Monday, 18 November 2013

The motto is - never do it yourself

This weekend I was planning on tackling the bathroom. The aim was to tile the floor and one of the walls ready the plumber to come and fit the toilet, sink and shower. Things did not go to plan. In fact, everything seemed to conspire against us.

Firstly, Mum brought the dog back from having looked after him for the week to give us some space to concentrate on moving house. We had her dog the previous week so it was a fair trade. She brought the dog over Saturday evening as I spent Saturday studying for my MSc. As soon as Mum arrived, so did my boyfriend with his sister and her two kids. His Grandad was ill, and because she doesn't get on with her Aunt, she was staying with us for the night.

Anyway, I dragged Mum out for a meal to get some peace and quiet and then she left and we continued on with the evening. The kids were round till after midday despite my worries that we needed to get started on the bathroom. Eventually we dropped them off at my boyfriend's Mum's house and went to Wickes to get some last minute pieces for tiling.

We bought edging for the bath and drill bits to cut through porcelain tile. Then we went home and started on the bathroom. We had to use a half paint, half water solution on the area round the bath ready for tiling so we did that first. Then we tried to attach our waterproof boards to the floorboard to have something to tile on to. This took way longer than we expected. We had to measure and cut holes round the pipes.

Then we started on the tiles. We tried to use the drill bits to cut a hole out of the tile for it to slot over the pipe. It didn't work. We snapped two tiles trying and spent almost an hour trying to cut a circle out of one. When we finally got near getting a good circle out of it, it also snapped. We gave up and decided to do straight cuts. We also tried to undo a pipe to make it smaller so we use a smaller hole. Turns out it's the valve and water started pouring out of it, so we quickly turned it off again... oops.

Then my boyfriend tried to screw down the boards. We had bought screws that we thought might be a little too long but he tried it anyway. Second screw in, he screws straight through a heating pipe and water starts pouring down under the floorboards, through the lovely new plaster work and into the floor below. It even starts coming through the smoke detector. The electrics go off, we can't find the stop pipe and I'm panicking!

To cut a long story short, we rushed round to the neighbours. We borrowed their phone to call an emergency plumber (we have no landline and signal is terrible on our mobile phones). One of the neighbours then came round to help us find the stop tap, but couldn't, so he turned it off from a manhole. The water stopped trickling. Complete lifesaver! The plumber then arrived and drained the heating system. Finally, the neighbours invited us in for a cup of tea. Thank goodness for kind people!

Anyway, here are some photos of our attempts of retiling (before we screwed through the pipe). Not as easy as I first thought....

 Painting round the bath area and trying to protect the new bath.
 Wet... after attempting to turn the valve
The floor with the boards fitted.. but no tiles yet

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