How to Destroy Your Bathroom, Pt. 3

I really ought to rename this series “How to Rebuild Your Bathroom”.  That’s right, Uncle F#@k-Up, as the spinmeisters say, is trending upward.  Demolition of the bathroom finished on Friday afternoon with the removal of a nasty clogged pipe.  How clogged can a sink drain really be?  Ugh:

That material inside the drain had the look and consistency of hard dry dirt.  For the last several months, or even years, whenever we used this sink (multiple times daily) everything would hit the clog and flow upward for about two inches, then pour out the top of the vent pipe which had long since corroded away. Where did it go from there?  Into our wall, of course!  The long-term effects of this are too horrifying and depressing to ponder.  Imagine a doctor going in to operate on your kidney and finding that your renal system hasn’t been connected.  Again:  ugh.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of my neighbor the plumber/mold remediator/heaven-sent angel, by mid-afternoon Friday the plumbing under the sink looked like this:

We ran the water and were pleased to find it ran inside the pipes rather than inside the wall.  Ahh, modern conveniences.  With the nasty demolition work completed, I got to repairing the hole in the wall I created while removing dry-rotted wood around the corner of the shower.  Geez, it makes me shudder even now, as if all this work were a dream and I’m going to wake up with it all still to do.  Here’s what the wall looked like after I cobbled together a sill plate and some wood backing to fill in the wall.  Man, if this isn’t airing your dirty laundry…

Quick!  Cover up that mess with some backer board and fiberglass mesh tape!  I should say that in each stage of this project I thought, “Well, some sloppiness now will just be covered up by the next layer.”

Okay, goop it all with plaster, sand, and goop again.  This is ready for paint which’ll hopefully render the surface even smoother and whiter.  If you squint it almost looks normal, which is I’m sure what’ll be written on my gravestone.

Another sweaty and head-scratching chore was piecing the plywood subfloor together and screwing it down.

Luckily my dad was in town so I had him work on screwing the floor down while I cut the pieces.  As you’ll see, the pieces are all a bit short, but for good reason, I promise!  Usually you put the plywood down first, then the door and cabinet trim.  Doing this in reverse, I had to leave enough margin to clear the edge…oh forget it.  You’re right, it’s a sh*tty looking job.  But the next layer of flooring will cover up all mistakes.  Definitely.

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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2 comments on “How to Destroy Your Bathroom, Pt. 3
  1. Wendy says:

    I think you’ve done an incredible job, actually. We had a pipe burst in the shop’s wall over the winter and I dread our fix-it. You guys are welcome to come up and mess it up with us. 🙂

  2. psoutowood says:

    Cool. I mean cool that we could come up and do some MacGuyver repairs, not cool that it burst. At least it was in the shop and not, say, your toilet waste line.

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