Taking a shower

Susan Manzke
The Manzke's tired old tub/shower is ready to be retired.

Over the years Bob and I have had some work done on our home. We replaced some of our many windows, had the outside of the house professionally painted, and the roof replaced. All of those fixer-uppers can be seen from the road. Other things that were done here include a new well and septic system—you can see the mound north of the house and the well pipe to the south of the house.

One winter our children also ripped apart our living room walls, insulated, and painted the room for us. This fix is visible to guests inside the house.

Bob and I have been thinking of doing another expensive remodel, one that only a few people will see. The makeover this time would be in our upstairs bathroom, but only a portion of the room.

We decided to replace our tub/shower with a walk-in shower. There were multiple reasons to do this. The whole setup was in poor shape, stained by hard water and years of use. But the real reason for the change was that we are getting older and stepping into the tub to take a shower seemed more hazardous to us as we aged.

Arrangements were made to have a crew come in for the demolition and installation. Tundraland said they could do it in one day.

Our dog and cats were locked away for the big remodeling day so they wouldn’t get in the way or escape.

I have to admit that I expected a crew of ten to get that heavy old tub out of our upstairs bath. When one young man showed up to do the work I was surprised, especially since the work was to be completed in one day.

Bob's curiosity gets the best of him.

Drew said he would have no problem and immediately set to work.

First the old shower Bob had installed years ago had to be taken down. That removal went quickly. Too bad for Drew he had our steep stairs to contend with every time he took the old out and brought the new in.

Tarps were everywhere to protect our home. I expected someone to trip, meaning Bob or me as we were constantly going upstairs to check on Drew’s progress—I hope we didn’t make him too nervous. We were just so interested in the demolition and installation that we kept nosing around.

Drew told us that he would be breaking the old tub in pieces to be able to remove it. He estimated that it weighed over 500 pounds, making us all wonder how it got upstairs in the first place.

We were warned that this work would be noisy, but that it wouldn’t shake our house apart.

A new shower in the couple's upstairs bathroom should serve them well for years to come.

It was noisy, but only when Drew was using a sledge hammer on the tub—boy, he had to use a good bit of  muscle to knock that thing apart and then bring the heavy pieces down the stairs—a great reason to hire someone to do this work for us. (On the underside of the tub was printed Kohler USA and dated 7-25-1938).

I took my camera with me when I went up to look around. Mostly I went into the bathroom when Drew was busy outside cutting material needed for the new install. Bob, on the other hand, went up when Drew was working so he could watch and pick Drew’s brain.

When Brett, the plumber, came to do his bit, they had to work from upstairs and downstairs to get the drain to attach correctly. Too bad for them, they had to do this in my messy pantry/laundry room.

To my amazement, by the end of the day the new walk-in shower was in place. In 24 hours, after all glue dried, we could use it. It was a super change for us and beautiful too. Thanks Drew and Brett for a job well done.

FYI: Bob and I plan to be at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Marshfield on Tuesday, July 20 in Tent A #140 at the Gannett Wisconsin Media booth which also houses The Wisconsin State Farmer. Hope to see you there.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;