Former Shower… New Closet!

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If you recall, we recently changed around my mom’s master bathroom by removing the garden tub and adding in a 6 foot shower in its place. We also removed the stand-up shower that had been there, and were planning on changing that into an open linen closet.

This is what it looked like after the shower was removed:

The plumbers were really nice and actually put the original drywall from by the garden tub area back up in this space, but since we told them we’d be finishing it off ourselves, they left it like this:

My mom bought some shiplap to put over the drywall. She painted it the same green color so it would blend in more with the surrounding walls. We started at the bottom of the back wall, measuring out the shiplap and nail-gunning (is that a word?) it in.

The cool thing about this shiplap is that you can hang it on one side and have the natural shiplap gap; or you can flip it over and hang it so there is no gap and it looks more like paneling. My mom opted for the no-gap way, so you just see the crease between the wood pieces where they meet. She didn’t want it to look too farmhouse-ish, since it’s not really the style of her house.

One piece of advice: do you see that pencil line going vertically? Stephen marked where the studs were, so that he knew where to nail in each time we went up a level.

This part was time consuming, because you had to measure the wall each time. The walls were not perfectly straight, so each measurement was off anywhere from 1/16 to 3/4 of an inch. So we would measure, go and cut a long piece, and then come back to hang it.

The crazy lighting shadows you see are from a beautiful antique crystal chandelier she has hanging in her bathroom, because… why not?? 😉 It’s from the early 1900s and adds a cool look to the bathroom. You can see it in the previous post about removing the garden tub.

Then, we worked on the sides! This was easier with the wood, because we cut all the wood to be the exact same length (so they would match where they would end up on each side). We cut 32 pieces of the shiplap ahead of time.

However, this was harder in another way… the right wall was easy peasy, but the left wall was not at all straight. Most of it was because of the drywall not being put back on straight. The bottom 1/3 of the wall curved in, so we had to figure out the best way to fill the gaps between the shiplap and the wall so that the shiplap could be nailed in!

It’s hard to see, but this is where it curved in.

We noticed how bad it was once we put the bottom shiplap piece in. We decided to wood-glue shims (thin pieces of wood to fill in the gap) on the back where the nails would go. Tip: Stephen said he always brings a spare 2×4 with him whenever he is doing a project. He said there are so many ways to use a 2×4, and they can usually help in unplanned situations. In this case, he could easily cut shims from it.

Luckily, we only had to do this for the first 4 boards, and then the wall started to straighten out!

It turned out pretty straight in the end!

Once the shiplap was done, we used 2×2 wood to create cleats for the shelves to sit on. First, we measured out where my mom wanted the shelves to go- that’s the nice thing about custom shelving, you can make it to however you want it! Stephen wood-glued AND screwed them into the shiplap/drywall. He made sure to hit a stud with a screw on each cleat. We hung them on one side, and then used a spare piece of wood and a level to install them equally on the other side.

We also installed cleats along the back wall to give the shelves extra support.

My mom painted a second coat on all the green before we hung the shelves. We also hung wood trim along the sides of the shiplap on the side walls. This helped cover some of the not-perfect drywall and also hid the edging of the shiplap.

The final step was to install the shelving. Stephen measured each shelf spot individually and cut them to size. These were 1×8 boards, and there were two per level to form a ~16″ deep shelf. He screwed the boards into each cleat.

My mom painted a little more…

Here is the final product!

Her bathroom went from a tiny shower and completely wasted space with the garden tub (since she was never going to use it!) to a bigger shower and functional storage space! I love how the shiplap boards turned out- they add some character without being completely noticeable.


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