Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tub is here! The Bathroom Renovation Project 1

The tub arrived yesterday, right after the beadboard. While materials have been trickling in for a few weeks, this feels like the moment when the project is real.

Really real. We can't go back now. We've got this hulking bunch of enameled cast iron taking up the entire garage.

We ordered it from Vintage Tub, an online company. This is not a plug for the company, but they were really great to work with. We'd been on the site a bunch of times but I was getting cold feet about our decision to buy a clawfoot tub and freestanding shower. They're beautiful, but I've never stood in one. What if it feels totally claustrophobic? I kept wondering.

So we were on the site one day and suddenly I noticed the address. They're nearby in Pennsylvania. Let's drive out, I said. So we called and this guy Brandon answered the phone. Yes, he would make an appointment for a visit. That Saturday we drove out. Brandon met us at the door. We were the only people in the place. We sat in tubs, stood in a freestanding shower, admired the oil rubbed bronze faucets (totally impractical, we decided), and the nickel faucets (beautiful, but not worth the extra cost, we reluctantly agree), and laughed at the tiny, truly T-I-N-Y 4 foot tub, which I had briefly fantasized about installing together with a custom tile shower. Who knew one foot would make such a difference.

And, in the end, we ordered a pedestal tub and freestanding shower assembly.

Yesterday, a giant Fed-X semi-tractor trailer arrived outside. The tub perched precariously on the lift, came down gently, and rolled up to the drive. Fortunately, the drive is about 8 feet long, because the trolley wasn't going over gravel, the driver said.

"It'll get stuck," he said, "and it's 500 pounds and then I won't be able to move it."

"It'll work," I said, encouragingly.

"Is there anywhere else it can go?" he asked.

"No," I said firmly. There really isn't.

"Is there anyone else in the house to help?" he asked.

"No," I said, this time more tentatively. "I'm sorry."

"Because someone could push," he was still talking.

"I can push," I said.

"Are you sure?" he asked, looking at me uncertainly.

So, for anyone reading this who is not family. I am 49 years old, with some tell-tale grey hair, 4'10" tall and just the slightest bit overweight. My true underlying brawn not immediately evident. Joke. Anyway.

"Of course," I said, with more certainty than I felt. He wasn't that big himself, truth be told. I thought briefly of calling Capel. But he was twenty minutes away, and I was pretty sure the driver was not going to be eager about waiting twenty minutes. And I really did not want that tub sitting in the driveway for a month.

"I can do it," I assured him.

"Okay," he said. "We just need to go fast and get up a head of steam."

So I got behind this giant box and bent down to push. It was easy. E-A-S-Y. The trolley must be really well made. It moved like silk and I pushed as hard as I could, and he pulled, running, and then jerked it up over the tiny little bump to the concrete floor and we were in.

That was fun.

So, as soon as it is light -- because there is no electricity in the garage -- we'll go crack open the crate to the tub and post a photo.

In fact, it's gotten light while I've written. Tub, here we come!

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