I am very excited to introduce our newest addition…

We started our bathroom remodel several months ago (the day after Christmas to be exact). We have now had a working toilet in it for less than one week. It has been a bit of an adventure. You may recall from this post about our home-making philosophy that we decided to remodel our bathroom because we really needed to find and fix the shower that had been leaking since we moved in. When we first discovered we had a leak (the very first night we moved into our house…about 11 pm…after searching through boxes for a shower curtain and running to Walmart for a rod to hang it on) my husband cut holes in the basement ceiling to locate the leak and try to fix it.

You may remember from this post about tearing the bathroom apart that we found and took care of the leak with the help of Grandpa and Uncle Joel. Still, the holes remained as evidence of our earlier failed attempts to fix it. While we had the drywall and mud from doing the walls upstairs, Rod patched the holes. This was very exciting for me, as their had been holes in our guest bathroom ceiling for a year and a half!

I didn’t even get any good “after” pictures 🙁 This is what the patches look like today:

You see, we never had a problem with the toilet leaking in the past (although it did randomly overflow from time to time). So after fixing the shower leak, we thought we were in the clear.

Let me back up a bit…the bathroom remodel was intended to be about a four month project. We started at Christmas-time, and intended to have it finished by the first weekend in May, when we were hosting a bit of a reunion with friends from college. Well, it is not done. BUT we thought we were close enough that we could get the toilet installed and the grout sealed before they came. I REALLY wanted to make this happen so that we would have two working bathrooms. Plus, the one downstairs is attached the guest bedroom. A few days before our friends were to arrive, we discovered that the 4 of the 5 cans of spray-texture we intended to use on the walls did not work (I got them for free at a warehouse that sells leftover things from contractors, so it wasn’t a monetary loss…just a bummer). So we went to Home Depot and Lowes for other texturing ideas that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. We bought a texture roller thing. Three days before our friends were to arrive, we started texturing the walls…and realized we hated the roller thing. So we bit the bullet, and bought a spray hopper thing. A bit of an investment, but something we can use in every room of the house. That night we taped off the walls and textured the ceilings (Don’t worry, I clipped the Hobby Lobby coupon before we started)…

Two days before our friends were to arrived, we taped off the ceiling and textured the walls. Later that day, we primed the walls and ceiling.

THE DAY our friends were to arrive, I had class at 8 am. So we got up at 6 am and painted the walls. It took a bit longer than expected…so, yes, I went to class with my hair sticking up like that and with paint on my jeans…

Josiah helped…Well, he helped until his hands got dirty (is there something wrong with my little boy if he can’t function with dirty fingers?)

A few hours before our friends were to arrive, when the paint had just barely become dry to the touch, my husband removed the drop cloth and set out to install the toilet and then put up the shower curtain. He still had some time to spare, so we even moved in the vanity, counter top and sink (I was planning on brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink for the weekend, thinking we wouldn’t get this far). He was working away at installing the faucet, and our friends were expected at any minute…when I went downstairs to discover water dripping through the ceiling into our once again ONE working bathroom 🙁

Well, we had two working showers.

And we went on to enjoy a wonderful weekend sharing our lives, hearts, stories from the past year… and one toilet.

Convinced he must have installed the wax ring wrong, my husband tried twice more to install it with new, bigger, better wax rings. We were praying that the problem wasn’t the pipes…the toilet pipes had never been a problem. As it turns out, it was a faulty toilet. There must have been a hairline crack in the pee trap (is that how that is spelled? Kinda funny) because the toilet leaked with no wax ring, no tank, and no pipes while sitting out on our front porch. So we took it back. Got a new one. They threw in a free wax ring, and while that hardly makes up for the other ones we bought, or the fact that we have to re-re-patch the basement ceiling…praise the Lord it wasn’t the pipes!!!

So today, we have a wonderful, new, working second toilet:

and our basement ceiling looks like this:

And I am really am excited. I did a little dance the first time I used it. Should I be telling people that?

Seriously, it really is a cool toilet. Instead of using like 5 gallons of water per flush like our old one, it uses 1.28 gallons per flush. (I really don’t know how many gallons our old one used)

It has a cool “flapperless system”. Instead of filling up the whole tank it fills up this bowl:

When you flush, instead of lifting a flapper like “old-fashioned” toilets, it tips the bowl over and dumps the water into the toilet bowl. Like this:

Isn’t that nifty?

And the best part about our new toilet is that it was MORE THAN FREE. We made money on this baby. See, the water company offered a $125 rebate for installing a new energy efficient toilet. This toilet cost us $98 ($105 or so after tax). That means we MADE about $20 on this toilet. When we found out about the rebate, we got another one for the basement bathroom. We installed that one back in January. So far, it has saved us a couple bucks a month on our water bill, too. So, yay for our new toilet(s)!

(PS. If you are in the Denver area, you really should look into replacing your toilets with this awesome rebate from Denver Water. If you aren’t, you may want to see if your utility company offers something similar)

Happy Pottying!

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