Half of a Sink (or, The Wussy Remodeler)


The finished floor – and the only fixture (part) I wasn’t too much of a wuss to get upstairs without help.

I want my friends to remain my friends (I also want my new tub to survive the move). So I’ve hired a piano moving company to shift the 335-lb. cast iron behemoth from my front hallway to the guest bath on the second floor, and to carry up the toilet and sink basin.  The movers are kindly fitting in my 1/2-hour job  later today, after completion of a proper move in the area.

Yes, Imthisclose to installing the fixtures – good thing, because the downstairs tub is now leaking around the drain so much that I could turn on the water then traipse down to the basement to take a shower. In other words, I need to immediately become a peripatetic bather, simply wait for a good rain, or resolve to not care that I stink.


It took about 1 lb of Tiger Flakes (at a 2-lb. cut) for two coats of the 9′ x 15′ room.

The weekend before Handworks, I sprayed two coats of garnet shellac on the yellow pine floor in the guest bath, both to block lingering faint odors that I could not smell but the cats could (which leads to very bad behavior indeed), and to warm up the wood color.


As the poly was drying, the screen in the back window was slowly starting to fall in toward the wet finish – much anxiety! But it managed to hang in there until the floor was dry enough for me to walk on it. Whew!

I topcoated the shellac with two coats of Bona “Mega” waterborne polyurethane, a low VOC finish that, because there’s no component to add, is easy to apply without having to get the timing exactly right (as is the case with the same company’s “Traffic,” which I used on the kitchen at my last house). The Mega also has less odor than the Traffic – though I’ve read that it’s not quite as durable. I don’t mind; it will be just me and the cats using this bathroom for now (I’m in the midst of designing a suitable base for litter boxes). Once I get “my” bath done (when I win the lottery?), it will be just the cats and the occasional guest using this one (and me, when I wish to soak in a tub – my bath is getting a walk-in shower).

This weekend, I’m skim coating the walls (perhaps only where my novice work will be well-hidden by the fixtures, then later hire a pro for the “show” portions) and painting at least those areas, then installing and painting the window trim on the tub wall (because it would suck to try to do that with a tub in the way).

I’m really hoping my plumber can fit me in early next week – as are my co-workers.


I’m about to be bereft of my current excuse for not yet having finished the stair and hall work. I’m sure I’ll come up with something…

p.s. Many thanks to Montgomery Moving & Piano for taking pity on me.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
This entry was posted in Baths, Renovation/Restoration. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Half of a Sink (or, The Wussy Remodeler)

  1. waltamb says:

    Growing up in NYC my Father was a Plumber.
    His job in residential work was to take out the old and put in the new tubs.
    They were all Cast Iron and he worked alone.
    If the old ones were badly chipped or rusted he would smash them into pieces for easy removal.
    But if in good condition he had to get them down several flights of stairs and out into the truck all on his own.
    Next came crawling under the new tub upside down and like a Turtle to carry it upstairs on his back.
    The man was not big but he was very strong.
    I tried it once and he spotted me and helped along the way.
    Hiring a team of mover is a great idea for people doing this type of work themselves.
    Good Thinking.

  2. bsrlee says:

    Somehow that photo of the tub at the bottom of the stairs makes me think of a classic era Warner Bros cartoon, with Bugs or Daffy riding the tub down the stairs and out into the street…….

  3. Ron Dennis says:

    That “stink” is the wonderful aroma of “sweat equity”. And THAT IS MONEY IN THE BANK THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPEND!

  4. J.C. says:

    Bravo! The floors look great. Great tip on the Bona products too.

  5. In Absentia says:

    I guess it’s too late now, but you could have just built the bathroom around the tub where it sits right now.

    • fitz says:

      There were joists in the way of the drains for the layout I first envisioned – ah well. ..but the tub was never in the center of the room – that’s the dance floor 😉

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