Wednesday, October 29, 2014


It's been a while since I have written a long blog, but I've been sick off and on for a while. But today, I must tell the story of the Rube Goldberg effort. Necessity is the mother of invention!!

First, I want to thank the great people at my local Home Depot – Ashley, Brad, and Kim for all their help (especially Ashley). Without their help, I would not have gotten this renovation job done.

A couple years ago, the tiles on the back wall of my bathtub area started to come loose. As time wore on, to prevent them from falling off, I put duct tape on them. One year later, more duct tape. When the tiles started tilting forward, I finally decided that something had to be done.

With Ashley and Brad's help, I priced the materials to replace the back wall of tiles and the proper method to do so. It seemed like hard, complicated work.

On another day, I priced the fiberglass insert (3/5 piece walls) – my other option. The insert and adhesive were about the same price as replacing just one wall. After talking to the experts (mentioned) at Home Depot, I decided to go with the fiberglass wall insert method. Kim, in the Home Appliance department, helped me pick out the Allura style insert, which the inventory list said was available. However, it could not be found while I was there. It was a Friday, and more stock was due in on Monday, according to Kim. I said I'd wait.

The next morning about 8 am, I got a call from Brad at Home Depot. He found the Allura box in the overflow stock area overhead and it was available for me to come pick it up. That to me is dedication to the job. I had spoken to Brad when I was pricing the tile replacement job. Kim related to Brad that I was looking for the item that was suppose to be in the store, and he took it upon himself to find it for me. Saturday, I went to Home Depot and purchased the tub insert and the greenboard drywall.

Sunday afternoon, the guy who was going to do the job showed up with his helper. The helper turned out to be the contractor, and the one who agreed to do the job was the helper, after the job started. A tarp was put in the tub and I pulled the duct tape off the wall and all the tiles fell into the tub. There was nothing behind the tiles in that section. The plaster had desintigrated and fell behind the tub wall under the house. As the workers removed the rest of the tiles on the wall, there was only a small bit of deteriating plaster between the rear studs.

The top of the back wall was in tact and usable; the right side wall was totally in tact; and half the left side wall was useable. Therefore, only three-quarters of the back wall had to have drywall attached, and half of the front side.

The next day, the insert was installed with the tubes of adhesive I had purchased. The glue residue from the tiles was still on some of the wall area. It was sanded down and drywall mud was applied to cover that area.

Tuesday the guys came back to apply a second coat of drywall mud to the wall area. After it dries, it can be sanded and a primer coat of paint applied to protect the wall from moisture. In order to assist in the drying process, I put my small space heater in the bathroom overnight to keep the room warm. It worked, because it was all dry by noon the next day.

They were coming back to sand and primer on Wednesday. I contacted the “helper” but got no response. I contacted the “guy” but got no response. So now my handyman said he will finish the job. I bought the paint and primer.

After being without a proper shower area from Sunday to Wednesday, I took it upon myself to “make-do.” Rube Goldberg was always an inspiration to me, because my father would speak of him often. I used old-faithful duct tape to attach both my shower curtain and liner to the wall around the shower. The walls had not been caulked yet. It worked! I got an 'almost real' shower.

Needless to say, the contractors never came back after they got paid. I won't be recommending them any time soon! But they did get the job done those three days. My handyman came to sand and primer the wall areas on Thursday. Saturday he came back to paint the entire room after I stripped the walls of decorations.

On Sunday morning, I opened the paint can and touched up a few areas that needed attention and began to put the room back together. The wall decorations went up, the floor (and everything else) was cleaned, and the shower curtains went back up on the rod. When I was finished at 3pm, the room looked like a normal - newly decorated – bathroom. Success!

The finishing touch was to add the border around the tub wall that matches the ceiling border. After 3 pm, I got my first REAL SHOWER in my newly decorated area and it was GOOD. One week without a proper shower area is too long; sponge baths get old fast.

If it were not for the help I got at Home Depot, this job would not have been done in a financially responsible manner. I also want to thank my best girlfriend for her assistance in getting this mission accomplished. She is a TRUE friend!

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