Feeling Flush ~ Outdoor Bathroom Operational

Just to the left of the big door to my shop is a tiny bathroom with a toilet and a shower. Armando can use this bathroom, and I expect that it will be a treat for him to use the shower because he doesn’t have hot water at his house. It will be convenient for Cynthia and me to have it right next to her studio and my shop too, and it may be a marriage extender if I can shower after welding and grinding in my shop and not bring all that dirt into the house.

I tiled the walls most of the way up. We chose a large white porcelain tile called Alaska Blanco (Alaska White). The finish is velvety smooth but not glossy and not quite matte. These thick tiles are made in Spain and have a consistent size and color, far better than the slightly less expensive Asian imports. I placed the tiles vertically just as I did with the tiles on all the columns.

Armando and I still need to finish mortaring around the “window.”

For the floor and the feature strip on the wall, I cut some of the extra tiles that I used on the columns. A critical eye will see that three of the floor tiles line up with each of the vertical white tiles:

I hope that you can see the variation in the shade of the tiles. Viewing this photo on my Samsung tablet, the floor looks totally black. But on the desktop computer you can see the shades of greenish-grays and blacks.

I carried the three-to-one theme through on the feature strip up higher on the wall, too:

We plan to paint the wall above the tile.

The shower head in the photo above is lovingly called a Suicide Shower. It has an electric heating element that acts like an immersion heater for heating a cup of tea. I even grounded the unit to the green ground wire; I’ve seen so many of these shower heads here in Panama with the ground wire just snipped off. It seems like an obvious safety feature to me…

I went round and round in my mind about making the door. I wanted to avoid rusty metal and frequent repainting. I settled on making a sliding PVC door frame covered with an outdoor fabric. The fabric has small holes so that there is air flow even with the door closed. Before I put the top two 90-degree elbows on, I poured some sand into the frame to give it stability when the wind blows. Here’s the door with a temporary “modesty screen”; we are still waiting for delivery of the gray Sunbrella fabric that we ordered on the Internet:

The fabric we ordered will cover the entire door.

So now we have an operational bathroom all hooked up to the septic system. No more jogging knock-kneed to the rental house to use the facilities when Nature calls! Cleaning the bathroom couldn’t be easier; just spray it down with a garden hose and let it dry. And it is such a pleasure here in the tropics to never have to worry about the pipes freezing.

In Other News: Armando and I spent the week applying the second coat of repello (stucco) on the interior walls and are making good progress. I estimate that we’ll work on this for another week. No photos yet.

Bonus Photos: Instead of composting, we have been throwing our vege-matter waste directly on the front flower garden. Some of the seeds grew, and a couple weeks ago Armando transplanted some volunteer squash plants to the other side of the road. We have a half dozen tomato plants to transplant, too. So far we have two good-sized crookneck squash growing on the vine. Here’s a photo of one of the plants in full bloom:

And, in our rental house yard there is a palm with bright red seed pods. How cool is that?

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.


6 thoughts on “Feeling Flush ~ Outdoor Bathroom Operational

  1. We dont write often, but so enjoy your enthusiastic progress and progress it is … poco a poco! Thanks for sharing your dreams with those of us who are simply not as energetic (and creative) as you two are… All the best and we will continue to follow!

    • Thank you Patricia. Yes, we are enthusiastic but I have to tell you that I am TIRED! Especially during this intense, not-for-an-old-man phase of applying the repello to the interior walls. I’m usually pretty helpful around the house, but during these past few weeks Cynthia has had to do more of the household chores. I’m dog tired!

      Speaking of poco a poco, Panamanian friends recently said, “Lento pero seguro,” colloquially meaning “slowly but surely.” They said to say it with a hand motion like tapping your foot on the brake peddle. Thanks again for your comment. Fred

    • Gee Bob, you are always showering me with compliments! Actually, my goal is to find high quality tile for a maximum of $25 per square meter. So many of the tiles that we like are $40 or so per meter but that is a budget buster. These white tile were $28 but I told the clerk my top price was $25. She reduced the price meet my ceiling. By the way, these tiles come five to the box; they are about a half-inch thick.

  2. When Fred and I planted the front flower garden, we obtained the lovely black El Valle dirt mixed with rice hulls. Some of the rice hulls still contained kernels of rice seeds that subsequently sprouted amidst my flowers. Armando just pulled the free-ranging rice plants and replanted those near the super-moist drainage ditch area, just behind our “volunteer” squash. It’s fun to watch (how fast) things grow for free!

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