Months of cleaning my teeth in the downstairs junked up utility room sink have come to a close. I now can re-join the human race and clean my teeth in my lovely new bathroom sink in the tool and insulation bombed-out bathroom.
A million years ago, or so it seems, I took a large hammer to my avocado bathroom suite and moved my ablutions downstairs. I expected it to only take a matter of weeks to get back to normality but plans tend to swerve and shimmy in the property developing game. What was once a plan became a dream and the dream became a distant memory, but who cares, that’s in the past, it’s now all hands to the bathroom sink.. wahee.
It doesn’t matter that it’s still a building site.
In my constant drive to produce something beautiful on a budget I’d bought some railway sleepers some time ago. They’d been sourced in a yard with a pile of the untreated oak beauties, all I had to do was give them a stiff sanding and oil them up and hammer them into place. That was the theory anyway.
Oak is damned hard, it’s so hard my super long screws – specially designed to join railway sleepers – broke after only getting into the sleepers a third of their length. It took hours to mash holes through for the drain and taps, the drill bits strained and burned just drilling little pilot holes. The sanding wasn’t too bad, although my master bedroom, come workshop, will need a serious de-sawdust and maybe a spot of paint and a trip to the washer for all the curtains.
The plan was to use four sleepers, already cut to size thank goodness and pin them to the carcass I had fabricated from the base of the large cupboard that had lived in the bathroom. The carcass had been constructed ages ago, unfortunately, it turned out a little too narrow for the sink base and had to be widened. It later turned out to be less than square to the floor at one end and resulted in much chiselling, sawing and clamping to get it back square – I wasn’t going to dismantle it at this stage, things had been glued into place.
Even fitting the countertop sink proved problematic, firstly I’d purchased the wrong size plug and as I’d done this months earlier I couldn’t return it. The replacement proved a challenge too, I fitted it, glued in the sink, turned on the tap and it leaked from the plug seal. Any other seal wouldn’t have been a problem but the plug seal meant I had to lever it off to break the glue seal, fix it and re-glue it into place. It turned out the seal was fine but the paper packing put between the seals was causing the leak – who puts in paper packaging in a seal!!!
The taps even required a modification, the fixings were a crazy far-Eastern size and need replacing.
Much teasing, hammering, bashing coupled with some fine-noodling and I had a wonderful basin and cabinet in place. It really is fantastic, it needs a bit of tarting up cleaning down excess glue and the like but it works like a dream. I’ve had a countertop sink in the past and it always felt like form over function, but hey this really works, it’s such a nice shape and size and the tap seems to even aerate the water, it really is lovely.
Next a bit of work finishing the Hardiebacker board around the sink and getting the shower base in.
Hmmm the shower base, not my favourite topic.
The shower base seems fine, but it was provided with a low-level fast-flow waste. This seemed fine too and sat in its packaging for months waiting for me to install it. Problems started though when I tried to fix it up to some pipe. Firstly, it just wouldn’t fit any known pipe, 40mm pipe (both push and solvent weld) was too tight or far too small, the fittings didn’t inspire confidence and they just were the wrong thread for anything in your plumbers’ merchants.
I gave the supplier a ring, they told me to send in photos and an explanation, I did this and they ignored it.
I then tried three specialist plumbers’ merchants, they were bamboozled, they mostly suggested they were grey imports and/or had missing parts, it all didn’t help. I even started dreaming of the problem, one night a particularly vivid dream provoked the solution of a microphone bayonet fitting being the answer.
Anyway the suppliers let me down big time, I would express though that it was months back that I bought the part and I may have mislaid a necessary add-on part so I’m willing to take some of the blame. A simple email in reply would have helped, even if it were to say “bog off it’s been too long” or “you’ve lost this you numbskull” I would have felt better… I could have moved on, sniff.
Without this help I had to find an alternative, the one I sourced through Screwfix had to be returned as it sat too proud in the low level tray and eventually with much cunning and guile I sourced one in Victoria Plumbing, one with the right amount of lowness for the job. One that worked too.
The shower is coming on, last night on getting in at 11:30pm I found myself siliconing a piece plywood, a piece joining the jumble I’d put in over the past couple of weeks. This was the last board with the necessary keyhole cut for the shower waste, the last board on the lower section… shower bases and tanking do get rather elaborate.
The next step is nightmarish, it involves a loose concrete mix and a very heavy shower base, what could go wrong.
Anyway a quick clean of my teeth in the lovely sink and off to bed in the room next door.