Saturday, October 31, 2015

Toilet Terror

When we bought our house, a little more than 2 years ago, we knew we would need to renovate all of the bathrooms. We started with the powder room because the toilet was leaking through to the subfloor and, frankly, it was ugly! So, we started with the powder room....

It's very pretty, now, and leak free!

That left us with the master and guest baths.  Our master bathroom is in pretty bad shape and our guest bathroom is just okay. We thought we would start with the easiest bathroom first - the guest bathroom. This way, as the master bath is being gutted and renovated, we would all be sharing an updated and pretty bathroom!

First step towards an updated guest bath was to replace the old disgusting toilet with mold growing in it...EW!

We removed the old toilet and discovered that the floor flange was slanted and the floor wasn't even. Ok, no big deal....we would just shim the front of the toilet like the last toilet was.
Next, we applied the first wax ring and then installed the new toilet. Should be that easy, right? wrong.....(sigh)

The toilet was on, we were feeling really good about it.  Then Mike flushed the toilet and the nightmare began!  The water came flooding out of the bottom of the toilet, all over the bathroom floor. So, we took the toilet off again to inspect the flange, again. We decided to try it one more time with another wax ring. Off the hubby went to the hardware store.

In lieu of the always convenient and foolproof wax ring, we tried a rubber 'piece of garbage' toilet ring instead.

Why is it an era with so many advances in construction, technology, practically everything, that we still have an archaic method for attaching toilets to plumbing?

We installed the rubber 'POG' and toilet, flushed and...

Water leaked out of the bottom of the toilet, through the subfloor and into the ceiling of the kitchen below, through the chandelier and all over the kitchen table. Ewwww AGAIN!

I want to add, that while all this was going on, my mother was visiting in order to watch our 3 kids so Mike and I could go out.  It's our first date, baby free, since March. Perfect timing for a flood!

I ran downstairs to my mother, who was already grabbing pots and catching water! After the water stopped flowing, a friendly debate with the hubby ensued - Rip up the floor in the bathroom or rip down the ceiling in the kitchen....either way, there will be ripping of some sort. (sigh)

Because the flange and the floor were so uneven, it was simply not possible to replace the toilet without replacing the flange, as well.

The kitchen, which was supposed to be my next blog post, is one of my favorite rooms in the house.  It is put together and has a cute sense of style going on. I really didn't want chaos in the most used room in the house. Plus, we just ordered a custom Amish farm table to go with our awesome church pew and it's due to arrive Friday....(sigh again)


The guest bath floor is the original floor, and except for a good cleaning and some extra love with the grout, is in good shape.  We were not planning on replacing floor so we could stay in $1000 budget for our guest bath "face lift." Ripping up the floor would cost upwards of $750 and too much time.

The ceiling won, or losst, and down it came.....(giant sigh)

After the kitchen was cleared out and the hole was made in the soggy sheetrock, we found this....
Original '70's copper waste pipes for the toilet AND the shower. Lovely.

The next morning, after a great night out with the hubby, we cut out the old copper waste lines and removed the flange from the bathroom floor. When the floor was installed in the bathroom, so long ago, the contractor never cleaned up the mortar around the hole for the flange. The mortar had to be cut away with a Dremel in order to secure the flange the the subfloor. The flange was floating freely before, which is probably why it was uneven.

Off the hubby went to the hardware store again for new pvc pipe and fittings to replace the copper mess.

The new plumbing was then installed. That took most of the day...all day!

After all the kids were in bed, we installed the second or third (?) wax ring, the new toilet, and flushed. With flashlight in hand, I searched the new plumber for leaks and it looked good! Then Mike yelled down that the tank was leaking on the new toilet. Will it ever end?!

Mike took the tank off to check the rubber seal from the tank to the bowl and found a GIANT crack down the back of it.

I went back to the hardware store to buy another toilet, so we could swap out the tanks.

A day of rest....three days and still no working toilet in the guest bath.

Mike installed the new tank and flushes.....we were good! WOO HOO!

If this is any indicator on how this 'facelift' is going to go, then be prepared for some more calamities along the way!

Happy Halloween!