Monday, December 15, 2008

A Delicate Operation

Our bathroom renovation is very close to completion, which shouldn’t be surprising since it’s been going on for over two years. What is surprising is how many things there still are to be done and subsequently how many things to go wrong.

A couple of weeks ago, N discovered that our plumber, while installing the thermostat for our in-floor radiant heat system, had put a screw right through the thermostat wire, seriously wounding it. Unfortunately, the damaged wire was inaccessible deep inside the wall, our beautifully tiled wall.

  • Solution one, chisel out the surrounding wall tiles and repair the wire, necessitating a costly call to the tile setter or a messy, and possibly amateurish time consuming repair

  • Solution two, purchase the appropriate tools from the local army surplus store and perform surgery on the wire to remove the offending object and repair the damage

N both dreamed up and chose to perform solution two.

the newly acquired surgical tools

the patient (top right) prepped for surgery

the operation in progress (disclaimer--no electrical circuits were active during the operation)

I'm pleased to report that the surgery was a success. No tile was harmed during the operation.


As the project nears completion, it’s the little things that can hold you (by you, I mean us) back.

For example, when our vanity mirror was to be delivered early last week, everything seemed to be going well when I heard, from another room, the unmistakable sound of breaking glass.


Our marble slab, purchased as an off-cut from another project, turned out to be just a little over an inch too small to do both our vanity counter and shower seat. We are waiting for another off -cut from a project using statuario marble. Coincidentally, the project we are waiting on, so that we can get the remnants of their counter, is the kitchen of our next door neighbours, which is very strange since we chose this marble company in another city through a series of random incidents. Unfortunately, our neighbours’ renovation seems to be progressing almost as slowly as ours, so the shower seat may be a long way off.

Still, the bathroom even as it is—doorless, shower seatless, and mirrorless—is wonderful. We are very happy with it and will soon (relatively) be posting an entire bathroom redux.


Wanderluster said...

So glad to see another post from you! And I'm waiting on the final bathroom reveal with bated breath.

We narrowly avoided that same problem with our infloor heating. Luckily, our plumber pointed out to us the importance of not puncturing the wire before we install tiles and the vanity. Glad your operation went well!

S and N said...

Thanks so much Wanderluster! Circumstances have caused us to be neglectful of our blog and of reading the blogs we love to follow, but we're getting back to it. I have this feeling that you, with your obvious motivational factor, may actually complete your bathroom renovation before us. We know our plumber knew better, so we were a little exasperated by the error. N wanted me to include the technical detail that he used something called shrink tube (hence the blow dryer) to repair the casing of the punctured wire.

Thanks for continuing to read our blog.

hex said...

Are your heated floors working yet? I am not sure how I will ever be able to leave my apartment in Krakow, as I'm addicted to the heated floors in the bathrooms and kitchen. The cats love them too - I usually find Small sprawled on her back in the downstairs bathroom, wearing a look of pure contentment.

I'm seriously considering getting them installed in my home in Toronto.

S and N said...

Not yet, but soon...I hope. Last February N earnestly promised that the bathroom would be finished in its entirety by June. Now, when he was supposed to be on an extended holiday to allow us some time to work on our lagging renovations he is being held to the fire by a demanding and powerful customer. So, no, not yet. I can't wait to lie on the floor like Small.

Elenka said...

Hi there...I have no idea how I found your blog, going from one to another to another, I guess. Your heated floor caught my attention. We had one put in during the summer, didn't aim to put it on until November...attempted to program it...ERROR code !! Guess what? The tile floor installer forgot to put in the heat sensor wire !!!!!@#$%^
I can't believe how stupid that is. We also had careful surgery done, and it's now in BUT the electrician is booked solid, so we have to wait !! sheesh
Just wondering, will you have it on all the time? If not, when, and to what temperature.

S and N said...

Hi Elenka,
Thanks for visiting us.
Best of luck with your radiant heat! While you wait for your electrician, we are waiting for our plumber. Our floor is heated by hot water from our boiler so it will probably only be on when we're heating the house (October-May). But the true answer is that we don't know whether we'll leave the floor on all the time or not--or at what temperature. I can't wait to find out and I'll be happy to report when I know more.