October 10, 2009

Reaching for New Lows in Blogging

Poor construction and water damage/rot issues have caused us to have to gut our Master Bathroom once and for all. Two years ago we replaced a wall and a ceiling. Now we're replacing the entire shower, the remaining shower walls (not necessarily part of the shower, but adjacent), the floor...

... and I decided, "Forget it. If someone is coming in to do all this work, we'll spend the extra money, have all the crappy tile pulled up and redo the bathroom.'

Yes, I've been taking pictures.

I did an inordinate amount of research both on quality and pricing for EVERYTHING. This took months of planning and is being funded by the tax return we received this year. Otherwise... we'd have just had to close off the bathroom and not used it.

Construction started Monday, I love the gentleman that is working in our bathroom as he's thorough, kind, and honest. His being here has taken most of the stress out of the project.

Having picked everything out in advance has taken out a good chunk of any remaining stress. We've communicated openly, have been working with the various subcontractors, made decisions in a timely manner, and all of that is making it much easier.

So what is the stress?

The frickin' commode.

At the last minute, which is not like me, I decided we should change the commode. Actually, I nixed the idea as I didn't want to spend one penny over my budget and the guys at work convinced me I was being stupid. They felt certain that the toilet I had did not work as efficiently as it should and probably used more water than it should as well.

They were right. I called my husband and said, "Fine, let's replace it."

And here's a quick segue difference in men and women. For the last two weeks Bones and Mr. T have been making a joke about Universal Rundle. I don't get the joke. But I hear the snickering, Bones saying things like, "I changed the name now, T, it's Universal GRUNdle."


Absolute loss for me.

Until Sunday, my in-laws were here for dinner and Bones and T start on their Universal Rundle jokes, lost on me still, and my brother in law looks at me and says, "Universal Rundle? Where have I heard that?" I replied, "No clue. Bones and T say it all the time. I have no idea what they're talking about..."

We just kind of looked at each other, shrugged, and kept cooking.

Finally my brother in law, still listening to the boys carry on, says, "OH! It's the name of the toilet."

Still clueless I said, "Hunh. Really?"

He laughed and said, "Casual reading."

Folks, that went right over my head... until I started researching toilets and realized, the name of our toilet is stamped between the bowl and the water tank.

Women don't look there often... once a week when I'm cleaning? Maybe? If I'm paying attention? Men look there... every day. Multiple times a day.

And so I've been laughing, calling it our new Mars/Venus incident.

Anyway, flash forward to Friday, my husband went to the plumbing store to look at toilets. He has been on every toilet site looking at videos and reading so as to make the right choice. Really, to some degree, it's kind of disturbing watching these videos. He's been on this site a lot, choose toilets and you'll have videos to choose from where you will find bowls filled with plastic filled tubes.

Sorry. I'm not offended, but... I don't know. There is an ick factor. At least they made the plastic filled tubes multi-colored... they aren't brown.

So he's in the plumbing store with Bones and T and he's talking to the woman about commodes and he can't remember the name of what we have.

The woman names them off, "Toto? American Standard? Kohler?" and each is met with a No as my husband looks at the boys and asks only to hear them say, "Uh. I don't remember..."

It was like that frickin' cartoon with the singing frog that won't sing in front of people. Probably earlier in the morning they were singing some Universal Rundle song and now? Nothing.

Anyway, the woman sees the list of what my husband has been looking at and starts to talk to him about 'elegant commodes'.


IT'S A COMMODE. I'm all about form, fit and function. My only esthetic requirement be that it is WHITE. It needs to fit in the bathroom, function, be easy to clean. THAT'S it! Preferably, we can GET RID of that daggum plunger.

I know. TMI. But seriously, I'm over it. The only reason I'm getting rid of the toilet is so that we can get something that doesn't require double and triple flush and waste water. Otherwise... please... it's a functional tool.

But this is how he's choosing it, with esthetics being the deciding factor after he's narrowed down his list by performance. Our lists look completely different. Evidently the truly high performance commodes are 'ugly'.

Finally I said, "Fine. Pick whatever you want. I don't care. Don't spend a lot of money. And it needs to flush..."

We'll see. Honestly, who would have thought that picking out a frickin' commode would be our big issue when redoing a bathroom?


Posted by Boudicca at October 10, 2009 07:33 PM

When I first read, "He has been on every toilet (site)," I started picturing him actually sitting on every toilet, trying them out...much like when you go to buy a new mattress. But then I re~read and caught the word "site." Phewww! For some reason, having to sit on every toilet before you buy one...just did not sit well with me!

Happy toilet shopping! Bon flush!

Posted by: DogsDontPurr at October 10, 2009 09:09 PM

When we had to replace our guest bath toilet a few months ago I went with the one that guaranteed could 'flush a bucket of golf balls'. Plus, it's white. ;)

Posted by: Pam at October 10, 2009 09:40 PM

I took a peek at that Kohler site. Finally they started doing realistic tests, using plastic tubes instead of balls. All that's missing is the simulated wads of toilet paper... oops, I'm not helping the ick factor here. Anyway the newer toilets are very efficient flushers compared to the first generation low-flow toilets. Having a little vacuum boost helps immensely. Okay, I know I have a bit of a toilet fetish, but a dream house with inadequate toilets is a deal killer in my book.

Posted by: diamond dave at October 10, 2009 11:20 PM

I have first generation toilets and want to frickin scream every time the boys poop... 2 or 3 flushes... not very efficient if we have to flush 2 or 3 times. sucks to be me but i'm not changing toilets out. Unless they have a $5 on some good ones. ;-)

Posted by: vw bug at October 11, 2009 07:17 AM

We redid our kitchen and bathroom a few years ago, after the kids were all gone. They were all excited about the renovations when we mentioned the new Jacuzzi. Well, until they came home to find that the new commode was made by Jacuzzi.

Posted by: Ted at October 11, 2009 09:03 AM

I have found it doesn't matter at all which room you are fixing or even how minor the fix - some problem like this always crops up. We've been lucky in not being stuck with low-flo toilets in the places we've lived.

However, in our current house... they put in some bath fixtures that are very strong colors. I'm scared to death a toilet seat will break and I won't be able to find a replacement.

For you - best part is having another bathroom in the house to use - 10000% less stress. We did a gut/remodel in our first house to get it ready to sell - the bathroom was in horrible shape. It was the only bathroom in the house (not even a half bath). One night we had studs, concrete slab floor, a tub and toilet. Then we had drywall tub and toilet.

Then the guy doing the remodel came down with pneumonia and was in the hospital for 4 days... We were using the kitchen sink for all the bathroom stuff for over a week and carefully taking tub baths so as not to ruin the drywall. *sigh*

Posted by: Teresa at October 11, 2009 12:35 PM

In my dream house, every room that contains running water (kitchen, laundry, bath) has a slab floor with a drain in the middle. People should design with water damage in mind. Leaky anything puts me in a pissy mood.

Posted by: PeggyU at October 11, 2009 03:16 PM

As long as we're searching for new lows in blogging, Bou, I'm a big fan of the bidet. You should add one. Like having angels whisper sweet nothings in your bum-bum. For want of a more appropriate simile.

Posted by: Velociman at October 11, 2009 04:27 PM

I looked at the little video at the Kohler site and I swear I saw a farookin' square toidy. WTF? I don't know anyone with a square ass; at least I don't think I do.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at October 11, 2009 07:22 PM

DDP- I'm laughing!!! Can you imagine? I wonder if there are people who do that. "Here, I want to sit on this commode and see how it fits..." LOL!

Pam- Seriously, I'm all about the flush. I personally am embarrassed when I have guests and they have to ask me if I have a plunger. I'm horrified when that happens.

DD- Until we moved into this home 13 years ago, with the 1st generation low flush, I had no idea how important I would think the commode was as a homeowner. Now? Top of the list.

VW- I'd not be changing mine out if not for having to overhaul that bathroom. I had a wax seal replaced on the guest bath and didn't have them give me a new one. Nope.

Ted- Jacuzzi commodes?!!! Hunh. I looked at their site. They sell them at Lowe's... Interesting...

Teresa- Good Lord, I cannot even imagine not having another bathroom to use! That would be a nightmare!!! Seriously... Good grief! This has NOT been a nightmare. This is a minor, very minor inconvenience...

Peggy- I have pix of the damage I think. I'm so sick of mold, mildew, water damage. Very sick of it. This should be it for this bathroom. The next is the kids', which I strongly suspect has water issues in it's tub/shower. We had very poor construction and didn't know it. Regular dry wall and green board used in water areas...

Vman- Heh, my boys were talking about the bidet. I told them, "We don't live in Europe..."

Jim- No, only Sponge Bob has a square ass. :)

Posted by: Bou at October 11, 2009 09:08 PM

I never heard of Universal Rundle, maybe I'm too near sighted or maybe it's a regional supplier. But my dad has a waterless. Eventually, the heating elemnt goes out and your son has to replace it. :(

Posted by: Carl Brannen at October 12, 2009 10:04 PM

Want me to send Dad down to help you out?


Posted by: Jerry in Indiana at October 13, 2009 12:34 AM