Splish Splash – The Shower Walls

December 15, 2017

After what seems like an eternity, we finally got around to putting up our shower walls. We finished the shower floor around a year ago, but other projects needed to be taken care of before we could tackle the walls. Finally, it was time to finish up the shower and the plumbing fixtures. We’ve been pretty excited about these walls for a while, so it was really fun to see them finally go up and complete our vision.

We decided to use aluminum sheets of metal for our walls. This was quite an undertaking, and it took quite a bit of prep work to make sure everything would work out smoothly. Before any metal could even come close to the shower, we needed to put up walls of waterproof paneling as extra insurance against water damage. This panelling also closed in the spray foam and provided extra support for the sheets of metal. We also painted the ceiling white and used an extra waterproof sealer just to make sure everything was good to go when water splashes on it.

The white, sealed ceiling

Putting up the water-resistant panelling

I was super picky about how I wanted the metal to look…surprise, surprise. We decided, for a bunch of different reasons, this was a job for professionals. That meant the real planning began! We couldn’t get the pros involved unless we had a plan drawn up, so that’s exactly what we did. We measured each wall down to the tiniest detail. Eric then took those measurements and created a 3-d rendering of the shower. We took the rendering and our measurements to a local metal shop to see what they could do.

3D rendering of the complete shower

The north shower wall with measurements

The east shower wall, which was the easiest to install, obviously.

The west shower wall, which was pretty difficult to get in place due to the rigid bend along the left side which was made to cap a piece of wood framing the shower.

The threshold of the shower.

After working out all the details, the metal shop got to work making our shower panels. I’m sure they thought I was a nut, but they were very helpful. Once I picked up the metal sheets, Eric and I were super excited to see how everything would look. It definitely took some work to get the shower panels into the shower correctly. We also had to do quite a bit of trimming on the metal to get it to go around the exposed beams on the shower ceiling. We simply made a pattern out of cardboard and cut the metal to match. Working in such a tight space already makes things tough, but we were trying to get giant pieces of metal to fit like puzzle pieces. Plus, some of the metal was bent (on purpose to fit certain spots in the shower) so that made it very difficult to shimmy into place. I don’t have any pictures of us putting the metal into the shower because it was all hands on deck, but I can tell you it was pretty frustrating-slash-funny.

Here’s what our conversations went like during the metal install….

Eric: “Stop pushing the metal! Just let go of it.”

Emily: *lets go of metal*

Eric: *starts pushing metal but it’s not working* To Emily “Why aren’t you pushing the metal??!”

Emily: *facepalm*

Now just imagine that conversation about 14 times in a row for each panel of the shower. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. It was 27 times in row. I was laughing about it the whole time (Eric was not) but in the end we got everything in place! We screwed angle aluminum in the corners to hold all the metal sheets in place.

The north panel was put in place easy enough. The plastic wrap is still on the metal to protect it while installing the other panels.

The cardboard pattern we used to cut the metal for the exposed beams on the ceiling.

Cutting out the pattern

The cut metal

It fits!

Eric is testing out if he has enough space to get clean in there.

The west wall panel. This was vey hard to get into place because of the bend shown in this picture. It made the wall very rigid, so it was hard to shimmy into place.

This picture was the best I could do of trying to show how the metal needs to cap the frame of the shower, while also fitting into the spaces between the exposed beams. Very tricky!

It finally fit in there. Whew! We also had to cut holes out for the pipes to come through. Everything about this panel was difficult!

A sneak peak of the metal behind the plastic cover!

Once the metal was in, it was time to get the shower fixtures on and running water ’em. Because we like to torture ourselves, we decided to make our own “industrial” shower fixture. This was really like a puzzle because every pipe not only had to match the right length, but also screw on the correct way to make sure there wouldn’t be any leaks. It was like a cruel joke that every time we tightened one pipe and its connection, another would come loose. Finally, finally, we got the pipes connected and squeezed together as tight as possible. We connected our shower head to the fixtures and attached a holder to keep the shower head in place, and the shower was complete!!!

Working on the fixtures now.

Tightening everything up to make sure we don’t have any leaks.

The finished industrial fixture with the connected shower head hose.

The shower head holder

Yey! The shower is finished!

The metal came to us with protective plastic wrap on it, and let me tell you, it was super fun peeling that stuff off ad seeing the shiny metal underneath. I think I mentioned in an Instagram post that I painted over our diamond patterned floor with the same midnight blue as the kitchen cabinets, and I couldn’t love the look of the shower any more. The blue really pops next the shiny metal, the the walls look super cool.





1 Comment

  • Reply Kerry Melcher June 21, 2018 at 6:18 PM

    Watching my husband install the aluminum ceiling in a bathroom right now – can’t wait to build a whole shower similar to yours

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