Monday, February 1, 2016

Part II: She demanded a toilet

I was planning on renovating the bathroom after I finished painting the exterior.
but no, the bungalow gods had other plans for me....
...and my best friend Renee....who was scheduled to arrive in town in 3 days.

She demanded a toilet.

So on new year's eve, realizing that I had not a clue about how to plumb a bathroom, I called on my friend Tommy for immediate assistance. He knows a lot about plumbing, though there was a little wrench in the plan. We now had only 2 days to complete the project. 

So I took off on vacation a day earlier than planned and we got to work. If I was going to re-do the bathroom plumbing, I figured we might as well get that clawfoot tub installed.

To install the clawfoot tub, the toilet had to be moved, and
to replace the old pipes, the floor had to be removed,
which meant the shower and the sink had to be demo'ed out.
To remove the floor, the drywall had to be removed,
to remove the drywall, the beadboard had to be torn off, and
to remove the beadboard, the baseboards had to be removed.

You see where I'm going with this. 
Now my bathroom looked like this:

The floor presented an issue. A 1 day setback to be exact. This too was unexpected.
We discovered that there was concrete backer-board over not just 1, but 2 layers of subfloor.

The first layer was screwed to the second layer,
which was screwed and nailed to the joists.
and most of the screws were unrecognizably corroded and stripped, so the floor came up in pieces,
with me under the house, and Tommy above with the reciprocating and circular saws:
"ok, you can cut 3 inches to the right" (Tommy starts the cut) "
Good, good, now stop! There's a gas line there!" (he stops)
"go 2 inches to the left"
and so on and so forth. Piece by piece, we worked that subfloor up, occasionally shouting "I got one!" every time one of us worked a screw loose.

So now we had 1 day to re-do the plumbing.

I decided to treat this like a law school exam.
With a marker in hand I wrote on the wall:

by 4:00 - plumbing completed
by 4:30 - floorboards cut
by 4:45 - floor installed
by 5:00 - toilet installed
by 5:30 - leave to pick up Renee at the airport

and just to demonstrate how tight we were on time:

We did manage to stick to the timeline, except there was one wrench in the plan:
the toilet was positioned directly over the old cast iron sewer stack
which meant the flange was sticking up too high.
4 inches above the floor to be exact.

We now had 2 minutes to build a pedestal for the toilet to rest on: