Monday, April 16, 2007

A New Throne - Day One

The women on Pickerel Pond have a new throne. While Amy tackled the government required paperwork, I took on the bathroom. A leaky, wobbly toilet prompted a replacement of both the toilet, part of the sub floor, and the floor covering.

Here's the before:

That's not dirt but broken and peeling vinyl tiles.

Step one: List - we did that together Friday night.

Step two: With list in hand head to Sporting Goods store for temporary substitute (did I mention that this is our only working bathroom).

Step three: Off to the big box store for toilet, plywood (including some for woodworking projects), caulk, flexible supply line, and several other items (and no the router bit wasn't for this project).

Step four: After selecting the new throne, I negotiate a hour or so rental of one of the big box stores small trucks. Pay for and load up the throne with help. Head back inside for the plywood. (Note to self: when transporting very heavy items, and 8 foot sheets of plywood in truck with 8 foot long bed - procure and load the plywood first!) Load the plywood, with help from another customer (thanks buddy) who came upon me trying to determine if I could load the sheets by myself. I was doing this while waiting for more help from the store staff. With the sheets in the truck I then struggled to get them under the toilet's box which was already in the truck. A little assistance from a store employee got the boards under the box enough that the truck bed would close.

Step five: With help from Amy, unload the toilet and carry into the house, and the plywood to the garage.

Step six: Return truck, and purchase a couple of items missed on the first trip. (For those keeping track this is cash register receipt #3.)

Step seven: Remove towels, bathmat, and basket from the bathroom. Tie up shower curtain. Oh yes, and the door - this is a small bathroom.

Step eight: Empty the water, disconnect and remove old toilet. The floor space in this bathroom is about 4' X 5'. Getting to the connections required contortions. The blob on the floor is me - my feet are in the hall. (A note about the shirt. It's tie-dyed. I really like tie-dyed shirts, and bought this from a catalog without thinking carefully about what a red tie-dyed shirt would look like. I'd wanted a purple one, but they were out. I don't wear this in public, since it looks like I've just come from the scene of a massacre.)

Step nine: Clean - floor, flange - the remains of the wax ring were sticky and fairly disgusting.

Step ten: Cut the perimeter of the floor section to be removed - due to rot. I'm not sure what the pros use for this. I did my best impression of a hapless home owner at this point. I cut the perimeter with my circular saw. This did a fine job except for the fact that it couldn't get close to the wall, or the tub. As a result I had to finish up with a chisel.

Step eleven: Measure for replacement floor. Cut plywood. Measure for drain opening, scribe to tub. Cut. Test fit. Consult with Amy about how to wiggle into place. Cut again (same piece, smaller segment). Cut new strip for next to tub. Test fit. Trim all, cut new strip for next to tub. Lather, rinse, repeat (oh wait that's something else).

Step twelve: Screw down plywood.

Step thirteen: Strip up remaining old vinyl tiles. Discover that some of the tiles are still stuck to the floor, really stuck. Call in reinforcements. Discover just how sharp the edges of the tiles are. Acquire band-aid. After a lot of scraping all remnants of the tiles are gone - from the floor at least.

Step fourteen: Pack up a change of clothes, pajamas and swim suit and head for local hotel. Enjoy room service, a swim and a soak in the hot tub before collapsing into bed.

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