Improper plumbing & trying to remodel bathroom/laundry

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Thanks, Ekrig. I think it will be easier to do the 1/4" gap on the right side. If the shower wall has to sit higher to match the height of the back wall then I can cover the gap with Instatrim. I plan to put aquadefense on the entire back of the cementboards as an extra precaution (plus I want to use the stuff up so it isn't wasted).
My arm is feeling a little better (still not 100%) so I was able to adjust the back cement board and get it perfectly level. I used wooden slats and craft sticks for shims as they seemed to work better than the plastic shims. Then I moved another cement board over to the side wall to dry fit. It needs to bump over a little more but I'm just setting it in place for now. I used tape so it doesn't fall over. Later on I'll adjust it to be shimmed on the bottom and side. 1/4" gap for bottom, 1/8" for side. Once I have it in place properly I can dry fit the wall panels and mark where to cut.
I think once I have the side board fully in place I will put in a few screws to hold it so I can remove shims and dry fit the wall panels. I will have to move some things to have room to put the other cement board up on the opposite wall. I my do that in the morning.

If all goes as planned, friend will come over Saturday morning to help. I'm not sure if I trust myself to try to cut the boards because I can't even draw straight with a ruler. LOL.
Got another board up and got it level. Went back and leveled the other one. I'm noticing the back board is leaning a bit so I will have to adjust that after I adjust the other boards. Those damn slippery plastic shims don't like to stay in place. My hideous ceiling tiles are actually visible in the first shot.

Apparently I forgot to remove the level. LOL. I did check with the longer level but it kept falling on my head when I was trying to make adjustments. I only have 2 screws in the side boards and the left one is warped. I will have to put in more screws to straighten it out. I had to dry fit the side panels to mark the edge so I would know where the screws would have to go. Stupid pencil broke on me though.
I just noticed there is an L on the left board and I didn't write it. It just formed on its own somehow. LOL.
Will do another dry fit after getting the top back board up but no way in hell am I attempting that one by myself.
I've already screwed up enough on this bathroom project. :p
Ok, I know you mean put screws in. The panel on the left still needs more adjustment. Friend is coming over in the morning to help me with it. I just did a dry fit of one of the wall panels and marked around it-- making sure it was completely level and plumb. I'm going to end up with a larger gap on the right side than I'd anticipated so I will have to figure out some thing for filling it in. I'll figure something out. Pics will come later.
No. I hope she's doing ok. I hope that nothing is wrong and that she's just busy with work.

I can give more details on the process later, but we got vapor barrier up, cementboards cut to size, holes for controls & showerhead drilled through with a small bit & filled with toothpicks so we can find holes from the opposite side. Currently the surround is dry-fitted up.

It is flexible enough that I didn't need to shim it. I may reserve the instatrim for a different project, but we'll see. Need to take the surround down, do aquadefense on edges of cement board, get L-bead trim in place, cut the hole needed for the controls, and some other stuff but brain is not working right now.
This was before we put all of the screws in- the blue tape was to indicate where it was and was not safe to put screws. It was set aside while the barrier went up and then was put back in place.
I was so busy working that I didn't take the time to get a pic with the side boards up before the surround was dry-fitted.1682805795036.png
I need to vacuum again & do some other cleanup. I'll have to measure to know where exact center of the space is and find exact center of the back wall panel. It manages to fit together without shimming. I'm going to hit all of the edges and seams of the cement board with aquadefense. Then I'll tape over and apply thinset. I'll have to move some things around to have more room for thinset and cover everything up so nothing gets splattered with the thinset.

I'm still tired and sore so for now I'm posting pics I took after my nap.

Yup, it is looking nice in there. Sadly, I will have to take that surround down to do taping and thinset.
I took a 10' piece of trim and cut it to 58" (the height of the surround and did a test fit to see how it would look on the edge.
Cropped it so the ugly corner of the walls doesn't distract the eye:
I may leave the tearaway strip on and just add a very thin bit of caulk to sort of glue it to the side of the surround because it actually looks nice when pressed against it.
It currently has tape holding it in place. I'm going to add more tape to secure it to that spot and draw a line on the cementboard where the edge that gets thinset will go so it will be easier to line it up later. I want to hit those edges with aquadefense before securing the trim completely.1682858862672.png
I vacuumed while the wall panels were still up, then removed them. Stupid shopvac blew fine dust all up in the air so I had to vacate and let it settle. Need to find a new filter for it. It has one in, but apparently its not good enough. I don't want to mess with Aquadefense with dust in the air. I still need to vacuum again, let dust settle, wipe dust away-- maybe with a tack cloth-- and trim some plastic. I might see if there is a small stepstool taller than my tub edge that I can fit in there to do aquadefense on the top of the cementboards. I really need to get a screen for my window so I can open it to air the room out, but that is low priority.
I took several pictures but decided this one was the best one to post.
I have 2 coats of aquadefense on now but I took pics after 1st coat. I used a cementboard screw to pop holes through the cement board from the closet side. I put toothpicks through the holes to locate them more easily.

Once my back is cooperating with me I will have to dig out the thinset bag, find instructions on water to powder ratio, pick a bucket to mix it in, and apply it. After taping of course. Mentioned to my friend I was worried about the taping. He said "At least its not adhesive" and then I said "But it is!" LOL. I tend to get adhesive stuff tangled. You can see from my painter's tape how much I suck with tape. LOL.

I've marked the center of the surround back panel. Need to mark center of walls next. I also need to make sure I transfer marks for my corner grab bar so I don't forget. I seem to have misplaced the screws that came with it so I'll have to search for them. They are either in the box or in a bucket or something.
Got the mesh tape on. It's sloppy but hopefully will be ok. The surround has sort of rounded inside corners so it should be forgiving. Taped over the screws and even some holes I didn't like.
I did get the trim on the right side stapled up but don't have good pics yet. Need to pull staples on the left side as the panel slipped when I was trying to align stuff. It has to get bumped in a bit more.
Hopefully the trim will still fit properly when I get thinset on. If not I can peel the tear away strips off.
I got the L-bead trim all secured with staples.
I brought the bag of thinset in but I will have to clean up, organize things, make sure I have all of my tools readily available and easy to reach, have the floor, tub, walls, etc all protected from splatter, figure out the mixing ratio, and hope I don't mess it up.
What's with all the blue painter's tape?
What's with all the blue painter's tape?
I initially used it to try to hold the trim in place and also to try to hold the wallset in place. Some of it was used to mark where the shims were behind the cement board so we would know where to drive screws, but we moved the tape out of the way.
I started removing some of it. There is a piece near the left wall panel with arrows that indicates the shims at grab bar height.

Coordination is too cruddy right now to even try to organize my tools and move stuff in the bathroom. Hoping when I'm feeling better I can work on it some more. At least get things organized and find everything I need.

When I work on the thinset I'm going to have to pack some up under the right side upper trim (or temporarily pull trim away (I've only secured it at 2 points) to get that wall plumb. When I put the level up on the wall, holding it at where the trim sits away from the board in the middle makes it plumb..
So, with the warmer weather, my lack of skill/experience, and the fast setting time I found that I made too large of a batch. And it needs more water than they said it did. I'm doing a half batch next time but have to get a new bucket. It stuck to the bucket. I really sucked at putting the stuff on, but I am so glad I kept a bucket of water nearby. That let me rinse stuff off and wet the mix a bit more. I washed my tools off afterward but decided to get more sizes of the blades. As the mix was getting dryer and I was having more trouble getting it to spread I started dipping my gloved hand in water and then grabbing the stuff straight out of the bucket, slapping it on the wall, and then spreading with the knife (I also dipped the knife in water which seemed to help. Some of my tape over the screws moved, but it turned out ok because the mud still stuck over. I'm hoping I won't have to do a 2nd coat of mud but I'm sure I'll need to do touch-ups.

This was as far as I got before the mix got too hard to take out of the bucket (even though I put a lid on it):
Crap, I forgot to rinse that green bucket scraper thingy.
Shouldn't be too big of a deal I hope.

Doing half the mix tomorrow and possibly putting a bag in the bucket to keep stuff from sticking to the sides. We'll see if that technique works. Need to charge the drill battery.
I used icewater for the mortar this time and mixed it in a bag. It made it harder to stir and I ended up with some lumps, but it lasted longer. Long enough for me to get the rest of the trim, tape, and such covered. Its sloppy as hell, but better than nothing and I'm satisfied. I will check to make sure everything seems secure once it dries. My back stated being hateful while I was mixing so I need to rest for a bit. Hoping I won't need to do touch-ups. If I do, I will make an even smaller batch and probably just mix it in the thingamabob that holds the mortar.
You may recall I had a big ugly scrape/gouge in my tub's enamel.
With the repair kit (even though I botched it) it looks like this:
From across the room you can't even see it. Even sitting on the toilet nearby its hard to see. I'm going to clean it up with a dremel (or see if my friend can since he has more experience with a dremel) and test out some of the other colors in the kit to see if there is a closer match. If so, I'll use that type and smooth it out better. I found it stays wet for hours unless the blue light is used on it. I'll us the blue light once it is smoother, then sand & polish it, and maybe put some turtle was over it.

I still think its funny that when I first got the tub cleaned my brother thought it was a new tub.
You may recall I had a big ugly scrape/gouge in my tub's enamel.

With the repair kit (even though I botched it) it looks like this:
Is that an enamel repair kit?
I still think its funny that when I first got the tub cleaned my brother thought it was a new tub.
You can have a new tub every day by just keeping it clean!

Your project is looking good! Your in a perfect position right now to tile...but I know you already have the surround.

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