams to add a sheer “band” horizontally like hotel shower curtains have. I slice the shower curtain horizontally several inches down from the top edge and insert the band between the two pieces using French seams. I usually use a pretty georgette or chiffon or even something suitable from the curtain department in a thrift store. Hem the sides and voila! I have a perfectly longer shower curtain that’s pretty, lets in light through the sheer “window” and looks custom made. You could pipe the French seams with a handmade contrasting bias tape to add color.

    I always unpick the bottom hem of fabric shower curtains as well. Usually these days that edge is serged. If not, then I use a pinking sheer then zigzag stitch that edge to prevent fraying when I launder it. (I possess no serger.) This unrolled hem edge now allows water to completely drip off of the curtain versus being trapped (mold).

    In my current two bathrooms I just decorated, I ditched the tension poles and installed painted wood closet poles in those pole socket sets you can buy in plastic or wood. (Like you said, better to hang yours from your ceiling.) To hang my interior fabric shower curtain and the pretty outer deco curtain, I used pretty plastic shower curtain rings, only I attached a curtain ring clip to each one. These clips attach all this practical and pretty fabric to the plastic shower curtain rings that (1) I had to make -0- of four million buttonholes for, (2) slide with ease (plastic) across my painted wood pole, (3) are pretty, (4) do not warp when damp or steamy like wood rings might have. I adore how they turned out!

    Can’t wait to see your finished bath!!! I know you can’t wait until it’s done, too!!!

    Kelley Dibble

  44. Have you thought about a hinged rod that you could put inside the shower at the opening and when not I use it will be against the wall inside and will not be seen? I also hate being cold in the shower!

  45. What might be fun (and would probably take some creativity) is to install a rod the entire length of the shower on the inside of the “door way”, so when the curtain is “open” it slides in front of that little wall part you don’t yet have tiled. Kinda like a barn door concept, except when a curtain. Then you could hang any color curtain you wanted! The bathroom looks great, btw!