Bathrooms should always be functional before all else, so if you’re considering reworking the layout, keep functionality in mind. Make sure there’s enough clearance for the shower door and cabinet doors, don’t place a toilet next to a tub if you can avoid it, make sure there’s a place for a toilet paper holder near the toilet, and don’t forget about electrical outlets near the counter.

After removing your shower head and handle, cover your shower floor with newspaper. Take your hammer and chisel and start from the bottom corner. Gently place the chisel on the side of tile and use your hammer to push the tile out. Start gently. As you move on, you may have to use some real elbow grease to get these tiles out. Once all tile has been removed, chisel off any remaining mortar as well.


The special-order fixtures, fittings, shower pan, tile and glass block panel can take weeks to get in hand, so do the necessary legwork and ordering well in advance. Before gutting the bathroom, check to make sure that there are shutoffs for all the fixtures or a master shutoff for the entire bathroom. If not, buy ball valve shutoffs sized to fit your pipes. Then turn off the main water supply line where it comes into the house from outside, cut the pipes feeding the bathroom and install the new shutoffs right away (see Photo 7). 
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