Posts Tagged ‘toilet paper holder’

What’s Wrong With This Picture? Unhappy Mix-Up

September 7, 2021

You are looking down into a paper grocery bag. At the bottom are an assortment of screws, mounting hardware, switch plates, towel bars, escutcheons, and more (some have been pulled out of the bag already).

When I get ready to hang wallpaper, I “undress the room” … meaning, I remove light fixtures, towel bars and toilet paper holders, light switch plates, window treatments, mirrors, etc. I set all the hardware and screws that go with these items near the spot where they will be reinstalled, with all these elements in a certain order, and collated to their respective holes and fasteners and brackets, so it will be simple for me to put everything back in its place, once the paper is up.

But on this job, the wallpaper had to be sent back due to a defect, so it was a couple of weeks before the new paper arrived and I was able to return to finish the job.

In the meantime, the homeowner, understandably, wanted a tidy room, so she picked up these things. And threw them all together into one bag.


But not insurmountable. It took a little digging and fitting and futzing, but I was able to sort out what went with what, and I got all the fixtures back in place.

Lazy Drywall Contractor

September 7, 2018

These powder room walls were textured in a heavy “Tuscan” finish. The homeowner asked her contractor to smooth the walls, so they would look good under the new wallpaper. The guys did a good job in most areas. But, as you see here, they fell short in others.

First of all, it’s simple to remove a toilet paper holder. Why try to work around it, and get smoothing compound slopped all over it?

In the middle picture, this is a shot of the vanity backsplash. The smoothing compound falls short of the stone countertop. Since the wallpaper will end here, it needs a solid surface to grip ahold of. This gap between the smoothing compound and the stone will allow the wallpaper to gape open and curl away from the wall.

The third photo just shows careless work. Not horrible, but they could have done better.

In all these areas, and others, I was able to do touch ups, so when the wallpaper goes up tomorrow it will have a smooth, intact surface to adhere to.

The sad part is, the homeowner paid the contractors to do this work, but now is paying me to finish the job.

Metal Mars Surfaces – Prevention

January 6, 2018

In the top photo, I am using an allen wrench to remove the tiny set screw that is holding a toilet paper holder to its mounting bracket. Turning the screw causes the wrench to rub against the wall, and the metal is leaving a dark mark on the wallpaper primer. You wouldn’t want this to happen once the new wallpaper is up!

To prevent this, you could put a piece of scrap paper in between the wrench and the new paper. Or you can make tiny, 1/4 turns, so that the large end of the wrench does not come in contact with the wall.

Or, better, use a smaller wrench with a narrower profile. These are usually included in the box when you buy fixtures like this. As you can see in the second photo, there is plenty of clearance, and no damage to the new wallpaper.

Wallpaper Change – What to Keep, What to Cover Up

July 16, 2017

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It’s not uncommon for me to work in a house where no one is home. In these cases, I’ll ask the homeowners to clarify for me which fixtures they intend to reuse, and which they want to get rid of.

Here you see where the homeowner has left me Sticky Notes to let me know that they want to reuse the toilet paper holder, light sconces, and hanger for the mirror, but they do not want to keep certain other fixtures.

This tells me which attachment brackets I can remove from the wall and then fill in the holes, and cover with the new wallpaper, with nary a trace of the old bracket to be seen.

The other fixtures I will remove – and that usually includes removing the attachment brackets, too – and then, once the new wallpaper is in place, I will replace the mounting hardware and then reinstall the fixtures (towel bars, toilet paper holder, artwork, light fixtures, etc.).

It’s easy – just let me know which fixtures you plan to reuse, and which you want to trash.

Towel Bars & Light Fixtures … Homeowner Input

July 13, 2017

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Before I start a job, I ask the homeowner if she is going to use the same towel bars, toilet paper holder, mirror, light fixtures, etc., or if she plans to replace them. Then I know if I should save the mounting hardware and replace the fixtures, or if I should remove these things and fill in the holes in the wall.

This homeowner was away from the house when I arrived, so she left good instructions as to what she wanted done. She marked the fixtures she plans to reuse, and she also marked the mirror hangers that are not to be reused. She used Sticky Notes, which will not damage the wall, and which will not cause marks that will bleed through the new wallpaper (like ink or a Sharpie will). She also arranged to have the mirror removed, because it was too heavy for me to handle. (Isn’t it nice to have a husband and a teenaged son around the house? ūüôā )

More Crappy Work from Contractors

March 7, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageDigital ImageIn the powder room where I’m working today, here are some things I found, left by previous workmen.

In the first photo, you can easily see that the blue box for the electrical outlet is not secured on the right-hand side.¬† It’s supposed to be nailed to a stud¬†behind the wall.¬† Since it’s not, every time the homeowner plugs something into the outlet and then pulls it out, it puts stress on the left side that is attached, and creates the potential for the whole thing to pull out of the wall.

In the second shot, can you see that the faucet is not sitting squarely and is not properly lined up with the sink and backsplash?  In addition, it has not been properly tightened, so it swivles from side to side.

The last photo is dark and hard to see, but I’ll explain.¬† It’s the wall anchors where the toilet paper holder is attached to the wall.¬† The anchors are not in the wall tightly, and that means that the toilet paper holder is loose, with the potential for the whole thing to rip off the wall.

To be honest, this could have been caused by someone yanking on the holder.  But it could also have been improperly installed by some handyman.

I can’t tighten the faucet, and I can’t go inside the wall and nail in the electrical box.¬† But I did try to fasten the anchors for the toilet paper holder.¬† What I did was, I jammed joint compound (like plaster) into the holes, which, when dry, would be hard and hopefully hold the anchor tightly.¬† For added assurance, I¬†then pushed wooden toothpicks into the hole, in hopes of making the hole smaller, so the anchor would screw in tighter.

This is not the best fix (a toggle bolt would hold much more tightly), but I hope that it will hold up to normal use in this home.¬† And it saves them the expense of hiring another handyman to come fix it.¬† Which, I should mention, he would undoubtably mess up the beautiful wallpaper I am going to install tomorrow.¬† Let’s hope that my toothpick-and-mud quick-fix works!