One Runny Toilet and Three Bathroom Renovations Later…Almost


About six years ago….on Mothers’ Day, I was at Costco and on impulse (not really, but sort of ) I bought thee low flow toilets for about a hundred bucks a piece.  I went into to Costco to buy a loaf of cheese and came out with said loaf, plus what may ultimately prove to be a lifetime of bathroom renovations.

The toilets were the incendiary device that got this lifetime project going, but it had been gurgling below the surface for pretty much the entire time we have lived in our house.  With an old house and multiple toilets, it seems that runny toilets are pretty much a constant problem.  They run, you change out the guts, they are good for a few years, they start running again, rinse, lather repeat.  Unlike the women in remote Amazonian villages or on the Ole Miss Freshman hall, Toilets’ cycles do not synchronize and thus, it seemed as though our runny toilets were pretty much a constant problem.  Well, to the Queen anyway.

So, standing in front of the rack ‘o toilets at the Costco on that fateful Mothers Day, yours truly decided to put an end to the problem and put a lid on both the runny toilets and the seemingly infernal whining.

Now swapping out toilets is really not that big of a deal.  The greatest risks are cracking the porcelain and getting the old fittings to attach the new.  The problem is when your bathrooms haven’t been remodeled since the house was built, and each introduces itself like a spilled bottle of Hi Karate or BOD mens’ cologne.  By that I mean they have all the subtleties of the 1970’s; Harvest Gold, glittering Formica counter tops, teardrop shaped tiles, and wall-paper…..lots of wall-paper.

There was no way I was going to install these toilets without first renovating the bathrooms.  And the fact I procured the toilets myself should be a pretty good indicator as to who was going to undertake these projects.

So my wife and I carried ourselves over to Home Depot, took a course on how to lay tile and we were off to the races.  Except with us, projects are no race.  Over the course of the next several years we were able to knock out the first two bathrooms.  Then about a year ago, after a long recovery from the more recent bathroom, I started demo on the final one.  We saved our most public bathroom for last, because we wanted to hone our skills on #s 1 and 2 before dumping our final energies into what clearly needed to be our crowning achievement.

This last bathroom was and is a little trickier than the first two.  Because its location and subsequent loads it has to accommodate, its functional parts need to be out of commission for as brief a time as possible.  After happily tearing out the walls surrounding the tub and all of the floor tiles I showed up at work one day and discovered they had wiped out my division, and ‘POOF,’ just like that, I found myself collecting unemployment and complaining about Obamacare.  Hold that flush on #3 boys and girls.

But here is where it gets funny…at least to me.  Our son is graduating from high school in a few weeks, and we are hosting a family gathering afterwards to celebrate.  One might think this would cause my wife to start raising Hell to get the project done.  But, funds are still tight, and we need the cash to pay for the pigs in a blanket, salsa and Kool-Aid for my kid’s graduation party.

My wife, pragmatic, if not sane, rather than leave the CLEARLY disrupted lavatory in it’s present state, wants me to further demo it.  She seems to think, short of exploding a bomb in there, there might be some confusion amongst our guests as to what exactly is going on there.  So now, in preparation for the party, I have to rip out more walls, shred wall paper, and leave light fixtures dangling, lest there be any doubt.

So I’m wondering, should I go ahead and yank the toilet and sink too?

We could simply close the door, call the Port-‘O-Pot folks and have them set one of their blue units up on the deck.  After all, they are #1 in the #2 business.


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