Brooke here. Say what you want about Friends, but their episode titles are lovely and straightforward. They let you know immediately which episode you were skipping.
So. This is a Hired Dudes post.
There were two major snags in the bathroom remodel. The first is the cabinets and OHBOYHOWDY are those going to be three of the strangest blog posts I have ever written -ever- and please keep in mind that at one time I put into digital print before God and country how my dog masturbated his penis raw.
The second major snag was the plumbing. We’ve used this company (let’s call them… oh, how about Professional Pipe Layers) many, many times before. We even bought an air conditioner from them for our previous home, so they were in good standing with us. We gave them money, they gave us heating and cooling and water, and everybody was okay with this. Finding a plumber was a non-issue for the bathroom remodel. I called PPL, they came out and gave us an estimate, and once I accepted it they sent a technician out to do the work.
We shall call this first technician Bob.
Bob replaced the old galvanized pipes for the shower, fixed the leaky bathtub drain, put in a new line for the toilet, and fixed the nipples* on the hot and cold lines for the sink. Then he put in the new bathtub and left. I texted Brown and let him know that we had a nice new tub!
Our contractor came back the following day and called me into the bathroom. He pointed out a few things I had missed when Bob was there. The new pipes in the shower hadn’t been fastened to anything and rattled, the tub wasn’t level, and when he put any weight on the tub, it moved. I got on the phone with my Professional Pipe Layers, and since the contractor couldn’t do any work until the tub was fixed, he left. I texted Brown and let him know that the tub was a lie.
PPL sent out a new technician. We shall call him Keith. Keith pulled the tub from the wall and found that Bob had left the whole thing floating in space. There was no mortar bed or support structure whatsoever. Apparently Bob had just attached the drain ring and gone home. Keith removed the tub and then told me the floor was not level, and that he could not install the tub until the contractor fixed the floor.
That statement became very can-of-wormy. I was on the phone with the contractor while Keith was standing in the gutted bathroom, the middleman between two increasingly grumpy tradesdudes, each of whom made really good arguments about why the other was responsible.
KEITH: “It’s the contractor’s job to level the floor before I get here!”
CONTRACTOR: “It’s the plumber’s job to install the tub!”
The longer this went on, the more confusing things got. It ended with me throwing my phone at Keith so they could yell at each other directly. Keith, furious, did something to make the tub temporarily level. He pointed at me and said my contractor had no idea what he was doing and PPL would not be held responsible when my tub cracked, broke, and killed the three orphans taking shelter in the garage below. Keith then stormed off. I texted Brown to let him know we had a tub again, but it was more like the illusion of a tub and should in no way be used for anything tub-like.
The following day the contractor laid a mortar bed for the tub. He was still angry at Keith, but since Keith wasn’t there to shout at, the next best thing was to teach me why Keith was an idiot. Old houses, the contractor said, rarely had level floors under the old tubs, and it was necessary to pour a mortar bed when a replacement tub was installed or it would never reach true level. Keith needed to set the tub in the fresh mortar and attach it to the studs to fix the angle before the mortar was dry, tub installation in an old house is a simultaneous process, only tubs in new construction can get away without mortar beds, Keith should know this, anyone with years of experience in orphan-drowning should…
This went on for a while (by the way, I now know how to install a tub, but I don’t know if I can do it without yelling at invisible men). When it was done, I texted Brown to let him know we had a tub for reals this time. Set in literal liquid stone and everything.
The contractor does the tiling and such, and everything is pretty and clean and it’s finally ready for the fixtures to go in. The shower head and the trim plate install beautifully. Then Brown goes to put in the toilet…
Oh Bob. You scamp!
The toilet nipple** extended seven inches out of the wall. No toilet could fit without colliding with it. And when Brown goes to put the spigot on the tub, the copper line from the tub doesn’t have a male end.*** So I’m back on the phone with PPL, and Keith comes out, and since the contractor isn’t there, Keith decides to educate me on how my contractor didn’t know what he was doing (by the way, apparently I do not know how to install a tub, invisible men nonwithstanding). Which didn’t carry too much weight with me, as he had missed the same problems he was there to fix on his previous visit.
And there’s the plumbing drama. Orphans beware.
* Not my term.
** Again, not my term, but feel free to giggle.
*** I know I did.