Monday, January 12, 2015
My Lasagna For A Toilet . . .
Many years ago, in the old house, we had one fairly dated bathroom. It was our only bathroom. After 20 years of living with it, I wanted to renovate it. The dilemma is how do you renovated one bathroom? It’s not like we can afford to hold off on showers and using the toilet for days. One solution was to add a bathroom in our unfinished basement first and then renovate the main bathroom. I couldn’t see going through that expense. At the time, we were being bombarded with commercials from Bath Fitters. I decided to go to their showroom and check them out. They claim they can do the job in one or two days and we would still have full use of the bathroom.
I have to tell you that the Bath Fitters showroom displays several luxurious looking bathrooms. They are virtually maintenance free once installed. No painting ever required and their “plastic” walls are easy to clean. I had the guy come to the house to give me an estimate, which I thought was too high, but I almost felt I had no other option. So went signed the contract.
Now, Bath Fitters needed about 5 or 6 weeks before they could do the job and that pissed me off because they made me understand they would do it in a couple of weeks. Then, as it was getting near the date of the start of the job, I called to ask about the medicine cabinet, sink and cabinet and toilet. They tell me I have to provide that. If I have the stuff there the guy will install all of it for me at no extra cost. Oy vey! What do I know about all this stuff? I was supposed to get a “finished” bathroom and not have to worry about anything. Now I have about ten days to get everything I need or they put the old stuff back. So, I go to Home Depot and try to get it all there. No such luck. I come home with a medicine cabinet. I go to a local store for the sink and cabinet, they have to order the sink I want and should have it in two days. With a sigh and a prayer, I leave there.
I call a friend of mine whose husband has a plumbing store. He tells me he will give me the kit for inside the toilet. I never even thought of that! Then he says, when you buy a toilet, make sure you measure the “rough.” The “rough?” What is the rough? Shouldn’t that Bath Fitters guy have measured that and told me what to get? Apparently, the rough is the distance from the screws at the bottom of your toilet to the wall. It can be 10”, 12”, or 14”. If you don’t get the right toilet rough, it won’t fit or it will be too far from the wall. Okay, this is more than I wanted to know, but thank God someone mentioned it. I measure my toilet’s “rough” and it’s 12”. I report back to my friend’s husband who says I have to allow for the stuff they are going to glue to the wall. I should probably go with a 10” rough. Guess what? A rough of 10” is not that easy to get. Home Depot didn’t have any and I am running out of days.
I look up a plumbing supply store about 30 minutes from our house and go out there. I find a toilet that is ivory and had a 10” rough. I approach the salesman, Paul, and I tell him we want to buy this toilet, tank and seat. He checks his inventory and finds they are out of stock. He says they can order it for me. I tell him I need it in 5 days, my renovation is being started then. He says he can have everything at the store in 2 or 3 days for me to pick up. I tell him this is the kind of thing that makes me lose sleep at night. He tells me he loses sleep over food. He loves to eat. I ask him if he likes lasagna. He says he loves it. I tell him you get me my toilet in time and when I pick it up I will bring you a tray of homemade lasagna. He laughs. He says he will keep me informed on his progress on getting the items. We leave.
The next day Paul calls to tell me a couple of items came in already. There is a delay with the toilet, but he is calling around to make sure one is there in the next two days for me. I remind him about the lasagna. He laughs.
The following day Paul calls and assures me the will have the toilet and everything else I ordered tomorrow, ready for pick up. I ask him, “Do you know what I am doing?” He says no. I tell him I am making his lasagna. He laughs.
The following day, my husband and I go out to the store with my tray of lasagna. I bring the lasagna into the store. Paul looks at me with that wide-eyed, deer in the headlights look. I say “This is your tray of lasagna! You got me my toilet, just like you promised and I am delivering on my promise to you. You will sleep good tonight.” He helped us get everything into the car and thanked me very much for the lasagna. I asked for his manager’s name so I could write a letter to him on his behalf, for being so helpful. Off we went. Now I had everything I needed for the new bathroom.
The next day Paul calls. I’m a little surprised to hear from him. He says he loved the lasagna. He shared it with some of his co-workers and they told him he better call to thank me again. They all enjoyed it. It was the best lasagna they ever had. I told him I’m glad they enjoyed it and thank him for all his help too.
P.S. If I had it to do over I do not think I would go with Bath Fitters again. It's not because they neglected to tell me a few things. It's because I don't think the job is worth the money they charge. The bathroom does look beautiful when it's done. But in the end, it's still plastic. They don't treat the walls behind the plastic to prevent mold and mildew from growing back there. They just put one inch thick strips of "styrofoam" type tape across the existing walls and then apply their plastic walls over it. They chalk all the joints. They cover the existing bathtub. They glue on your soap dishes. They chalk everything. They get the job done fast. It looks professional. They do what they say. But if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't.