Fool for France

This used to be the pink bathroom.

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Well, so, this is what is happening to the pink bathroom. The old tub and sink are gone. They had a bidet but no toilet.  The bidet is gone. You are looking at the tank for the new toilet.

I basically ran into a worker revolt on this toilet issue. I was going to start a search for a Toto toilet. When it comes to toilet selection, any right – thinking American chooses Toto. They are Japanese but so what, the war was a long time ago, and the heated seat is one of life’s little luxuries. Toyota in the garage, Toto in the home. Even the terrific Australian brand, Caroma, can’t match it.

I already knew that  neither brand was sold in France. I was hoping to find them in England and slip them onto an inbound truck. The workers  to a man — and why, after 40 years of running around job sites, am I still generally the only woman out there? — refused to consider any toilet that touched the floor. No, no and no, absolutely no way, nonnegotiable. I guess they were thinking of the cleaning lady. So my 19th century house will have these commercial toilets. Maybe we can disguise them with tile.

The silver stuff is special insulation, developed from insulation that was designed for NASA. I hope it is more or less affordable because it is all over the house. Rather than the usual simple vapor barrier, this has 19 layers of thin but highly effective insulating properties.  Think of those little foil emergency blankets, multiply by 19 and add a couple of inches of regular insulation. That’s the stuff. The guys will sheet rock over the top of it, put the cornice back on the ceiling and no one will ever know what happened. I just hope, after all this, we’re not still spending our winters freezing inside the house.

11 Replies to “This used to be the pink bathroom.”

  1. Toto toilets?? Never heard of them. Do you have to ear sparkly red shoes to go to the bathroom? 🙂
    I agree with your workmen – toilettes ‘suspendues” are the way to go. Particularly if you have French teenagers who can’t aim.


    1. Funny. No, sparkly shoes are optional. Sometimes I think this project will get me, and my little dog, too, so I guess I’d better dig mine out.

      Totos are the best. They made the first low-flow toilet that actually worked. The saleslady swore I could flush a cat down that thing, or did she say that about the Caroma? I never tried but it was reassuring to know I had the option.


  2. Toto toilets are the best. I first experienced one (actually many) during my 2014 trip to Japan. All the buttons you can select though are a bit intimidating…..I was scared to try some of the options. 🙂


    1. Hi Bonnie. The little panel might seem scary at first but I bet you soon got over it. I’ll spare you the details, in hopes of not grossing out my more sensitive readers, if there are any, but Robert got to the point that when he traveled, he missed his Toto. If they sold them here, I’d do one with all the bells and whistles. It could be the Robert Sullivan Memorial Loo.


    1. No, really, don’t feel bad. The key metric is proximity to the person in need, assuming the thing actually works. Self-closing is pretty special, though Toto does that, too. Besides, anyone who has done a project here knows how hard it is to get things right. Your house is older, smaller and more irregular than mine. Also it’s a townhouse, right, crammed between a couple of other houses? You face much bigger challenges than do I. These tank things are major space hogs. Even if you considered them I bet you would decide against them.


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