The Yellow Bathtub

December, 2021 - January, 2022

guest bath

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.

ceramic tile shower stall

Decades earlier, the original cast iron tub had been replaced with a white ceramic tile shower stall. We knew we wanted to replace the to replace the shower with a bathtub, but we had no idea how hard it would be!

bathtub inside a stock tank

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.

tub with no feet

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.

the yellow bathtub

Meanwhile, we steel brushed the outside and then applied many coats of butter yellow oil-based paint.

replacement foot kit

We experimented with so-called "universal clawfoot tub replacement foot kit", but they didn't fit this tub.

bathroom after new paint

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.

stock tank as bathtub

On a lark, we bought a four-foot-long stock tank from Tractor Supply. It JUST fit!

soaking in the stock tank

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.

walls removed

And thus began weeks of grueling labor, chipping away all of tile, and disconnecting the plumbing.

rotted plywood floor

Beneath the ceramic tile floor was a layer of cement board, and then a layer of plywood, both soaking wet and severely rotted.

exposed floor joists

Everything had to go — the wallboard, the entire floor, and all the fixtures.

new plubming

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

New vinyl flooring.

Elio on the step ladders

Then new water-resistant wallboard, Kilz and a fresh coat of paint while Elio supervised.

renovated bathroom

Ready for the final steps — installing the baseboard and window sill.

renovated bathroom

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.

renovated bathroom

The big day was Wednesday, January 19. Chuy the plumber and Dennis making sure everything will fit.

renovated bathroom

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.

renovated bathroom

Success! A big thumbs up from Chuy!

One year later, the yellow bathtub is home! Total costs so far for labor and materials for our guest bath rehab was approximately $2000.