Remember a while back when I told you about the challenges of buying an affordable shower system for our new expanded bathroom? No? Okay…click here. Once you’ve read that post, come back here and continue reading.
Hello and welcome back to our wacky world of bungalow renovations! Nothing but good times here. Except for when the bad times come to bite us in the butt. We thought we were all set to move on to the shower tile installation step of our bathroom reno. You may have thought the same if you’ve been following along. Well, HELLO! You’d be wrong. As we were.
This story hinges on a wrong valve.
A month and a half ago, we finally decided on exactly what type of shower head system we wanted. It would be a combination of a rain shower head and a hand-held shower unit on a sliding bar. We got a quote from a plumbing supply store in Saint John but in the end, to save money (so we thought) we checked out what was on offer online. We found the perfect shower combination…the “Serin” series by American Standard. It had everything we wanted and less expensive. So, we ordered it and the matching water valve, too.
Two weeks later it arrived. It was beautiful. We went ahead and put up the cement board, which would be the base for our 4 x 16 inch tiles, and carefully measured and cut out the access holes for all the plumbing. Then, we had a our plumber down to install the water value. We had a slight panic moment when he said, “Are you sure this is the right valve?” But we were sure. After all, didn’t I ask…twice…while ordering, “Are you sure this is the right valve for this unit? One with a diverter?” I was told yes. So, we told the plumber to go ahead…we were sure.
We put up the tile on the back wall. No issues there. Then life got in the way and we got diverted (see what I did there?) with other things…like drywalling the bedroom and putting in five new windows. Cold work but they look fab.
Fast forward to a week ago last Friday. We decided it was time to finish up the tiling in the shower so we could tear out the old shower and get the drywall up. We want our plaster guy to do the entryway, bedroom and bathroom all at the same time so we can move on to painting. I collected all the parts for the shower and took the trim kit (the chrome cover that fits over the value and has the on/off/temperature and diverter all-in-one) into the shower to mark out and measure for the tiles.
This is the culprit…I feel like grinding it to a pulp.
Something was seriously wrong. The trim kit was too big and no where was there room for the diverter. In a flash, we grabbed a flashlight and scurried around to the closet in the bedroom (the back wall is the wall where all the shower pipes are located). I must be psychic. I had told Bill NOT to drywall the closet until we had the shower up and running…to make sure there were no leaks. We peered around the stud and sure enough…wrong value. Only three water outlets, not four, which you need if you’re using a diverter.
What to do? Do we leave the value and return the hand-held shower unit and just go with the overhead? That wasn’t what we wanted. That was not the original plan. So, Bill go on the phone with the supplier and long story a bit shorter, they agreed to take back the value (even after being installed) but they wouldn’t refund the money…only give us 15 per cent off a future purchase to a maximum of $100 (which covers the cost of the value plus a bit of labour cost of our plumber. I’m amazed Bill got them to agree to this…I wouldn’t have said yes.) Then, Bill decided to check out the Serin series on the American Standard website…just to see if they recommended a particular valve. That when he was an “Alert” notice banner scroll across the page.
“This Serin product has been discontinued.”
Not all, just the one we had purchased. That got us wondering and we decided it must be a problem with the diverter, which was different from typical diverters. It had a spring system, not a switch that you turn. We tried to call American Standard but it was a Saturday and no luck. It was then we decided to just return the whole lot, go back to the plumbing supplier and order what we were originally going to order, damn the cost.
Last Monday, we hauled ass back to Saint John, returned the American Standard shower, got a refund and booted it down to see Nichole at the plumbing store. She brought up the original quote, we took a look and changed out the hand-held shower to one slightly smaller and told her to place the order. That’s when Bill said, “Can you double check to make sure it’s the correct value?”
And it…wasn’t. Yes, people. You read right. Still with the wrong value. Even if we’d gone ahead back in October and ordered the shower unit from Nicole in the first place, we’d still be in the same spot. Wrong fucking valve. And this was a professional plumbing supply store. All they do is plumbing and fixtures. And still wrong.
After much checking of catalogues and online, Nicole found the correct value. To the tune of another $200. And a two week delivery wait time. This takes us to around December 7th. Pearl Harbor Day. Very appropriate as I feel like blowing something up.
So here we are today, December 3, finally putting up more tile in the shower. I won’t go into the whole story of how we decided to add two shelves to the shower and the nightmare of measuring the mosaic tiles. Suffice it to say they look good and are almost straight and once the grout goes in, it will look fab.
We’ll do one wall and half of the last wall…up to where the new value will be installed. Just in case something is STILL wrong, we’ll wait until we’re sure, then finish the tiling. Which should be sometime the middle of next week.
Unless we run out of wall tile…which could happen as both of us must have a Republican gene in us somewhere ’cause we can’t do the math or measure for shit.
I remember when we first started working on the bathroom…I said to Bill, “I’m not shaving my legs until the new tub is intsalled.” Ha-ha-ha. I was kind of serious. It was a bit of fun…just to see if I/we could stand it. Well, it’s not fun anymore and I’m off to buy some razors and a can of shave cream.
Pictures to come…when it’s done. Unless something else goes wrong and then I’ll post a picture of me waving as I board a plane for somewhere hot.