Joe came down to assist me in putting in the new toilet and in cutting a couple bathroom doors so that they would fit the frames. Initially, I had planned to have him help me with putting in the remaining shower fixtures as well, but since the installation of those items would’ve covered some grout lines which I still need to seal, I decided to forgo those minor projects.

And it’s a good thing I did, because the first thing I did this morning was break off the end of bolt which secures the toilet to the closet flange (which attaches to the drain pipe under the toilet). We had to go out to Cascade Nut & Bolt and pick up a drill bit and a tap before we could do anything. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Thank God Joe was here. I’ve never tapped anything in my life and wouldn’t have had the first clue in how to do it. (Tapping is the process of re-threading the opening so that a new screw can be put into place.)

That accomplished, the new bolts went into the flange no problem-o, we set the wax ring on the toilet, set it into position, and connected up all the miscellaneous bits. It’s not rocket science, but when things—like that bolt breaking—go wrong it can sure seem like it is. Under normal circumstances I could have done this solo; why am I not surprised that another of my home improvement projects turned out to have abnormal circumstances? Like I say, thank God Joe was here.

[The Toto Supreme toilet is nice. It’s quiet on the flush and the tank refill, and the seat has an anti-slam feature which keeps it from banging when you close the seat or lid. It’s pretty nifty.]

Joe also gets major props for his work in trimming the bathroom doors to fit their respective frames. The upstairs bathroom door wouldn’t fit because the new tile raised the floor by a quarter inch. The downstairs bathroom was binding since before we moved in. Joe + saw = doors both fit. Nice!

So the first half of the upstairs bathroom remodel is almost completed. The tile guy will be out again tomorrow morning to attach the grab bar and to do some caulking. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday I’ll be sealing the grout. Yes, that’s right: Three times total, once each of those days. On Tuesday, I’ll attach the remaining shower fixtures and test it out. If all goes well, we’ll be showering in the remodeled upstairs bathroom on Tuesday night.

As I’ve said before, looking forward to next year, we plan to paint the bathroom, refinish the vanity, put in a new counter top and sink, and replace old hardware (knobs and handles) with more modern stuff. It shouldn’t be too difficult a project compared to what we’ve already completed, but finances being what they are, I’m guessing it will be next summer before we get to it. Not to mention that the guest room transformation into a nursery will leapfrog it on the priority list. For now, I’m sure we’ll have no problems being content with what we’ve got.