Penultimate Remodeling Task

That’s not what I expected, but we interior design by whim – and you must admit that “whimsical” is an applicable, if not exclusive, adjective.

To begin at the beginning, the laundry room is not accessible from inside – neither from upstairs nor downstairs. Going outside to do laundry is inconvenient. The “I’m not doing laundry, it’s below zero out there” days add to that. So, we wanted laundry machines inside (they are “inside” a utility room that has no interior access). There are limited options for this – especially since the furnace is in the closet on the wet wall.

We have a hot tub and rarely took baths in Denver (where we had a wonderfully large and deep clawfoot tub), so why not remove the bathtub, put in a smaller shower stall, and put the washer/dryer in the bathroom? Why not, indeed. The first reason: The toilet needed to move in order to have reasonable access to the shower. The second reason: There is no piping or electricity where the laundry machines will go. The third reason: Money. We did it anyway.

I didn’t take “before” photos, but this is “during”:

Looking into the bathroom through the wet wall from the kitchen
The vertical pipes fed the bathtub. The old toilet water connection is on the right.

We got the shower stall, first. The sink was the first whimsical element:

We have very limestone-y water; keeping those doors clear is difficult.

Then we got the washer hooked up – but were waiting on HVAC folks for the dryer vent. That has also been completed and we have a washer/dryer in our bathroom:

And they sing happy songs when they do stuff; at least they’re not sullen.

The sink whimsy inspired me to paint an accent wall:

I’m standing in the shower to take this

It’s not quite so white in person. It doesn’t exactly “match” the sink, but I like it.

The toilet saga revolved around the definition of “rough in”. There are two “standard” toilet rough-ins, which is the space between the unfinished wall and the drain, 12 inches and 10 inches. If the plumber told me they had done a 10-inch rough-in, I didn’t remember. We bought a very festive toilet that even wiped your ass for you. It turns out, that toilet required a 12-inch rough-in, which is also a lie. It required 11 13/16ths finished distance between wall and drain; what wall on Earth is 3/16ths of an inch thick? We returned it for a mere $230 restocking fee (and I’m pretty sure that it is the one now on the floor at Menards on sale for $900 – so two people win: Menards and whoever buys it).

Knowing, now, both that we have a 10-inch rough-in and that “rough-in” is a total lie, we found out there are grand total of TWO models of toilet that will fit in a 9-inch actual space. Needless to say, neither Menards nor Lowes stocks such things. Amazon to the rescue! It drop-shipped, so it sat somewhere waiting for a truck coming this way, but it finally arrived!

Well. When the plumbers cut the drain pipe and installed the flange, they sealed the drain with some sort of plastic insert. We couldn’t get it out. It turns out (when one accosts everyone one meets with “do you know how…”) that one does not remove those things. One breaks the middle out. Sort of like tearing perforated paper – except it wasn’t perforated. We fell back on the old standby of “if brute force isn’t working, you’re not using enough of it” and used a chisel to break it out. Toilet installed! (with only two ancillary trips to the hardware store to get the plumbing connection and a wax ring that fit.)

The only thing left to deal with: The toilet seat. Hardware stores – at least here – have a horrible selection. Walmart, Target, and Bed, Bath and Beyond were no better. How did we live before Amazon? Sears & Roebuck, I guess. Whimsy struck, again.

All that’s left are the LED strips in the crown moulding. I found something promising (guess where) and ordered 50 feet. If it works out, I’ll get the rest be done! Anyone want to bet on the working out part?

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