To Tub & Toilet

So the grouting is finished & sealed, 2 applications on the floor and 1 application on the shower walls. Now when the grout gets wet, the water runs across it in little beads. According to the bottle, it must be reapplied in 6 months, but then should last 20 years…? Sounds funny to me, but I’ll do it their way.

A large step forward was connecting the tub faucet and then attaching the mixer plate & handle. Pretty straightforward, except when trying to get the tub faucet to point downward. After screwing the faucet on and off about 20 times (and going through about half a roll of teflon tape) I finally got it to point down. Apparently there is a rule of thumb that the threaded pipe sticking out of the wall should be a very specific distance off the finish wall. But where is the fun in after the fact? I nearly cut my palm twisting it so hard, getting it to the right position, but I got it!

IMG_2255 B

The mixer plate and handle were pretty straightforward. The plate already had a seal attached to the back, so I simply had to line it up level and screw into place.

Then I decided to install the toilet! (I am probably the only person who is excited when work is over, knowing I get to go home and install a toilet…)

First thing was to line up the toilet flange and mark the holes where I would need to pre-drill. Turns out the floor tile is hard as nails. Even with a masonry bit, drilling directly into the face of these little hexagons was next to impossible. The bit would smoke and eventually turn red hot at the tip – wasn’t working. Because these tiles will never be visible, I used a hammer and nail-set to punch a hole or crack the tiles where the screws needed to be – this worked much better. Then I could screw the flange tight to the finish floor. I used 2″ stainless steel screws, and they fit in the countersunk holes just right.

I actually found quite a bit of discussion on plumbing & construction forums about whether the toilet flange is supposed to be affixed atop of the finish floor (as I did) or if it was meant to be attached before the tile so it would be flush with the finish floor. It sounds like it depends on different areas of the US as to which method is more popular among licensed plumbers. And I’m pretty sure I’ve seen both examples when replacing different toilets, and neither have leaked. Who knows.

IMG_2244 B

Above the flange is screwed into place (it only required 4 screws, but I used 6 just to make sure – this toilet is going no-where!). I have set the toilet anchor bolts into place and the wax seal is to the left, upside down in the plastic liner. Trying not to get my hands too dirty, I flipped the wax seal into place and peeled the plastic liner away. Then it was time to carefully lower the toilet onto the wax ring, trying to line up the anchor bolts with the corresponding holes in the toilet base.

(It was right about this time I figured I should sweep up the sawdust from the toilet – it has been sitting in one of the bedrooms where I’ve got my miter saw set-up so it got a little dusty.)

IMG_2241 BI never know exactly how tight to bolt down the base. I typically tighten the bolts evenly, making sure the toilet has no play and doesn’t rock at all on the floor. When the metal washers start to bend, I figure that is tight enough. I’m always worried about cracking the porcelain – I hear it can happen if you over tighten.

Attaching the tank is pretty straightforward. Set the rubber gasket on the underneath of the tank, and lower the tank onto the base. This model had 3 bolts. I made sure to tighten them evenly until I felt the gasket was evenly compressed. If the tank looked off-level, I simply tighten the opposite side to adjust.

IMG_2245 BI used a metal hack saw to cut off the tops of the anchor bolts, and then snapped on the plastic bolt covers. A simple braided water supply line, voila! I have a both a working tub and toilet tonight!IMG_2251 B

I’m still readying the dresser before I can set the sink into place. I’m using marine varnish, and it requires 6 coats to have a thick and water durable finish on top.

So what’s left before this bathroom and be a bath-done?

  • install window
  • tile, grout, and seal grout around window
  • 2nd coat of paint on walls
  • crown molding around ceiling
  • build & paint medicine cabinet
  • install light fixtures
  • fit door to frame
  • install door & window molding

Ok, maybe I’m not as close as I thought to finishing…

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  1. #1 by Jane on September 10, 2014 - 7:24 AM

    Looking good and you may still have a lot to get done yet but at least you have functioning plumbing in the bathroom. Just hang a curtain!

  2. #2 by Adam A. Ries on September 11, 2014 - 11:10 PM

    Thanks, Jane! Each day I’m getting closer.

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