In Progress Problems: Bathroom Edition

How many times have you guys heard me say this? When it comes to DIY things always, always get worse before they get better. The universe beat that lesson into my head well enough over the last few years that I don’t get too worked up about it anymore. I just pour myself a glass of wine and get on with it.


Here are a few of the little surprises the bathroom had in store for me over the last week.

First, the leaky-toilet/rotted floor situation that we already talked about.


As far as unpleasant surprises go, this could have been worse.

Then the crew came to remove the old tub, and things went swimmingly. Three hours after they showed up I had an old tub in my lawn…


And a nice hole for the new tub in the bathroom…

imageHere’s how I pictured things going from here:

  1. New tub gets maneuvered in to place.
  2. New valves for the shower trim get put on
  3. I repair the floor around the toilet, put some tile board on the floor and tub surround, and get to tiling
  4. Hot baths! Soon!

Here’s how things actually went from there:

  1. Old tub was an “off” size, slightly smaller than new tub. New tub cannot be maneuvered in to place.
  2. Spacing of studs prevents the one workaround for maneuvering tub into place, so the sawsall comes out.
  3. Also, lots of drywall comes out.
  4. Turns out we have missing drain parts.
  5. Crew comes back for a second day, commences with lots of swearing in my bathroom.
  6. New valves leak.
  7. Tub is finally, finally in place. But lots of other things are demolished in the process.

So, yay?


I think yay. I also think I’ve got more work to do than just slapping some tile board on things and putting the tile in.

I’ll need to patch all of the drywall that was removed, and to make things even more challenging, the entire back wall had been shimmed out to fit the non-standard tub that was in there before, which now presents an interesting question about how to put the backer board on and have the tile end up in the right place.

I also need to do a little work here…

imageUm… yeah.

All those studs were cut in the attempt to get the tub in place, and now I have to… uncut them. Or, you know, replace them. And then patch that drywall. Plus all of the electrical work (moving outlets, replacing lights and fans etc.)

I was so ready to start all of these projects Saturday–still hoping I might be tiling on Sunday–but I woke up fighting off some kind of germ, so I decided to limit my activities to fixing the easiest of these issues.


After some discussion with the crew, I decided that the only safe course of action would be to replace this entire flange. Luckily the ceiling in the room below this is already open, so this doesn’t create any more work for me. Just cutting off the old flange, for now.


Then I had a piece of OSB cut down to close to the right size at Lowe’s (because, panel saw) so that I only had to do a little trimming to fit the irregular shape of, uh, everything in this house.


Then I set it in place and marked where the old floor needed to be removed…


I used my oscillating saw for this, since it was a small area (and I don’t love making a plunge-cut with a circular saw, if I can help it.) Then I pulled up the old pieces of subfloor..


Put my new not-rotted-out-from-toilet-water piece in place…


And there we go. One problem down. Naps all around.

I’m hoping to tackle the closet wall demo and re-framing of the tub wall after work during the week so that next weekend I can focus on the drywall and tile board.

No baths for me yet, but soon…


Very soon.

7 Responses

  1. So close, so yet so far! Those baths will be all the better when you finally get in one! Good luck this week!

  2. That bath is going to feel stupendously amazing when it finally happens. I look forward to the next bathroom update, or really, just any post. You are my hero, Kit!

  3. Wait.. you did all that while fighting a germ?? Now my “I did the dishes and put away the laundry achievement” seems to have diminished in value

  4. I LOVE your jabba-the-hut toad at the bottom of your outdoor stairs!!! That’s one of those items I’d see in a store, do a double take, and quickly purchase no matter the cost.

  5. Ouch! I’ve been there myself, when you think that a small project will be a small project, and then at the end of the day you find yourself still working on it.
    I hope all is well!

  6. I love how the first picture has a glass of wine in it, lol. Not exactly what you’d expect to see next to a power tool, but I get it completely.

    It certainly looks like this project was necessary. It always amazes me what we discover hidden behind and underneath things when we decide to take on a project like this.

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