The other day, I had someone ask me how the changes in the hallway bathroom are going. Well, so far, I’ve managed to change my mind about 15 times, get about half of the fixtures swapped out, and flood the bathroom.
Oh, yeah. I may have buried the lede there. I flooded the bathroom. 😀 It was such a stupid, rookie mistake, and when I think about it, I’m so embarrassed at myself for making that stupid mistake. Fortunately, I don’t think I did any permanent damage. But before I get to that, let me back up a bit and go over some other details.
About a week ago, I had one of those days where I was busy with other things and didn’t really have time (or rather, I didn’t want to take my limited time) to work on the studio. So I decided to spend what time I did have swapping out the fixtures in the hallway bathroom. They had been sitting there in their boxes for a couple of weeks, and I was anxious to swap out all of the silver fixtures for the new Delta Champagne Bronze fixtures.
I figured the things like the robe hook, hand towel ring, and toilet paper holder would be fast and easy since I bought the same brand, similar styles, and same types of products, so I decided to start with those. I expected them to use the same types of brackets, so I thought it would just be a matter of unscrewing the old one from the bracket and screwing the new one to the same bracket.
Well, none of them were fast, nor were they easy. Even though the fixtures were the same brand and looked similar, they had completely different brackets. WHY, DELTA? WHYYYYY???? But, no problem, right? I’ve installed these types of things a hundred times before. It would still be quick and easy…or so I thought.
I was having one of those days where everything was a problem. When I tried to put the new wall anchor in the wall for the screws for the hand towel holder (I use those types of wall anchors that screw in, rather than having to drill a hole and then hammer them in), the anchor literally screwed all the way through the drywall, leaving a big hole behind. I’ve never had that happen before! So I had to install the new towel ring lower than before, and now I have this mess that I have to repair…
And let’s not even talk about the fact that I took off part of the trim and tile because I just can’t help myself. When I get a thought in my head (like completely removing the accent tile and not replacing it with something new), I’m like a dog with a bone, and all self-control goes out the window. So, long before I’m ready to do any of the big projects in here, I’ve already torn up the tile. Now I have to live with it until I’m ready to tackle the walls in here, which may be a while at the rate my studio is going. Like I said, my self-control disappears when I get an idea in my head.
Anyway, the rest of the fixtures (the ones I thought would be fast and easy) went about the same. I stripped several screws trying to get the new bracket on the wall for the new robe hook. I couldn’t get the old wall anchors out of the wall so that I could install the new toilet paper holder, and on and on.
My quick and easy project was quickly turning into one frustration after another. So for now, I have this situation — no toilet paper holder, and the roll of toilet paper sitting on the countertop. I’m sure our guests love walking in to this. 😀
Since the “easy” projects were going sideways, I decided to just dive right in and swap out the shower/tub fixtures. I expected those to be more difficult, and sure enough, they were. But after spending about 30 minutes trying to get the old tub faucet off, I finally wrestled it off and was able to get the new one on. Swapping out the overflow drain was very simple.
And yes, the tub is filthy because I kept stepping in it with my shoes on after being outside. But that story is coming up.
So I got the faucet and the overflow drain swapped, and then swapped out the trim on the other thing. What is that even called? I’m talking about the handle that actually turns the water on and off.
I was just going to swap out the trim package and leave the old valve in place because it seemed to be identical to the new one.
As it turns out, they weren’t quite identical. They were slightly different, making it difficult to tighten the screw for the pretty new handle onto the old valve. I mean, it was on there, and I don’t think it would have come off, but it wasn’t as tight as I thought it should be.
I wanted to leave it and call it good, but y’all know how my mind works. I just couldn’t let it go. About 30 minutes after installing that handle, I decided that I really should go ahead and swap out the valve.
Can you guess what happened? Yes, that’s right. Without going outside and turning the water off first, I started removing the handle and the trim, and then I proceeded to tug and pull on that valve to remove it. WITHOUT TURNING THE WATER OFF FIRST!!!
Oh my gosh, what a stupid, rookie mistake!!! At that point, I was just so frustrated with all of the other things at that point that my mind just wasn’t focused. I tugged and pulled on that valve, and for a few tugs, everything was fine. And then it reached the point where it wasn’t fine anymore.
Water started spraying at full force out of that valve. It was spraying into the tub, onto the floor, up towards the ceiling. EVERYWHERE. I was completely soaked in a matter of seconds. I panicked, and for what seemed like an eternity (but was probably about two seconds), I just froze and didn’t know what the heck to do. Then I snapped out of it and realized I needed to get a towel to cover the valve so that the water would go into the tub instead of spraying all around the room.
But of course, I wasn’t doing any of this quietly. I was yelling, “OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH!” And since I was being very loud and animated, Cooper (my very big, goofy, 100-pound dog) got all excited thinking we were playing, so he was all under foot and wouldn’t get out of my way. I finally managed to get him sidelined for a few seconds, just long enough to get out of the bathroom, my soaked clothes dripping all over the floor, so I could grab a towel and drape it over the valve. That didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped because the valve didn’t stick out very far, so the towel kept slipping off.
I got the towel on there as well as I could, but it wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t keeping all of the water contained inside the tub area. But I didn’t have time to waste. I ran into the sunroom to grab the tool (whatever that thing is called) to turn the water off at the curb outside.
Well, we don’t have lights in our sunroom, and it was getting too dark to see, so I couldn’t find it. I started panicking again, and yelling, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!” All the while, Cooper is hot on my heels, jumping and twirling and getting all excited at this new game we’re playing.
Now keep in mind that all this time, I’m panicking, running through the house, yelling, trying to get Cooper out of my way (because he still thinks we’re playing), leaving a trail of water from my dripping clothes everywhere I go, and poor Matt is lying in bed and has absolutely no clue what’s going on. He’s just hearing the commotion.
So after a few minutes of this chaos (what seemed like an eternity to me, but was probably not long at all), he finally yells to me, “What is going on?” To which I yelled back at him in my most panicked and frantic voice, “I’M FLOODING THE HOUSE!!!!! I’M FLOODING THE HOUSE, AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!” 😀 There’s nothing so helpful as panicking and yelling a great deal of hyperbole in the middle of a stressful situation to a person who has no ability to help, right? 😀
Anyway, I couldn’t find that tool to turn off the water, so I grabbed my big pliers and ran out the door to the front yard to turn the water off. Then I couldn’t get the cover off of the water gauge outside, so I had to run back inside the house, grab a flathead screwdriver, run back out, pry that lid off, and then I could finally turn the water off.
By the time I got the water turned off and headed back inside, there wasn’t a single square inch of that bathroom floor that wasn’t covered in water. But fortunately, none of it found its way outside of the bathroom into the hallway except for what had dripped off of my drenched clothes. I was so relieved to see that. (I wasn’t so lucky the last time we had the crap geyser.) But there was also water all over the vanity, the countertop, the walls, the toilet…just about everything.
So I got all of the water cleaned up, swapped out the valve, put all of the pretty trim back on, turned the water back on (with that tool that I finally did find), and now the new bathtub faucet drips constantly. It won’t stop. Constant. Dripping.
So needless to say, that bathroom and I have been on a break. I go in there when absolutely necessary, but other than that, we’ve just needed to spend some time apart. I haven’t even cleaned up my shoeprints out of the bathtub. I haven’t put away the tools or thrown away the old fixtures (which are still lined up on the side of the bathtub). I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to look at it. I don’t want to even consider swapping that valve out again. And when I have to go in there, I just use my tunnel vision, do what I need to do, and ignore everything else in there. I just want to spend time in my pretty studio for now.
So that’s how the hallway bathroom changes are going. How are your projects going? 😀
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.