30 April 2008

We've got bathtub!

We've made progress on our bathroom again. We cut two holes in the floor. One for the toilet and one for the bathtub. They are lovely, which I just realized is kinda funny since technically a hole is a non-entity. But it doesn't matter because holes are progress. They are a step forward towards having a non-basement bathroom once again.

In the words of an As Seen On TV info-mercial, "But wait! There's more!"

We also put our super-sweet, six-foot whirlpool tub in place!

Now when people look through the kitchen wall into the unfinished bathroom space they'll see a bathtub and I won't have to say, "This our bathroom. We're re-doing it."

They will see it and say, "So, you guys are redoing your bathroom, eh?" And I'll just have to say, "Yes." Less explaining the same things over and over = happy Tricia. Although it doesn't explain why there isn't a wall between our bathroom and kitchen. Oh well, I just have to remind myself, Baby steps.

Our tub is in place but it didn't go exactly as planned. But then again, does it ever?

First, we had to get the bathtub into the bathroom from its temporary home in our basement. It was a straight shot, so that was good, but we bought the largest dang tub that would fit in our tiny bathroom. It had to be turned onto its side and took three of us to get it up our very steep-very shallow basement stairs. That coupled with the fact that as whirpool tub it is wrapped around with tubes that state explicitly "DO NOT LIFT FROM TUBES!" made the whole process that much more difficult. There are tubes all the way around it. Where they heck do they expect me to grab it from?

Moving it into the bathroom used all my muscle reserves, but now we had to position it. Dug is over six feet tall and not what you would call 'lanky'. He never took baths because our previous bathtub was so shallow and short that the water didn't even cover his thighs when he sat completely upright. Nor could he lay down without his legs completely sticking out of the water since the tub was roughly the equivalent length from his head to his bum. He had had enough of this height discrimination so he bought a six-foot, really deep bathtub. A six-foot bathtub to fit in a space six-foot and one-half inch long. Yep. We had one-half inch to spare.

Let me see if I can illustrate with words how things were situated. Our new bathtub was now sitting in our 6'1/2" x 9' bathroom perfectly diagonal. Dug on one side, Chris on one end, and me on the side opposite Dug. Our goal was to get the bathtub parallel with the end wall. The six-foot one-half inch one. We first tried to get it in place by lifting one tub end really high so we could turn it and then lower the end in place. Our whirlpool pump stuck out too far and caught against the wood. We could only get the end to lower down to within two feet of the floor before it got stuck. Uh oh. Did we buy a tub that was geometrically impossible to set in place? I was instantly reminded of the "grandfather clock" word problem from eighth grade.

"Can a nine-foot grandfather clock be placed in a nine-foot room?" (The answer is 'no' because in order to get it through the door you have to tip it on its side and
once on its side you can't tip it back up again. The hypotenuse (or diagonal from one corner to the other corner) will be longer than nine feet. The clock corners would hit before you could stand it on end.)

I asked Dug, "Is it physically possible for us to get this tub in place?"
Dug, aka Mr. Physics, would have already calculated this with his astute gray matter. I thought the question was rhetorical but he answered, "I hope so."

Hmmm...not the reassurance I was looking for. Needless to say I was having to control the anxious thoughts shooting like popping corn into my brain. "How long will it take to get a new one?" "How much money will we lose since this was a special order?" "Does this screw up our calculations on how the room would be plumbed/tiled/etc?"

Our only hope was that the other end of the bathtub, the end without the pump, would be sloped enough to allow us to drop it into place. We unstuck the pump-end, rotated the entire thing back into a diagonal, then lifted the drain-end up while turning the bathtub in parallel with the end wall again. Apart from a few fingers getting pinched between the tub and the studs, it was gently lowered into its correct orientation with no hassle. *huge, anxiety-ridding sigh of relief* Thank God!

Second phase:

A tub usually has runners built onto the bottom, which the tub sits on. Dug studied up on tub installation and found that if you set the tub in a pool of cement, the cement hardens in contact with the entire bottom of the tub, not just the runners, and shores up the entire bottom surface. A person's weight is thereby displaced over the entirety of the bottom of the bathtub.

We had decided to apply this method to our bathtub installation. We put a sheet of plastic on the floor and after mixing up a bag of quik-crete, dumped it into the middle of the plastic. After letting it thicken up a bit, we took a trowel and piled it onto itself, making a good-size mound.

Somehow between the three of us we lifted the bathtub up and onto the mound, nestling it up against the back wall and into its soft-cushy pillow of quik-crete with one-quarter inch to spare on each end. Unforeseen problem #2: The runners are too tall. Our plan was to have the entire bottom of the tub shored up by the concrete, right? Well, we didn't measure the runners...oops! Our particular bathtub has three-inch tall runners. That means that we would have needed a mound of cement three-inches tall if it was going to be able to even touch the underside of the tub. The runners sank into the mound only an inch or so.

So what is the downside to this? Well, luckily it is only expended time and money. Nothing is gained, but nothing is really lost either. It's just an extra step that we didn't need since there was no way we were going to lay a 3" bed of concrete for that tub! Oh well! Live and learn. At least that's what we hope we are doing...

For now, I've got a bathtub in place and I see progress. That's all I care about.

Next step...plumbing time!


bethany said...

looky there! great work. We had issues when redoing a bathoom once, we had to take out part of the wall to get the shower in, and then re-do it after. yes, it seems to always be a tight fit.

Your tub looks great!!

tricia said...

thank you! it's such an encouraging thing to see actual progress.

JacksonFamHappenings said...

YEA a bathtub! I love you blog it brightens my day. It is so good to read all the doings in the Potter household feels like family isn't too far away!

Love you guys!

Rob, Liz and KIDS

MamaP said...

YAH!!!!!!!!!! for TRICIA!

tricia said...

it's only taken about two years...

i love reading yours too liz. i get to keep up with what's going on with y'all.

ditto paris!!

TitansFan said...

I really like the tub. I'm getting ready to install a Whirlpool Tub TV, It's pretty awesome!