The Yellow Bathtub
December, 2021 - January, 2022
The guest bath at the Bungle-Oh was a sad little room with gray walls, a handmade washstand and fake woodgrain peel-and-stick vinyl flooring.
Decades earlier, the original cast iron tub had been replaced with a white ceramic tile shower stall. We knew we
wanted to replace the shower with a bathtub, but we had no idea how hard it would be!
We found the original cast iron tub the front yard, inside a rusted out stock tank, inside an old wooden hot tub. I called it the "turducken". But the tiled walls meant the tub was now too large for the guest bath.
Our friend Ann found a perfect 4½-foot tub in a neighbor's yard and we happily dragged it home. But it was missing its feet, and since most claw
feet were custom-made, we spent months searching in vain for replacements.
Meanwhile, we steel brushed the outside and then applied many coats of butter yellow oil-based paint.
We experimented with so-called "universal clawfoot tub replacement foot kit", but they didn't fit this tub.
We got one estimate for $5000 for labor alone to install the yellow tub in the guest bath. Once we agreed to the price, the contractor stopped returning calls. However before ghosting us, he found an oval cast iron base for the tub.
On a lark, we bought a four-foot-long stock tank from Tractor Supply. It JUST fit!
For a few months, I used the shower to fill the tub, but it was difficult to drain. One day while standing it on end I broke off the shower pipe, inside the wall.
And thus began weeks of grueling labor, chipping away all of tile, and disconnecting the plumbing.
Beneath the ceramic tile floor was a layer of cement board, and then a layer of plywood, both soaking wet and severely rotted.
Everything had to go — the wallboard, the entire floor, and all the fixtures.
By then we'd found a plumber we liked, who redid all the drain and the water lines for both the guest bath and the laundry room.
New vinyl flooring.
Then new water-resistant wallboard, Kilz and a fresh coat of paint while Elio supervised.
Ready for the final steps — installing the baseboard and window sill.
Hoping our favorite plumber might be available, we moved the tub from the shop to the house. It was no mean feat! We think it weighs at least 200 pounds.
The big day was Wednesday, January 19. Chuy the plumber and Dennis making sure everything will fit.
With the drain installed, we had to drag the tub into the bathroom, lift it over the toilet and then set it down in exactly the right position.
Success! A big thumbs up from Chuy!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the renovated and now fully pimped-out guest bath!
Labor & materials: approximately $2000. A hot soak after a cold winter hike: priceless!