Friday, February 20, 2015

The Monster Tub, Part 3

Sweating Copper for the Monster Tub

Plumbing time! Something very satisfying about soldering copper. I’m no master plumber, but my ugly work doesn’t leak, so it’s all good. The Monster Tub was going to need a lot.

Here I had little bit of trickiness. I wanted to have the tub filler faucet on the far side of the tub, but the controls on the near side. So I had a lot of copper to fiddle into the correct position.

Here’s my copper pipe monstrosity installed. Hot and cold water arrive at my bought-at-Habitat-for-Humanity-store ceramic valves, mix at the “T” in the center, and head out to the tub filler faucet. I’ve also turned a floor vent from the central heating system to vertical; it will come out of the tub box on the other side there. Warm feet sitting on the toilet! Husband of the year, right there.

Close up. Note the sheet metal over the wood, so I don’t burn the house down with the propane torch.

Here I am doing a little vertical flooring, so to speak. It went pretty smoothly until the end.

The last piece I had to cut longways to fit, then glued it in place. The pet/baby gate there is wedged in to hold the last flooring plank on tightly while the glue dried.

I’d never laid tile by myself before, much less on a wall -- but I really liked the look of these stainless-wrapped tiles I’d found online. So I bought a box to put around the tub as a sort of splash guard. Trouble was, cutting them for size (around things) wasn’t particularly easy. I finally figured out I could cut the stainless part with the Dremel, then snap the tile (where the uneven Dremel work had conveniently scored it) with two pairs of pliers.

Here’s the tile stuck on the wall before grouting. Look at how a single row of it fit just perfectly under the window sill. Like I said, not a lot of room to work with, but it's better sometimes to be lucky than good. And you can see my tub filler faucet up there on the shelf, waiting its turn.

Last thing you want is a cold tub, so I bought insulation and stuffed a bunch in there. You can see I've grouted the metal tile, too. A lot easier than I thought it would be, the grout really sponged off the metal quickly. Oh look, the hole to the living room is still there....

That new Monster Tub was going to be so happy in this nice soft little nest.

So once I dropped the tub in place — with like a whole inch to spare on either side, thank you very much — I realized I’d forgotten I needed to be able to attach the overflow from the outside. Duh … so I took off my nice flooring, cut a hole in the particle board, and attached it properly. Then I fixed my hole and put the flooring back on. Ah, well.

Did some more taping and painting to bring just a little more orange paint down to the grout. Looked great! Now it was time to put the Monster Tub through a water test!

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