A Tub of My Own

I wish this were a before-and-after shot, but it is only the after shot. I did not take a before shot, because, as with so many milestones in life, I did not realize that removing the dingy cultured marble panel from the bathtub would be the first step in a longer spiritual journey.

But it was. Here’s what happened:

‘Twas the night before one of the nights before Christmas, and I in my shower cap had just settled down for a long winter’s soak in Epsom salts, with a copy of Michael Pollan’s A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams. The faucet of the tub in which I spend a sizable fraction of winter submerged suddenly started leaking like a waterfall. (See photo below.)

For the first time in 16 years of bathing in this tub, it occurred to me that the dingy cultured marble panel on the front could actually be removed, so I unscrewed it, only to discover there was in fact no shut-off valve to stop the leak.

So I went about doing the one thing I know to do when it comes to a leaky faucet, which is to turn off the water supply to the whole house, then replace the rubber seats and springs in the handles.


But that left me with a dingy looking cultured marble panel lying on the floor of the bathroom and very little interest in restoring it.

So we went to Home Depot and explored the options.

In the end we bought at 4 x 8 sheet of beadboard and, using my new jigsaw — Did you hear what I said? My new jigsaw! I got a jigsaw! — trimmed it to fit in the space formerly occupied by the dingy cultured marble panel. It took about 15 minutes to paint the beadboard, and voilà.

Reviews have been mostly positive, though one helpful observer suggested perhaps a thin bead of caulk around the edges. I agree that is an excellent suggestion, but Rome was not built in a day. And I don’t have any caulk.

What I do have is more Epsom salts, a tub that doesn’t leak, and a copy of Michael Pollan’s A Place of My Own. You know where to find me…

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