Drip, drip, drip

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Today was one of those days where while things didn’t go terribly, they didn’t exactly go well, either. Having run errands (again….Did I mention adulting is really getting in the way of building?) I headed over to the house and thought I’d take a little time to get the sink taps working.


This, of course, did not work. First thing being that the existing valve stems do not want to come out. I suspect (because I know how this works), that when they started leaking, the previous owner tried tightening the stems up – thus making them… less than loose. As I was attempting to remove them I revealed something which I’m sort of glad I revealed at this point and not later. But really wish I’d twigged before…when I was ordering the bits.

The tap’s not just leaking from the valve stem. It’s leaking from the seals that hold the faucet into the body of the sink. Crane Drexel sinks are frankly quite odd. The tap is built into the sink in a way that is completely unheard of now – and the ceramic body of the sink itself acts as a mixer. To achieve this, there are two seals either side of the tap body. The seals themselves aren’t that expensive. One place has them at less than $4 each. The other place, irritatingly, that also sells the brass ring that squishes the seals sells them at $15 / pair, which is more than double the price.

Buuuuut. The first place – where I got the valve cartridges from? They charge a minimum of $25 shipping.

Ironically, they’d still be cheaper – but for the fact that they don’t list the brass ring. Now, had I realized ahead of time, when I was ordering the flipping cartridges then I’d’ve ordered the whole lot in one go. But as it is, I’m paying way over the odds so I can get them quickly and also get the brass rings (because I forsee disintegration).

So, since the faucet wasn’t going to be working today I switched to the main task of the day – tiling. Endless tiling.


Only… that’s the end of the wall tiling (in this room)! Irritatingly there are several minor fuckups which I can’t fix. I misjudged the end point for the corner – partly because this was the first room we built and it’s less square than some other things we did. Partly because I was (for some reason) thinking I might be short (we’re two and a half boxes over), so didn’t want to risk adding extra partial tiles at the beginning of the run. At any rate, there’s not enough room for the chamfer at the edge – because I’d need a tile approximately 2mm wide – or alternatively, a tile that’s a about 10 mil wider than the tiles we’re using. I think it’ll be okay – I think the grout line at the corner will be a little wider than would be ideal, but it’s in the corner behind the toilet.

The other (much) more janky bit is above the shelf – where something went horribly wrong in more than one place. I’m not quite sure how or what – but let’s just say things didn’t meet the way they should have. I’m hoping because it’s all angles meeting on different planes it won’t be terribly painfully bad. But I’m really not happy with it. Especially since the rest of the room turned out okay.

At any rate, I started grouting some of it – the plan is that tomorrow I can install the bath tap and control knobs, then I can use the bath to start washing the floor tiles that we got second hand, let them dry off and lay the section around the toilet – which will mean that we can then seal and grout them (they’re marble, so need sealing), then we can at long last, install a toilet.


Which will be quite nice – being able to use a loo inside and, hopefully, wash our hands with warm water (and soap!) – and save us $80/month on renting a portaloo.

It moves us closer to moving in. A thing which currently feels incredibly distant. Today was just one of those days where things…don’t feel totally positive.


Kate's a human mostly built out of spite and overcoming transphobia-racism-and-other-bullshit. Although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, it's all good.