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Homesteadin’ – The Pink Toilet Caper

An image we pulled it from the Zillow page for our house. Surprisingly, I have never thought to take pictures of our hideous toilet.

When we bought our small home, nicknamed The Tavern, we knew it needed some work. The bungalow, built in 1893, has had some, but not a lot of upgrades. The electrical has been updated, and the kitchen isn’t toooo outdated. But the foundation wasn’t particularly amazing. The subfloors are useless. The carpet is just some kind of dust collector. The back “laundry room” is nowhere near up to any kind of code. The plaster appears to be WWII era. Oh, and the bathroom is pink and awful and falling apart and we absolutely hate it.

Today we took the first step to correcting this gross injustice to our eyeballs: we replaced the toilet. By ourselves. Terrifying.

When I say “the bathroom is pink,” I mean it. It’s a disgusting, horrible, vomit-inducing shade of pink that was only palatable from March 3rd – April 7th 1962. The bathtub: pink. The uneven tile running across the walls: pink. Toilet: pink. Until today.

Today mine eyes have seen the glory of Home Depot tutorial videos on YouTube. And my hands have seen the glory of our brand new, 1.28 gallons per flush, Watersense® certified Kohler toilet, the Cimarron®. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I know the make and model of my toilet. It’s only slightly embarrassing.

And, the best part: IT WAS EASY. While I fully admit I watched the video embedded below, there were some issues that popped up that not only gave me unnecessary heart palpitations, gave me enough fodder to make for an interesting blog post.


#1: Not everything will go to plan.

The instructions on both Home Depot’s video and given by Kohler were spot-on… once I got past some hang-ups. First off: toilets use water. Toilets also use metal bolts. Water and metal don’t always get along. Instead of being able to use my socket wrench, which I assure you was up to the task, I instead stared at rusted chunks of steel that, at one point, were nuts that I could unscrew to remove the tank from the bowl.

This wasn’t “the nuts rusted stuck.” This was “the inside of the nuts rusted shut, but most of them have disintegrated, and now I can’t get them off without drilling the bolts off” stuck.

I did not drill the bolts out.

Instead, I channeled my inner Bruce Banner and just took the toilet out in one piece. It worked. Nothing about this change in steps was terrible.

#2: Not everything will go to plan deux: stupid plastic things.

In the instructions, it shows a little plastic washer going under the toilet and another one going under the metal washer above the toilet. Apparently it’s easy to confuse the two. Like I did. It ended being fine after undoing, then repeating, steps 5-7.

#3: Sometimes things go to plan.

After re-doing the bolt/washer/plastic thingie order, we had the first tests. Well, the Test #1, and the most important test, Test #2. The new toilet passed with flying colors. Wait, no, that doesn’t sound right. Passed with nothing flying. Everything is still very white and clean and wonderful.

As we continue to rebuild The Tavern, we’ll be sure to share the journey in hopes that it inspires you to learn new skills.

After this experience, I can’t wait to start smashing the rest of the pink fixtures, but honestly, that was enough homeowner-DIY-ing for one day. Time to crack open one of these awesome Dogfish Head and Woolrich collab beers and watch some old Top Gear.