Last week my bathtub arrived. Getting it inside was actually much easier than I thought it would be (this is a 335lb. item) thanks to the help of Nait, John, and Alex. It took maybe half an hour, and probably would have been even faster if I hadn’t freaked out about it so much. The thing kind of terrified me. I was genuinely concerned we’d get it inside just to have it crash through the floor. Thankfully, so far it has not. I haven’t filled it up with water and put a person in it, though, so I’m still not 100% convinced the floor will hold it. But I have high hopes.
Yesterday and today I had plumbers over roughing in the drains and water lines for the tub, as well as the sinks and the toilet. These are mostly done now, pending an inspection. I found out during this process that I have some open permit issues to deal with, one of which requires moving the gas meter up to the house. The gas company wants me to pay for this myself, which seems like bullshit as it’s their fucking gas meter. We’ll see how much it costs, I guess. They’re coming to give me an estimate on Tuesday.
Now that I’ve got the plumbing roughed in it’s time to start tiling, which I’m actually happy about. I like tiling. I tiled the laundry room and it doesn’t look like complete shit. This is going to be harder though, as the tiles are smaller and there’s a lot more surface area. I think it would be a really fun idea to make it even more complicated by putting radiant heat under the floor. The master bathroom isn’t going to have a real stand-up shower so to get clean quick I’ll have to sit in the tub and use the hand shower. I could see that being real unpleasant in winter without some kind of heat source in addition to the furnace, which only comes on when it wants to. I don’t even know if it’s ok to put the radiant heat under the tub, though. I think if I put liquid vinyl over it, it should be fine, but my grasp of electrical engineering is not exactly expert-level. But really, people put radiant heat in bathrooms all the time and they must get stuff wet on occasion.
I’m looking at tiling myself not just because I’m cheap, but in order to get the work done sooner. I really like the tile guy who did my other bathroom, but that dude is busy. I could be waiting a month for him to be available, and I know this is something I’m capable of if I take my time and do it correctly. Or I’m capable of fucking it up at a vastly discounted rate, at least.
I get magical feelings when I think about this bathroom. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long-ass time and I’ve planned it and re-planned it. I’ve been acquiring fixtures for it almost as long as I’ve lived here. Now that it’s seriously underway, I’m excited. It almost makes it worth it to have been so stressed out about the plumbers and their initial estimate that we’d have to tear down the whole room and start over to get the plumbing in. When I bought this house it was moldy, dirty, and outdated. And I didn’t even know the worst of it. All the drains in there had “auto-vents,” which means that a pipe came up from the drain under the house and let the sewer gas out there, where it remained. The handle of the shower faucet wasn’t anchored and could no longer be turned off all the way, so it dripped constantly. The toilet ran and the floor around it was noticeably mushy. Whatever I end up with has got to be an improvement over what it was.
I’m hoping, though, I can go beyond good enough and make the master bathroom a place where I genuinely want to hang out. I’ve been looking at other people’s photos for inspiration. I like this rundown of vintage baths, and this photoset of a remodel on flickr (how did they make that medicine cabinet?? arrrgh i need to know). I need to figure out the lighting, and of course once I do that I’ll still have shelving and trim to deal with. But I feel like this bathroom is getting off on the right foot and even my screw-ups haven’t actually set it back yet. It may be too much to hope for awesomeness, but that’s where I’m setting my sights.