We finally overcame our shower door dilemma! Andrew cut the new wall jambs that we ordered and put everything back together. It was pretty simple this time since we’d already done all the prep work. Once it was all back together, all that was left for it to be usable was caulking.
When caulking a wet area like a bathtub, you have to use a caulk that’s mold and mildew resistant. There probably are some mold/mildew resistant latex caulks, but even still silicone has some other redeeming qualities. It doesn’t shrink or crack like latex and will stay flexible longer. It’s more work up front, but definitely the better option for a bathtub. We used a white latex caulk for the baseboards and trim, though, because it’s so much easier to work with and to clean up. (Latex is water clean-up, but silicone requires mineral spirits).
Unfortunately, our only tube of white silicone caulk had been opened before and the caulk dried in the tip (the plastic caps they come with do not keep air out). We had to cut the tip even more to remove the dried caulk, so the bead was much bigger than we really needed. Even though I wasted a lot of caulk wiping away the huge bead, it’s still cheaper than buying a new tube! I squeezed a bead of caulk along the edge, working in sections of a couple feet at a time.
Since the tip was so big, I used my finger to push the caulk into the joint as I smoothed the bead. Then I wiped away the extra caulk with a rag dampened with mineral spirits. I read later that smoothing the caulk with mineral spirits might actually change the chemical makeup of the caulk and cause it not to cure up as well. I couldn’t find very much information about this, though, and lots of other sites recommended doing this. So I might have screwed this up majorly, or it could be no big deal. I’m guessing over time we’ll find out! As far as appearances go, though, I think it looks pretty awesome!
Since we had a bead of caulk under the horizontal piece along the tub (you can see that process here), I didn’t caulk the front edge of that. If it ever does leak it’s an easy fix. If it’s not needed, though, I thought it would look better without. I also didn’t caulk the inside of the bottom piece because as water splashes into the jambs or along the bottom piece, it needs a way out. It will naturally flow down the jamb and under the bottom piece, so it needs to be open so the water can run back into the tub and the area stays dry and mildew-free.
I decided to go with the white caulk instead of clear because the clear always ends up looking more foggy than clear. Since the tile is white, I figured the white caulk would just blend in and actually appear less noticeable than the
clear foggy caulking. And I think I was right.
So now hopefully the shower doors are up to stay! And in 12 or 24 hours (can’t remember what the tube said) the caulk will be dry and the shower can be used! Just in time for my family visiting this weekend.
We’ve also done a couple other finishing touches in the bathroom. We finally got around to installing the switch plate and outlet covers. But first let’s just look back at where we started and see how far we’ve come. Here’s what we were working with:
Yikes! A few weeks after starting our reno, I saw these same switch plates on an episode of House Hunters, but the lady loved them! One man’s junk…or maybe she just had bad taste. Or maybe I have bad taste?! And in process:
Scary, right? But now, we have this.
These are Allen + Roth from Lowe’s. We liked the simplicity of the design and chose brushed nickel to match the other finishes. We also bought a brushed nickel shower caddy from Target.
I don’t love these, but our tub was designed to be as big as possible while still fitting in a standard space, so that means no space around the outside. We probably won’t store much in the caddy, but we want guests to have somewhere to put bottles without constantly having them fall off the edges of the tub.
While at Target I snatched up these cute washcloths. They were 8 for $5! Pretty cheap if you ask me. We hadn’t bought matching washcloths with our plush, pricey towels because, well, they were expensive! And we don’t want to have to stress if they get dirty.
Half are plain and half have this fun, zig-zaggy pattern.
Now that we’re finally getting these finishing touches done, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Our 1 year anniversary of being in our house is August 19 (Sunday), so our goal is to be done by then. Since my family will be here over the weekend, though, we don’t have much time! But in the words of the always-inspiring Bob the Builder: Can we fix it? Yes, we can!