Welcome to Southern Comfort!

Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I invite you to grab a glass of sweet tea and join me as I (along with my husband, John) renovate our love nest. We're both born and raised in the south and love to share with you some of our favorite recipes, stories and our life. We hope you'll come back often!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Bathroom Files: The Toll it Took

When I posted about our bathroom makeover taking a toll on both of us and our house it wasn't a joke. As with any renovation, things come up unexpectedly. We're level-headed enough to accept that. What we didn't estimate was that what seemed like a pretty straightforward project ended up being anything but.

We started this project on a Saturday night at 10pm on a whim. What can I say? We're night owls. After earlier that day we had stripped the wallpaper (which you can read all about here) I was prepared to shut the door and continue on it another weekend. At 10pm that night we both found ourselves looking for something to do, and low and behold, we got to work extracting the vanity (which you can read about here), toilet and removing the old floor. By 12:30 am we had pretty much removed all we could and still weren't sleepy. So we laid the new floor.

We purchased some peel-and-stick tiles from Lowe's several months back. They were being discontinued and the price went down from $2.99 sq/ft. to $0.22 sq/ft. Since this bathroom is our guest bath, it doesn't get a whole lot of use, and we knew a peel-and-stick would be perfect for the space. So for just over $6.00 we had a whole new floor. It was a breeze to install too. Very quick and painless. Since the tiles were 12x12 we decided to lay them in a brick pattern to open up the room a little. It looks fabulous.

Eveything seems to be going ok so far right? Yep.
The next day we installed the vanity. We purchased it from Home Depot back last Christmas when they put it on sale for $39 (Score!). So it patiently sat in the guest bedroom until we installed it. Very straight-forward. Even installing the new faucet (which we paid full price for because there are some things we just don't want to scimp on) was pretty simple.

But the toilet. Oh. The toilet. We purchased our new toilet from Home Depot. We bought the same "low-flow" model we have in our master and love. After getting our knowledge on (youtube and google video are awesome for DIYers) we felt pretty sure we knew what we needed to do. We had even purchased a new (better quality, according to our friends at Ace) wax ring. Project = FAIL. Water seeped out from around the base of the toilet. It wasn't bad, but there was no way we could use it yet. So we did more research, and bought ANOTHER wax ring (once you use it and squish it, apparently it's un-usable again, so the box said). Attempt #2 = FAIL. Same problem. Crap. Repeat. FAIL.
 We'd been working on this toilet all. week. long. Each evening after work one of us would stop by the hardware store (they know us by name at this point I believe) while the other goes home and continues working onthe drywall project (from removing the door). Then we'd work on the toilet. By this point it was coming up on the next weekend. We had John's family coming in town to celebrate his birthday and we NEEDED to have the bathroom complete and useable (nothing like a timeline right?).
So Saturday morning rolls around and we think we've gotten everything pulled together. Hardware hung, walls painted, towels washed and hung, and FINALLY the toilet debacle has been conquered.

** I have no pictures of this step due to the frequency of removal and replacement, and frustration. Stupid toilet**
We enjoy a nice day with family. The bathroom is being used with no hiccups. Until that night. We notice water dripping into the living room while watching T.V. Ohmygodyou'vegottobekiddingme. We RUN upstairs and turn the water off at the source (again) John accidentally breaks the valve to the water source. Now we can't get the water to stop at all. We get it down to a drip, but a drip is still a drip with the toilet still leaking. No DIY video or youtube can help get us out of this one.

I get busy trying to find a plumber. On a Saturday. At 10pm. With luck, by midnight we are down $100 bucks,  have 3 wet towels, 1 large, water stain on the living room ceiling, 2 grumpy homeowners, 1 drunk and pissed plumber for calling him during his Saturday night (but no one forced him to answer our call) we have 1 fully installed and useable toilet.

Here it is 3 weeks later. We still have yet to turn on the water upstairs in fear the toilet will leak again. We are still living with the water stain in the living room.

Home projects never end...

What we did learn is: We are NOT plumbers. We are fairly good at dry-walling though. We will be hiring a plumber for all our needs in the master bath redo.


  1. Anonymous9/27/2010

    Oh no! We're sure it will turn out gorgeous!


  2. Oh no!!! Somethings I just don't even want to try to DIY! Plumbing is one of those! Good luck - I am sure it will be beautiful!

  3. Oh, that sucks! And it was all going along so well and with such great bargain buys. What a supreme drag but at least it's finally done. Plumbing and electrical are the two really scary DIYs.


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