Choice words help with tub project

remodeling a bathroom
(Metro Creative Connections photo)

The nice thing about regular text updates from our bank on the state of our bank balance is that I get to see just exactly what the six trips to the hardware store cost us yesterday.

We made six trips because we are doing plumbing in this old house. By “we” I mean Mr. Wonderful, of course.

Frankly, six trips might sound excessive to some, but to us it is actually a testament to what 20 years of experience can do. A decade ago that would’ve been 10 trips, easy.

Making trips

Checking our balance, it appears that we made six trips at a cost of approximately $4 per muttered profanity, if my math is correct. Alert readers will recall that we completely renovated both of our bathrooms within the last 2 1/2 to 3 years.

I say three years because it makes me feel marginally better about the fact that I am replacing a bathtub so new I’m not entirely sure I got all the manufacturer’s sticker goo off of it yet.

As with most things, we have a lot of experience in this area. Not necessarily because we want to have lots of experience in this area. Mr. wonderful and I have officially crossed over into the point in our lives where we have lost count of how many bathrooms we have remodeled. True story.

If you count this old house, our prior old house, and a couple of rentals, I actually cannot tell you how many times I have had to stare at a bathroom display trying to decide if a $300 faucet really can change my life.

For the record, not really. I will assure you, however, that super cheap faucets definitely can, and not for the better. It wasn’t long ago that we realized that our brand-new acrylic bathtub (I’m pretty sure that means “plastic” in just a fancier and more expensive term) had a crack.

Not a crack along the seam, or the base, or anywhere we can repair. It cracked along the back of the curve.

Breaking a bathtub

I would like to believe that no one in the history of time has ever broken a bathtub clean through the bottom. We have elevated our ability to not have nice things to an art form.

Ironically, I was walking through my dining room surveying my castle, and feeling pretty good about the state of affairs around here, when the dam broke. Everything was bright, fresh, and basically picked up — it was pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

Dripping wet. I stopped in the dining room, and smiled to myself, surveying the kingdom of (rare) gleaming cleanliness. Then a single drop of water splashed into my forearm. In the dining room. Drip. Drip?

My forearm was wet. You would think one would look up quickly but now I know. It is best to face your fears slowly. I raised my eyes upward and didn’t even gasp. There was a fairly large dark stain and clearly wet stain spreading across the dining room ceiling.

Of course there was. This is not my first wet ceiling. Heck, this isn’t my first wet ceiling this year.

I naively thought this would be a no-big-deal project. I mean we just replaced all the plumbing. It’s nice and tight. It has all been standardized.

I would run to Tubs R Us and buy a new tub. Pop it in and go! Easy peasy!

No. Not ever. Of course. The new tub supposedly standard in size, was not. It was just a little bit off. Or maybe the not-so-old tub was? Whatever. No problem.

Mr. wonderful is so handy. How hard could it be to just squeeze it in?

Making it work

I mean, if there is anything known for its flexibility, it’s porcelain and steel, right? Fourteen hours and six trips to the hardware store and a dark cloud of questionable language later, the bathtub wars were not going well.

My side was losing. Eventually, through sheer will and no end of threats, the tub and shower were installed. We have high hopes that this tub is built to last.

A waterfall indoors, while certainly a conversation piece, is one idea that just doesn’t hold water.



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