You know you’ve reached middle age when you get excited about a toilet. Although, really, can you name another fixture in your home that you have such an intimate relationship with?
In the past six months we’ve purchased two toilets: one for the bathroom in the city apartment and one for the bathroom here at the house. The toilet for the city apartment was a total duress purchase. The toilet that had been installed during the building’s gut rehab in 2006 had been causing trouble for a few years. We really shouldn’t have been surprised when we learned that the cause of a leak into our downstairs neighbor’s bathroom was coming from the toilet. And I guess we weren’t really surprised … but we weren’t really prepared to buy a new toilet either.
I wasn’t completely uneducated about toilets, mind you. Over the years I’ve written about toilets here and there. In doing research for those posts I identified three things that I wanted in our new toilet: concealed trap way, easy flushing and comfort height.
The thing about a duress purchase is that you have to make your purchase quickly, which means you’re at the mercy of what’s in stock at hardware stores. That basically eliminated the toilets on my Which Throne Will We Own list. But then in a moment of porcelain serendipity, Lowe’s came through with a toilet that fits all of my criteria – and also happened to be under $300.
The American Standard “Clean” High Efficiency Elongated Toilet has styling that rivals the more expensive Toto toilets but at a fraction of the cost. As you can see in the photo above that I sent to The Mister when I bought the toilet, the Clean toilet came in well under $300. The concealed trapway and small tank look great in our small apartment bathroom. But perhaps even more importantly, this high efficiency toilet (1.28 gpf) packs a powerful flush! My experience with other high efficiency toilets has been that they require multiple flushes – thereby negating any water savings. The American Standard Clean toilet has a strong flushing system that rarely requires a second flush.
In fact, we’re so pleased with the toilet that we purchased for the apartment under duress that we bought the same toilet for the house.
DISCLOSURE: This is an honest review of our experience with the American Standard Clean Toilet. This American House was not compensation for this post. We may receive ad revenue from embedded Amazon clicks.
My iPhone is such a big part of my life that it is practically an extension of my hand. I use it for work and my personal life, for reading books and watching stupid cat videos, for waking up and going to sleep. My phone is in my hand so much that I’m surprised my skin hasn’t fused with the leather J. Crew cover that protects it.
With all of this frequent use, it’s no wonder that I quickly develop habits with the phone. There are movements – like using my thumbprint to bring the phone to life and quickly access the home screen – that are practically instinctive. And then when Apple goes and releases a software update (which, admittedly, does include some fun new features) I’m forced to change my habits. Usually I can adjust pretty quickly but the new way to unlock the home screen in iOS 10 has been causing me all kinds of problems. And clearly I’m not alone.
I came upon the solution to resetting the home screen in a friend’s Facebook link of MacRumors post. It’s just five easy steps:
- Open the Settings app
- Go to the General section
- Choose Accessibility
- Scroll down to Home button and tap the option
- Toggle on “Rest Finger to Open”
Hooray for a simple fix! This old dog can continue refusing new tricks.
Sometimes I think that projects would be so much easier if I wasn’t such a neatnik.
Take the task of stripping the fireplace brick, for instance. Not only have I created an ornate plastic bag and taping routine to keep the surfaces surrounding the fireplace protected, but I also clean and put away the entire operation at the end of every weekend.
I’d probably save a lot of time by leaving the ladder and plastic bags and other stripping supplies sitting in the living room even when I wasn’t working on the project. But, well, that just wouldn’t be me. I like a neat and clutter-free home – whether projects are finished or not.
And, hey, carrying that ladder up and down from the basement is a good workout!
So, quite frankly, I thought I would have more details about the basement bathroom to share. I bought a new toilet and sink that we had planned on installing in the bathroom. That is, until we discovered that the standard toilet wouldn’t work. For future reference, folks, always check to see how the toilet drains before you buy a new one. Our basement toilet drains out the back so of course the standard model we bought didn’t work. And since we kept the toilet the new pedestal sink I bought wouldn’t fit either. Hey, at least we saved some money by cleaning up the old stuff!
We’ve put it off for the past two years but this summer we finally had to face it. The exterior trim on the house MUST be painted. There are sections of trim – especially on the south side of the house – that are down to the bare wood. If we forego painting much longer we risk damaging the wood trim. And we definitely don’t want that to happen. There are far too few of these American System Built Homes that are in as good of shape as ours. We want to preserve that as much as we can. And leaving bare trim exposed to the elements is not helping.
We’ve known for the past two years that we would need to paint the trim on the house. And almost from the very beginning of our ownership we’ve been talking about repainting the trim in a deep red color. Through a little research we came across PPG Architectural Coatings’ Fallingwater paint collection. And there it was – the first little square on the inner leaf of the catalog: Cherokee Red.