Some of the problems have been due to the facts that (1) Ting (our contractor) wanted me to buy all the hardwarey-type stuff (shower/tub fixtures, bathtub, tile, tub sliding glass door, etc.) and (2) I know (or knew, at the start) absolutely nothing about such matters. Other issues have resulted from the funkiness of our very old house.
So ... just in the last two days:
- The ceiling in some parts of the bathroom is so thin that the fan/light Ting bought (not something I got, in this case) cannot be set flush with the ceiling as intended. Ting will have to allow it to stick out an inch or so. Luckily, giants rarely use our bathroom, so it won't be a hazard to guests' noggins, but I do worry a tiny bit that it will be unattractive. Even if it is, perhaps we can do something to pretty it up. A border of tile-covered plaster or something.
- The shower/tub "trim kit" (shower head, tub spout, pressure/temp controller) that I bought on Amazon was missing a crucial component (some kind of valve). I won't go into the details, since I like most people and wouldn't want to actually kill anyone with the extreme plumbing boredom, but I'm very unhappy with Amazon re: the whole thing. It didn't help that I was having a stress-escape nap when the VALVE DISASTER was discovered, and so Shannon woke me up and I was groggy and confused and OH MY GOD VALVE DISASTER! I MUST SOLVE IT NOW! From what Ting said when I talked to him, he wasn't really going to be able to continue with the work until we had the valve. DISASTER! DISASTER REQUIRING IMMEDIATE SOLUTION!
So when Shannon got off work, we took an unexpected emergency nighttime bike ride to Home Depot in Emeryville (which had surprisingly good bike parking -- we hadn't been particularly optimistic, since we figured not a lot of people bike to Home Depot) and bought a whole new shower/tub "trim kit" (because stores don't sell all these model-specific valves by themselves). As our consolation and reward, we took ourselves out to dinner at the nearby California Pizza Kitchen (must go back! The menu was extensive and fabulous, with salads and sandwiches and pastas and pizzas and a thousand other things) and also bought ourselves snazzy cupcakes (which sadly ended up being not very impressive) from a little bakery called Teacakes. (My cupcake was coconut with key lime buttercream, but the only tasty part was the zesty frosting. Also, my cupcake did not survive the bike ride unscathed, and it looked a bit like roadkill when we opened the box when we got home. I can't imagine that affected the taste, though. It didn't taste like I would imagine roadkill would taste, in any case.)
- Then, just an hour or so ago, Ting called us down to tell us that ... drumroll ... the tub I had bought didn't fit in our tub space! (I had bought a tub based on my discussion with him, and his measurements and descriptions of what would fit, but I can only assume that there were factors I didn't understand that one takes into account when actually purchasing a tub.) I really really really didn't want to have to figure out how to send a 200-pound tub back and buy a new one, so Shannon, Ting, and I went to (intellectual) work, trying to figure out if we could fit in the existing tub. Much pondering was done, much consternation, some pessimism, much determination ... and in the end, Shannon was the one who came up with the solution. There are all kinds of strange boards on the wall that do not seem to be needed for structural integrity ... so Ting is going to take off part of the wall! Wow. Our tub will be invading the wall.
I just feel like every time Ting goes to put in one of the new bits, it doesn't work for one reason or another. I'm sort of dreading the application of the shower tile, because I really don't want it to be in any way wrong or difficult or needful of being suddenly and unexpectedly replaced.
This is day 3 of the 8 days Ting estimated for the project. Days of sledgehammering and electric sawing and banging and having to shower in the upstairs bathroom where we've never showered before.
I am extremely glad that I was able to pick up my Xanax prescription a few days ago. And I do own quite a few pairs of earplugs, so maybe I'll take another stress-escape nap and hope it isn't interrupted by OH MY GOD ANOTHER DISASTER I MUST SOLVE IMMEDIATELY!