DIY Bath Or Shower Remodel Horror Stories

February 10, 2023

Avoid These DIY Bath And Shower Remodel Horror Stories In Your San Diego Area Home

A Professional Bathroom Contractor Will Save You Time And Money During A Shower Remodel And More

You know you’ve thought about it – San Diego DIY bathroom remodeling. You’ve watched the YouTube videos and scoured Pinterest for ideas. You may think the process doesn’t seem too complicated and decide to tackle the project yourself – believing you’ll save money and time. But over the years, we’ve heard many DIY horror stories from San Diego homeowners.

Because a quality bath or shower remodel is much more intricate and complicated than most people think, the process requires expertise, trained installers, and hands-on knowledge.

A professional crew thoroughly demos everything down to the studs, fixes underlying issues, and rebuilds with a strong foundation. Their expertise brings efficiency and precision – quickly getting you back to your daily life. Here are the most common issues we see when fixing DIY bathroom jobs in San Diego homes.

Not Correcting Underlying Issues

Leaving underlying issues unaddressed and replacing the old bathtub or shower with a new one is one of the biggest mistakes when doing a DIY bathroom remodel. When a bathtub or shower is removed, the studs and insulation behind the areas often need repairs, which we address.

Sometimes structural elements behind wet areas – such as studs, subfloor, and joists – are damaged from prior poor installation and must be replaced before rebuilding. We’ve all watched our televisions in horror at those “bathtub crashing-through-the-floor” scenes. Don’t let this dreadful scenario happen to you!

A safe and secure structural foundation is essential in setting yourself up for success. Without knowing what exactly to look for, you leave your shower or tub remodel vulnerable to quick deterioration and potential structural danger.

Failing To Waterproof The Walls Behind The Wet Area

Most DIY shower or bathtub remodelers simply replace the old with the new. However, when this is done, many amateurs fail to waterproof the walls behind their wet area fully. This makes your remodel susceptible to mold, moisture retention, wood rot, and structural damage.

Complete waterproofing includes four layers of protection:

  • Quality waterproof backer board
  • A new high-quality shower pan
  • Installing inside corner strips (essentially flashing on walls that cover the seam where water might get through)
  • Non-porous shower or tub material (If used, additional steps may be needed.)

Each piece is crucial to the integrity of your installation. With a professional installation, your contractor will ensure each of these layers is in place to protect your subfloor and walls from water damage.

Installing The New Tub After The Wall Surround

Many overzealous DIYers get excited about their new wall surround, prematurely completing their tile work or bath enclosure before installing the bathtub. When you install your new surround before the tub, it’s much more challenging to get your tub in place and attach it correctly to the wall studs.

DIYers have also completed their new and beautiful wall surround, only to damage it once they try to move their new tub in. The wrong move can easily crack a tile, ruin grouting work, and essentially disregard everything you just did.

Forgetting To Turn Off The Water

As you can imagine, forgetting to turn the water off can be disastrous when doing plumbing work and make for a whole day of cleaning and possible water-damage repairs. It’s a simple task in the installation process that many DIYers forget to do.

Incorrect Plumbing

Attempting to do your own plumbing work is a major undertaking. Multiple plumbing components go into shower or tub replacement, and if any of the steps are done incorrectly, you run the risk of minor to significant water damage.

In many cases, improper plumbing creates leaks that you may not even notice. The best way to ensure the plumbing works properly is to replace the p trap, replace the valve, and ensure the drain and overflow are brand new and from a reputable supplier. Make sure to water test the drain and the valve prior to finishing install.

These steps are done in a specific order for a reason, and if done incorrectly, they can lead to leaks and malfunctions.

Not Leveling The Floor Before Installation

This horror story is hard to watch – a young couple attempts their first DIY home project, replacing their old tub with a new one. They do everything right, including gutting the old wet area, preparing the improved one, waterproofing, and plumbing. Except, they forgot one vital step: ensuring their floor was level before installing their tub.

When they go to enjoy their new tub, the water gravitates to one side, and it’s not an easy fix. As you can guess, it requires pulling your tub back out and leveling the floor before. To avoid this common mistake, level the floor in all directions when rebuilding the subfloor and joists.

If you do not need to replace those items, and your floor still needs to level, you can pour a self-leveling underlayment down to create a level foundation or use shims for minor adjustments.

Skip The Horror And Use A Proven San Diego Bathroom Remodeling Company

At Shugarman’s Bath, we’ve seen the worst of DIY shower or tub remodels in San Diego and want to save you the agony these projects induce. Our process involves stripping your whole wet area down to the studs and fixing any underlying issues, including plumbing, before installing your new tub or shower.

We also use our 4-layer “Never Leak” system, which involves a superior waterproof DensShield backer board, a new high-quality shower pan, installing inside corner strips, and our non-porous BP-Cor2 material, ensuring your walls behind your wet area stay dry.

The best part is your bath or shower remodel or tub-to-shower conversion can be done in as little as 1–2 days when you work with Shugarman’s Bath. Plus, your remodel is backed by a lifetime guarantee – something your DIY project can’t offer.

Call us today for a free estimate before starting your next bath or shower remodeling project!