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Unread 06-24-2014, 01:36 PM   #1
steventhomas42
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Steve's basement bath

So, I am fortunate enough to have acquired a "man cave" caliber basement in my new home. I have an office, a home theater room, a climate controlled workshop and a large bedroom (currently occupied by my daughter) that will eventually be the game and music room.

Unfortunately, we came up short on the bathroom. The sellers installed the bathroom shortly after the home was built and because the basement floor is below septic tank level, they had to install a holding tank and septic transfer pump to move the waste up to the main septic line. The system has supposedly been working well for most of the 15 years it was in place. The seller told me that he had to replace the pump a year or so ago.

When we had the inspection done, the inspector ran water throughout the house for about an hour, flushing the toilets repeatedly, etc. He discovered a puddle under the pump end of the tank and wrote it up.

We stipulated that the repair had to be made before closing. The seller said that the wax ring was leaking and replaced it. He eventually had AHS send out a plumber to make some other required repairs and they signed off as seeing no evidence of a continued leak there.

The night we moved in (May 1), my daughter went to bed and got up the next morning, using the toilet a couple of times, but not the shower. Because the pump end of the assembly is sitting in the workshop, we noticed quickly that there was water in the floor again.

We called AHS and they sent out a plumber (the same one) who this time saw the water and signs that it had been leaking before, but he told us that the AHS warranty would pay only to repair the cause of the leak, but not the cost to expose it or replace the materials removed. We have been going back and forth with the seller and his realtor and at this point, it looks like we will get nothing without a threat of litigation.

Meanwhile, my daughter has been without a bathroom for 7 weeks. We have finally decided to begin the process and if it is a significant expense, we will contact an attorney.

My friend who helped with our last project has graciously agreed to assist again. He came over and with my wife as an assistant, they removed the toilet and tile and subfloor to expose the hidden portion of the tank. When he pulled the toilet, the water level in the tank was up to the brim. Fortunately, the house was mostly vacant for several months prior to the sale as the sellers were traveling, and it has been unused, so this was mostly water from the inspection without a heavy sewage content. The tank has been pumped out now.

The wax ring that was installed was not fully contacting the toilet outlet. Since the holding tank was full, any time additional water was introduced into the tank, it overflowed and drained out around and under the tank to the workshop floor.

The ersatz plumbing company is sending someone out in a couple of days to begin the plumbing repair. It is my assertion that the leak is caused by a failed transfer pump (or perhaps a failed float switch) and that the improperly seated wax ring simply made the failure evident. More on that later.

On to happier thoughts...

Since this is the entertainment area bathroom, I want to redo it with fun as the motif. I am thinking of black 4X4 tile with red, blue, green, yellow, and orange tiles interspersed randomly throughout (a la 1980's video game colors). I would like to have video game characters on some of the black tiles, and I know there are vinyl decals that can be ordered for some of them. Alternately, I have a friend who is an excellent artist and who could likely paint them for me. If I do either of these things, those surfaces will need to be protected from steam, cleaners, and general wear. Is there some sort of clear enamel varnish that can be used over artwork or decals on tile to protect it?

Thanks,

Steve
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Unread 06-25-2014, 08:42 PM   #2
Davy
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Hi Steve. There are artists that paint tiles with glaze and fire them in a kiln. A fired glaze is the only tile surface I know of that will hold up over time. And, I'm not sure how easy it would be to paint something like you want. Model paint might work if the tiles are placed somewhere out of the way that won't get much traffic, just something to look at.
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Unread 06-30-2014, 10:27 AM   #3
steventhomas42
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Source for bright mosaic tiles?

It appears that the tile industry is firmly ensconced in "natural" hues these days. For those installers who do bright mosaic work, what sources do you use for primary colors of 1"x1" or smaller square mosaic tiles?

I went to three home improvement stores yesterday and even looking at the special order books (in the store that still has them), I can't find mosaic tiles in colors like black, red, blue, yellow, orange, cyan, pink, peach, etc.

I'm guessing that porcelain tiles from an art supplier might be my best bet, but the ones I am finding might have two or three of my chosen colors, but not a selection.

I know they have to be available somewhere because I see bright mosaics on the floors of pediatricians' offices and at Children's Hospital.

I know it's less popular because people want to do work that is timeless, but that is not my goal for this bath.
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Unread 07-03-2014, 10:21 PM   #4
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Steve, check with tile shops like Dal Tile, etc. They don't sell to the public but you are free to visit their showroom and take samples home. If you can find the tiles you like, then you can find someone to buy them for you. That, or wear your dirtiest shirt and pants and act like the newest tileman to hit town.
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