When did I last have a bath? Let me think. Yes, probably about 15 years back. That, by the way, is at home (where we are shower people). When staying for one of our occasional nights away in a hotel on Mallorca, I have been known to wallow in a sea of fragrant bubbles, if there’s a bath available. Bathtubs are not such a common hotel feature these days, although some of the more luxurious 5-star hotels on the island have suites with them.
Our home has two guest bedrooms: one double, the other single. Both are en suite but the double room’s en suite has the only bathtub in the house. Water is a precious resource on our island and we’ve always taken showers at home instead of bathing, to reduce our water usage. Oh, and there’s also the fact that the water heater doesn’t heat enough water in one go to cover even one’s nether regions.
The bathtub has an overhead shower, which entails climbing into the tub itself. This isn’t too much of a problem, but I do worry particularly about my father, who usually visits for a holiday twice a year. Dad’s well into the senior-citizen category but is pretty limber and sprightly for his age, but were he to slip in the tub, the consequences could be serious.
A Possible Project
A year or two back, we began talking about having the bath removed and replaced with a shower cubicle. We even obtained a couple of estimates for the job. The quotes we received suggested that these local builders weren’t interested in doing what was a relatively small job, so they priced accordingly. Our eyes popped with shock and we shelved that project.
Until we had A Serious Leak. A pipe located within the wall itself (behind the wall tiles, natch) had developed a tiny fracture—which caused a big damp problem. Our friendly plumber Sito—who is more-or-less retired now—came to see what could be done. He fixed the leak, but had to break into the wall tiles with a jackhammer to do so; this was the catalyst for reactivating our plan for the bath-replacement project. This time we found an acceptable quote, for labour only, on the basis that we bought all the materials ourselves.
Covid Stopped Work
We took measurements, spent long sessions discussing options in DIY superstores in Palma de Mallorca, and did our sums (well, The Boss did those). In the end, we bought the space-hogging materials and collected them in our trailer two days before the Covid-19 lockdown came into force. There was a project on hold for a few more months!
Work finally began on Friday. The builders removed the bath and attempted to remove the old wall tiles—which proved impossible. So they’ve scoured the old walls to ensure the new ones will stick (we hope!).
As I write, the chaps have just arrived to continue the work. It’ll be a noisy Monday but, we hope, not quite as dusty as it was on Friday, when the bath was removed.
The irony of all this is that we are unlikely to have any visitors anyway this year to enjoy the new facility. But you never know …
Jan Edwards ©2020