Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hour Baffroom Adwencha, Part Sebmuh

Crappy tub and mouse leavings GONEOn Sunday we installed the tub.

I don't know if it was sleeping on the matter for a night, but it occurred to me that we really ought to think about things very carefully before attempting the installation. Our last home-improvement project was putting in a roof vent for our oven-hood and that project had been rife with things done in an improper order, such as silicone sealant failing to be applied until after the roof jack was safely nailed down beneath the singles and final connections made to the vent pipe beneath, (and, also, things done in near complete darkness, on the roof, at 8p at night, in November). I wanted to make sure we didn't run into any of those issues, so before we even touched the tub we had a good long look at it to try and see what we were forgetting to do.

It came to us pretty quickly that while we had already measured and remeasured the existing hole in the floor that would house the drain pipe from the tub, and had cut it wider to compensate for this tub being bigger than the old one, and while we had also dry-fitted the drain pipe on the tub itself, we'd not actually sealed any of the pipes, nor cemented the pvc. It was the kind of work that we really didn't want to have to do AFTER the tub was installed, which would require a lot of maneuvering in the crawlspace beneath the subfloor and we were already going to have to spend enough time down there connecting the tubs drain to the actual plumbing beneath. So we did all that.

While it was setting up, we tore out the drywall in the bathroom to allow the front flange to rotate between the studs. Our tear-out job was not pretty, and will require extra drywalling work down the road, but it'll do.

Then it was time to install the tub.

"Okay," the wife began, as we stood over the tub where it lay in our bedroom, "before we do this, I just want you to know that I love you very much. And while I'm probably going to scream at you and you're probably going to scream at me, it's not because we don't love one another."

"Same here."

Then, true to our plan, we hoisted the tub up on one end, hauled it into the bathroom and slowly and carefully began the rotation process to bring it horizontal. It was very tricky business, because one sudden move might break off a piece of the fiber-glass coated acrylic flange and make us cry bitter tears. But ever-so-slowly, our plan to pass the flange between the studs worked and the tub became horizontal. Once it was, we then had to slide it back into place against the studs of the interior wall. Trouble was, I was standing there, holding up one side of it.

"Can you get out of there?" the wife asked.

"Just shove it on in here and we'll worry about how to get me out later," I said.

As she squeezed, I looked around and tried to figure out my options. The tub is huge and my stumpy legs weren't going to get me over that 32 inch chasm. As it stood, I had one leg planted literally within the back wall, between the studs, while the other was trying to brace against the studs of the adjacent wall so that I could attempt some sort of ill-advised acrobatics.

"Can you get me a chair?" I asked.

"I can't leave. I'm holding up the tub," she said. Then, keeping one hand on the edge of the tub and bracing the other against the stud beside me, she leaned forward and said, "Go over my back."


"Go over my back."

"Are you sure."

"Yes. Go."

So I hoisted myself out of my position, tucked forward, put the edge of my right shoulder onto the left side of the wife's back, then put my weight into it, rolling onto my back, across the wife's back and then onto my feet on the other side. I felt like Chuck Norris. (Except that, as we all know, the real Chuck could have simply floated out by the power of his carpet of body hair caught an updraft from the toilet pipe.)

Old busted
After this, our job was a matter of getting the tub seated, level and glued down. Easier said than done with the tub fitting so snugly. In fact, we had to pull the tub up a tad and chisel out some of the plywood flooring so it would fit properly, resting atop the sub floor. What we didn't discover until after lunch was that we'd also bashed the drainage pipe in the installation process, pushing it to one side and causing the drain and drain plug to become uncentered. With the tub installed, however, we didn't really know anything that could be done about this and had pretty much resolved to become known as "those asshole former neighbors" in the eyes of all future owners of this house.


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