Sunday, January 10, 2016

Renovation + Relationship the Bathroom

Several weeks ago I was recounting the harrowing story of our master bath tub installation to a friend (it's very heavy and had to be cemented to the bathroom floor, which required many, many rounds of lifting it out of its wooden frame and putting it back in...anyway...) when she remarked that Mr. W and I must work really well together on this sort of stuff.

Yes. And No.

I cannot tell you how many times he has banned me from his workspace. (I ask too many questions and point out too many issues that aren't important in the moment.) And I can't tell you how many times I've nearly beaten him in the head with whatever object I just painted that he scuffed.

Typically, he is all about process and precision and I am all about speed and good-enough aesthetics.

Oftentimes, his by-the-book way of doing things leads to me whining in a pool of salted caramel ice cream, lamenting the fact that we're STILL Under Construction—while my corner-cutting drives him to lecture like Al Gore and curse like Amy Schumer. And then he usually bans me from the room.

But sometimes when the stars are aligned just right, our dueling approaches come together in marital renovation perfection.

For example, during the bathtub installation.

Although Mr. W had a bizarre Rainman-esque talent for applying wood veneer in our other bathroom, when it came time to install the veneer around the tub deck, we hit a wrinkle.

Literally, the veneer wrinkled. And so did Mr. W. He crumpled into the bathtub in total and utter defeat.

Cue my good-enough pep talk. I assured him that we could just cut out a bit of the extra veneer with a razor and flatten it into place and it would look like any other line of wood grain—no one would ever know we had popped a big bubble right there. He begrudgingly complied and you know what? It looks great. And no one will ever notice the line when they look.

The next snafu came when we were trying to get the tub lined up to perfectly sit in the deck hole and nestle just right between the floor joists so that we (haha who am I kidding with this "we" stuff—I meant HE) could connect the plumbing. The only problem was that there was a huge 4" x 4" beam just east of where the drain needed connect through the floor.

Mr. W had to cut the tub deck hole bigger so we could shimmy everything around and Doh—we accidentally ended up with a gap between the deck and the lip of the tub.

He put his head in his hands. I thought he might cry. After all the hard work with the veneer, now there was a stupid gap that couldn't be repaired.

But ah—wait a minute—this corner-cutter is also an expert problem solver.

So saddened by my poor husband's broken renovation spirit, I sprung into action and grabbed an extra piece of quarter-round floor molding. This is where we balance each other out perfectly, my friends. When the perfectionist is near tears, I use my ingenuity to bring him out of it.

"We'll just cut a piece of molding, paint it, spray it with high gloss and it'll look like it's part of the bathtub. Plus, it's on the backside so NO ONE WILL EVER SEE IT." (We say this a lot in our house.)

The clouds parted in his eyes and a little sunshiny ray of hope broke through.

So that is the secret to our renovation success. Picking the other person up after they've fallen (either on their own or because we've knocked each other down). It seems to work pretty darn well.

That said, do me a favor, would you? Don't scrutinize the bathroom when you come visit us.

An in-progress shot of the shower. Mr. W finished tiling, we just have to grout and find a shelf solution for inside the shampoo nook.
I'm in love with the hex tile in the shower floor. We're still installing the final little halvsie pieces (I think Mr. W cut about 85 of them today) but it's going to look great once it's grouted.
Still working out some kinks in the veneer. Need to grout the floor. Oh and then there's the whole building of the vanity and installing the sinks shtick to deal with...

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