Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mushrooms Galore

Today is a continuation of Tuesday's of "The Mushroom Factor." Quick recap: toilet leak leads to pulling all the vinyl and plywood subfloor to reveal the original pine floor. That went out too. The plan is to put in a tile floor. But since all of this is going on, why not do what else we want in the bathroom too, and just move it ahead of finishing the upstairs?

The bathroom is the only poorly designed space in the entire house. I don't know what Bess was thinking. For as much as she obsessed over every detail, (and we know she did from her letters and journals) she really made major mistakes in the bathroom. Here is the original blueprint:

The only change is that the tub is now a walk in shower, but otherwise the corner sink was in place as was the stool. Here's what I think was bad design: why would you have a corner sink when you had plenty of room underneath your medicine cabinet? To make matters worse there were two sconces on either side of the SINK. I have had a horrible time shaving there. When he was here last summer I had the electrician move one sconce so they are now on either side of the medicine cabinet.

So if the plumber was coming anyway to cut the soil pipe so we could redo the floor, why not have him put new supplies in for a pedestal sink (we have a salvaged one waiting in the basement) at the same time? Plumber says "good idea." While the plumber and I were measuring he mentioned we'd need to move the toilet supply a bit so the the new toilet with a smaller tank would sit closer to the wall. I broke out the plaster (fake tile) wall to expose the current plumbing and to make room for new:

So in a typical mushroom factor scenario, what started out as pulling a toilet to put down a new beeswax ring resulted in demolishing half a bathroom wall, capping supply lines and pulling out the sink.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Now i get it. At first when i read "mushroom", i thought it was a mush-room as in a mudroom, that had gone soft, somehow. (Can you tell we're still in spring/mud mode in my neck of the woods?) So i thought it was a clever way of saying that the edges of the project you had meant to start got mushy and spread out into other rooms. Now today i see you meant mushroom, how apropos for a leaky bathroom project, dontcha think?
Oh, and one tip (i've also replaced a bathroom floor - and had to sister the joists into the bargain, so please do consider yourselves lucky in that respect) when you put the toilet back down, preheat the wax ring to around 70-80 degrees - maybe with a hairdryer, but definitely not by setting it on a space heater, unless you want to test the smoke alarms as i did. A softer ring will make a perfect seal with no rocking toilet. After redoing mine 3 times in 1 year, i finally realized that little trick made all the difference in the world, and also eliminated the need for shims.
Good luck!