We're finishing up some of the last, lingering projects here and are close to calling the house "finished" (after which, I'm going to have to find a new project... I've a completely disassembled vintage motorcycle in my garage that might serve well there).
In this case, our friend Sean surprised us with a "mind if I crash?" note a few weeks ago. I was thrilled to see him (and I don't use that word often), but we had just had TJ and Stefan over to demo the remaining part of the hall bath which left any guest shower-less. As they say, nothing like a quick deadline to get you motivated, and we hopped into action to finish off the bath.
Rather than Hardie-board coated with RedGard like I used in the Master-shower, I opted to use GPs DensGuard (Lowe's version of DensShield) since the walls aren't as integral to the overall space. DensGuard is a paperless gypsum board similar to DensGlass, but with a waterproof membrane pre-applied on one side. The panels are rigid, light and cut easily -- much easier to work with for the average DIYer than Hardie or Durock -- I even thought it was easier to handle than regular drywall. I used the last bit of RedGard on the seams to make sure everything was nice and water-tight and applied the 3X6 while subway tile with standard (white) Versabond. After working with the DensGuard, I'd feel confident recommending it to anyone tackling a similar job. I might have even opted to use it in the Master-shower -- it would have saved some hassle and expense in cutting and coating.
Another interesting option would be Kerdi-board by Schluter... Mike Holmes (whose advice I trust) is a big fan of the Kerdi product and it makes a lot of sense. However, it isn't as readily available and with the traditional, standard Kerdi membrane, initial install is much more difficult than simply painting something on (or buying something with the membrane pre-applied). This is a great example of bird-in-hand. If Lowes or Home Depot carried Schluter products I'd have picked up the Kerdi board, but heading to DalTile in Union City is less than fun (only because it's a long drive over a busy route)... so, like 90% of home-renovators, we used what was readily available.
The overall install went very smoothly. There's always some stress when dealing with trimming tiles while there's thinset drying on the wall, but with Casie's help, we had the space tiled in a few hours.
Like in the Master-shower, we opted for Porcher's now-discontinued Marc Newson-designed line of fixtures. The knobs on these are knurled, but otherwise have no indentations or grip. I can see that with aging (or soapy) hands this becoming a problem and it's likely the reason these were discontinued... a perfect example of something that looks smashing, but doesn't perform well. I might eventually have to tap a simple, small stainless or acrylic shaft/nub into the bottom of the knob for extra grip, but that's not an urgent project.
Another nice element: We opted to keep the original tub: (1) tubs are heavy and hard to get in/out and (2) the original tub kept the original nine (yes, nine) kids clean... I'm not sure how they scheduled showers in the house, but I sort of consider something that saw this much use yet still looks great as a bit of the "soul" of the house. There's one small chip in the glazing that happened during demo (doh!), but that should be easy enough to patch.
Also, while the walls were open, we were able to run a new light to the exterior of the house outside the bathroom door -- making that side of the house a bit brighter at night.