First we ripped everything down to the studs. We found that the leak had seeped into the walls which was causing the cracking tile; gross.
We also found some things that are worrisome. It looks like whoever did this reno back in the day cut some corners along the way.
The image above shows where the shelf was. There should be a piece of wood running across the top to support the studs and ceiling above. There's not...
When I saw that I felt like that guy on HGTV's Income Property when he finds something not to code and says- "We have to stop work right now!" Anyway we fixed it and it's all good now.
Next was gypsum board and Hardi Board. We had gyp laid along the walls and the water proof Hardi Board was laid in the shower. No more plaster and wire walls in this bathroom!
To save money and time we kept the existing floor. It's in good shape and was laid in concrete- so I didn't even want to try ripping it out. Plus the penny tile is reminescent of the older style of the house.
My original plan was to save the penny tile accent band to match the floor. We took it out very carefully but it doesn't seem that we'll be able adhere it back on the wall in sections like we wanted.
If we want to use the tile again we'd have to take it all apart and put it back piece by piece. I'm not down with that- so we scrapped the accent band. I didn't see anything that matched the floor well enough to use.
We're laying the tile tomorrow and our bathroom should be back in business soon!!!