Not terribly interesting things

There is getting to be something of a theme to these posts, I'm afraid. They are few and far between, and all about the same thing. Such is my state of mind, right now. Also I'm not actually doing anything other than renovating the house - even the job that I had hoped would start soon has now evaporated in a puff of insubstantial wishful thinking, which is a bit of a bugger, but that's another story.

So we finally had heat and hot water a week ago. Alas, we still had no shower to make use of that wonderful luxury, and whilst we had a bath, it was not connected to the pipework. And indeed was in one of the bedrooms, buried under a pile of things too mundane to list here. I suppose we could have used it, but not without such effort as would negate any cleaning effects.

Thus it was that I had to move my attention from the ongoing rewiring and concentrate on the shower. OK, so we have the use of the bathroom in the old house, at least for now, but it's a mile up the road. The Horse Doctor has been dropping in on her way to work each morning, but was getting tired of the early starts. And letting me know that she was getting tired of the early starts.

Now, I like a good shower, it must be said. Yes, I like to soak in a hot bath too, but there is a joy to being pummelled by torrents of blissfully hot water. One of the main reasons for updating all the plumbing in the first place was to accommodate this somewhat perverse leaning of mine. And since this house is ours (or at least the mortgage company's, but they let us use it), I was determined to indulge my cleanliness fetish to the full. Starting with the tiles - no cheap and nasty shiny white nonsense here. We opted for lovely natural Travertine stone, all the way from Italy or Libya or Turkey or somewhere.*

Stone tiles are not quite like their glazed cousins. They require considerable more effort to install nicely. First you have to make sure the wall is strong enough to take the weight. Then you need to use a flexible tile adhesive that sets rock hard in about thirty minutes, meaning you can only put up a dozen or so tiles at a time. Then you need to clean up the bucket before mixing the next batch, so installing that lot took a couple of days.

but worth the effort, I think.

Once they were up, they had to be sealed, twice, with a foul-smelling concoction that gave me a bastard of a headache. Then, after the sealer had dried, they were ready for grouting.

The grout in question was another of these 'mix only as much as you can use in half an hour' jobs. Unlike glazed tiles, these Travertine ones are also full of natural holes, which need to be filled. So you use a lot of grout, and have to get the excess off sharpish before it sets solid, as it's slightly harder than the stone. There's a shade under five square metres of tiles in this shower, and grouting them all took me two days.

After which there was just the shower mixer itself to install. And the lovely class cubicle, large enough to... well, we won't go there.

Except that the shower mixer had no instructions (and only half the washers it should have had). It took most of Saturday just to work out how the damned thing was supposed to fit together.

And then the cubicle. Ah, the cubicle. It at least had instructions, written in a version of English known only to translators of far-eastern languages. 'With referring also to the special diagram, fit first the glass moving parts to the metal under hooked parts.' Right.

But it did have a diagram, with exact measurements on it. Only the diagram showed an earlier design of cubicle. So I had to guess. And I got it wrong. Not a lot wrong, but enough that the door wouldn't shut properly. Sunday night came and went, and still the gap was there at the top (but not at the bottom). At about one in the morning I gave up and went to bed grubby.

Yesterday, finally, I worked out what the problem was. It took a couple of hours to fix and as that door finally swung tightly against its magnetic seals I let out a deep sigh of relief.

not sure it's big enough now

Now the waterproof silicon bead has set, I can finally clean myself in my own home. It's been a long time coming.

And meantime, because I've not been getting on with the electrics, the floorboards are still up. Sooner or later someone was going to put a foot down in the wrong place. A pity it had to be the Horse Doctor.


I'm sure the bruises will fade in time.

*yes, I know, not exactly environmentally friendly. I could have used Welsh slate, but I'd have needed a second mortgage to buy it, and it's so dark.


Gabriele C. said…
Well, with the next house, go for a Roman bath. :)
norby said…
Looks great James-hope you and the Horse Doctor both enjoy it.
ACG said…
Just needs to be big enough for two ;-)
JamesO said…
Or a large dachshund. But as I said, ACG, we won't go there;}#

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