The Shower Door Disaster of 2013

Two weeks ago I was wiping down the shower doors and they got gummed up so they wouldn’t slide on the track. In the process of trying to fix this, I knocked one of the doors completely off the track.

I very quickly learned that these shower doors are made of actual glass and weigh a million pounds. There was a split second where I was certain I would win a Darwin Award for bleeding to death in my own bathtub after cutting off my foot with a shower door — all because of cleaning.

I was able to control it enough to not hurt myself and screamed my head off and my husband ran in and lifted the thing off me. There was a handful of glass shards in the bottom of the tub and the door was chipped in one corner.

Once I got over the thrill of not being hurt, we had two problems. (1) The broken shower door and (2) the giant gouge in the tub. Also keep in mind that we aren’t even finished paying for this bathroom yet.

As is well documented here, I’m not good at household things and don’t want to invest any time getting better at it. I wasn’t even sure where to start. The people that remodeled the bathroom retired about 5 minutes after they cashed our final payment so that wasn’t an option. I went through the file and wrote down what I thought were relevant notes and I took a few photos of the shower door and went out for round 1.

First, I went to a local glass shop because they’ve replaced a couple of windshields for us and were always nice and I figured if they couldn’t help us they could at least point us in the right direction. I was wrong. It would be too long and boring to tell you the whole conversation but you can get the idea from this: after I explained what happened the guy said, “What do you want me to do about it?” He also told me that usually if tempered glass gets hit hard enough to chip, it shatters.

Eventually he was able to point to something in my notes that is apparently the manufacturer so I went online and found the local rep for that and phoned and the line was disconnected.

Meanwhile, my husband received my unhappy texts during this adventure. He saw a glass place when he was out and about and ran in there and they were super nice and helpful. They knew the company that did our remodel. They knew the manufacturer. Someone came by to look at the damage. He told us that he’d never seen a door chip like that and not shatter.

Why is this used to make shower doors?

He said he’d put together an estimate for us. I don’t know what this is going to cost us but I am hopeful that I will soon have a brand new, million pound, shatterable shower door.

For the gouge in the bathtub, I spent a goodly amount of time reading disheartening things online about gouged bathtubs.

After what I deemed enough responsible research, I found a do-it-yourself kit that looked promising but asked me 100 questions about my tub. Did you know that some of the color choices are: Artic, Snow, Cloud, Linen and Béchamel? (Barely exaggerating). White, I kept insisting. Then there was something about how to tell what kind of tub you have and you sand the gouge and then smell it. My bathtub smelled like my shampoo which was not one of the choices.

I made my best guesses and went through the order screens. When I got to the end, the shipping and handling charges added another 50% to the cost. So I said, Screw you. I’m not doing that. What the hell are “handling” charges? It’s like when you buy tickets and they charge you a $5 convenience charge to print them yourself. If they were shipping me an alligator I could see charging me a fee. But not for sticking some painty stuff and sandpaper into an envelope.

I did some more research and found the company that made my tub and they had a number to call. I got that lady on the phone and we had to go through the same questions about what color my tub is and what it’s made out of and what product line it is, because that’s something a person should keep track of. And we get to the end of that round and then she said it was out of stock.

She said they buy it from someone else and gave me that number and that’s when I talked to St. Nancy of New Jersey.

St. Nancy was super friendly and helpful and explained to me how she used the product on her sink.

“Are you handy or can anyone do this?” I asked.

“My husband says I have 4 thumbs,” St. Nancy said. “But I think I’m handy.”

My fix-it kit arrived the next day. At first I rigorously followed the directions but the filler stuff just shrunk and brushed out of the dent. So I gave up on the filler and tried to make light coats of the chip filler. That wasn’t looking so hot either. The directions said, “Whatever you do, don’t just glop it on.” But when I glopped it on the gouge was covered.

Not pretty but if it works, good enough for me.

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