Time Thief

Friday, September 08, 2006

When the going gets tough, the unmotivated lie down

Long ago in a land far away, I started remodeling my first floor bathroom. Once I finally got started, I set the arbitrary deadline of the beginning of June. I knew there would be people visiting and having two bathrooms would be A Good Thing. It soon became apparent that it just wasn't going to happen. So, I revised my goal. To have a toilet installed and working by then. Really, this was sort of a necessity because who wants to stumble around in the middle of the night when:

* You have to pee
* You're in a sleep-induced stupor
* You're in a strange house
* The closest bathroom is up a set of steep, winding stairs and through a room where someone else is sleeping.

I actually made this deadline! Yay! The fact that I had to remove and re-install the toilet the morning of my guests' arrival is not important. I still made the deadline and even got the seat mostly installed about an hour before anyone showed up. Yay me!

Then, something happened. I didn't have a looming deadline. There was nothing pushing me to keep going. There was nothing to barrel me through the frustrating moments. The cats didn't care if it was finished or not, so they were more than happy to lounge all over me, preventing me from getting any work done.

Yeah, that was A Bad Thing.

So, last weekend when the towel bars arrived and I finished painting the siding patch on the exterior, I could finally call it "done". Only 3 months after I completed the toilet install. Only a few of you out there have any idea how wonderful it was to check 'finish bathroom' off the list. (You know who you are.) Here are some lowlights and one highlight (the end).

First, the exterior. The patch was tedious and time-consuming, but didn't take too much brain power. Here is the closest thing to a "before", but it's really a during.

Because who am I kidding, this is the real "before":

And now:

No one will ever know.

Now, back inside.... A while back I blabbered on and on about having trouble cutting the mitres for the shelf rail pieces to fit in the corner. It's all about the angles. I figured that out in short-order after I conferred with my mom's hubby to validate my suspicions. (Yes, my mom's hubby would be my step-dad, but since they didn't get married until I was nearly finished with college, it just doesn't fit.) Anyway... soon after they left, I tried out making some wedges to set the pieces on as I drove them through the tile saw.

Wow! It worked! Just a little filing on the edges to get the gap looking closer to even.

Mom's hubby also pointed out that I'm an idiot because I installed all but the corner pieces, thereby making it impossible to put the corners in. Like so:

Now, he was much nicer than that, but he didn't need to be. I removed one tile from each end to fit them in. Fortunately, I only destroyed one tile, and I had a couple of extra pieces.

Problem 1 solved. Now I only had 587 plumbing issues to deal with. I'll only bore you with a couple.

Ummm...something's not right here. I considered cutting it down, but worried that I might screw up the threads, causing leaks later on. I decided to just get a new one.

Around every corner, something tried to stop me.
* Problems with the doorknob.
* Difficulty getting the tub drain/waste installed (you try to do that without a helper).
* Leaking shower valve.
* Trouble getting the sink drain to seal.
* Leakage in the pop-up drain assembly.

I'd say about half was due to my own stupidity, the other half was just par for the course. What nearly stopped me completely was when I went to install the tub fixture. I popped off the "stubs" the plumber had left and placed the pipe for the fixture into the wall. "Uhhhh...it doesn't fit. Why doesn't it fit?! Why are the plumbing gods trying to keeellll me??!!!"

After I had resigned to tearing up the tile and wall, but before I actually did anything about it (laziness can be good), the ex stopped by to get some empty boxes. He pointed out that the fixture was threaded on both the outside and inside. All I had to do was get a fitting to convert the female to a male and voila!, it worked. That little episode restored my faith created a tiny bit of new motivation.

Finally, finally things started to cooperate. The wainscotting hadn't been turning out how I'd imagined and I continued to consider tearing it out. But with the addition of shower curtain and towels, the tide turned and I started to love it. Fabric makes everything better! Bask in the glow:

The "gallery" -- This is the bargain of the bath. These $1.29 frames from Joann wrap the prints I got in Ireland just perfectly.

I thought this style of toilet would be cool because I hate cleaning nooks and crannies. I'm not sure it's worth it and the footprint in this tiny room is a bit too much. Works great, though!

The trash can is some sort of enamelware bucket from Germany that I found on eBay. It was the first purchase for the bathroom and the last thing to go in place.



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