Water Damaged Bathroom

While this basement apartment was vacant, the bathroom was subject to an ongoing leak from above. The water ran down the ceiling and trickled behind the tile wall. The concrete sub surface had turned to powder and accumulated at the bottom. This caused the tiles to crack and the wall to blow out.


Before getting started on this project, we ascertained that the leak was fixed.


This wasn’t a paying job, but a rent exchange, and the costs were coming out of the pocket of yours truly. It was important to finish the bathroom within a reasonable budget without crossing over into the spectrum of sub standard workmanship. Fortunately, there were some materials left behind, and there was no rush to finish the job.


Notice the white tile on the bottom. There had been prior repairs, and the previous contractor didn’t match with the baby blue. Since it is already mismatched, it would not be such a sin to use different colors in that size, while maintaining the staggered pattern.


The entire wall along with a portion of the other side had to be removed. The lower wall was a concrete slab which was in good shape – there was no need to remove it. The upper section was deteriorated green-board framed with wood that had rotted. It was removed and rebuilt with 2 x 4s, and cement-board.

The section on the faucet side was carefully prepared with fir strips, cement-board, and fiber-mesh tape.

The entire surface was made flush with a combination of thin-set mortar and portland cement.



I was fortunate enough to score 12 sq. ft. of 4 x 4 tile for free: cobalt blue, flamingo pink, and a few pieces of white. The design was layed out on the floor prior to installation.



After marking the wall with level lines, the tiles were set with thin-set mortar and a toothed trowel. Some of the baby blues were salvageable, and helped to tie the design together by wrapping random pieces around the corners.

I scored some free grout – just enough to finish the project. A mixture of white, platinum, and gray was used. ( white grout should always be avoided because it has a tendency to yellow.)



On the window sill, the original tile was over-layed with cemen-tboard and epoxy. Tile scraps were used to correct the pitch of the window sill.

The edge of the cement-board was cut flush with the wall tile; to allow for flush installation of the tile strip.



I came across three 12” squares of granite, (very difficult to cut) and set them with thinset, allowing a ¾ inch overhang, and a slight pitch into the tub.

The cut strips of granite were used to fill in the space on the upper wall.

Black unsanded grout was used on the tile seams, and clear silicone was used around the wall edges.

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Water Damaged Bathroom

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