How to replace a leaky toilet flapper

Today I’m going to show you a very basic DIY repair that you should know how to do. If you already can do this, awesome! If not, then this tutorial will save you at least a hundred bucks or so (that’s how much you would pay a plumber to come to your house).

Several weeks ago one of my toilets started running continuously. I would go in an jiggle the handle to get it to shut off. It seemed like the tank just would not quit filling up. Not only is the sound of a toilet continuously filling up like mega super annoying, it also wastes tons of water and costs you a fortune on your water bill.

I finally had enough and went to investigate. Turns out, the flapper was rotten and wasn’t functioning anymore.

The flapper is the plug that keeps your water in your tank. When you flush the handle, it acts as a lever and pulls the flapper up, releasing the water to flush the toilet. Once the tank is empty of water, the flapper falls back down and plugs up the hole again while the tank refills with water.

The red piece in the bottom of this tank is the new flapper.

Because this piece is made of rubber, after several years of sitting in water and daily use, it will rot. It is the cheapest and easiest thing to fix in your toilet and chances are you will probably need to replace this every few years.

To replace the flapper, you first need to purchase a new flapper. I purchased 4 because I have 4 toilets. I might as well just do them all at once. Here is exactly what I purchased (not an affiliate link). These flappers run around $4 each or 3 for $10ish.

The directions say to shut off your water (the shut-off is behind the toilet) before you switch these out, but if you are confident and quick (and a little rebellious) you can just do a quick switch-a-roo while your water is still on.

Basically, detach the old disgusting flapper and try not to throw up at how disgusting it is. It should just pop right off. Most are attached on either side with little prongs (double check your tank innards before you begin).

Here’s a good picture of how the flapper attaches:

Now take your new flapper and attach it the same way you unattached the old one. It should just hook right onto the white PVC pipe at the base.

Again, it will look like this when it’s attached properly.

Once your flapper is in place, take the metal chain attached to the flapper and hook it on the bar at the top of the tank which is attached to the flush handle. Now when you flush the toilet, the bar will lift up pulling the chain that lifts the flapper.

Test it and make sure it works. And now you are done. Seems like such a simple fix, but after talking with a few friends I realized that most people don’t know how to do this. I was told a few times by different people that they would have just called a plumber. Yikes! Don’t “flush” your money down the drain. Just do it yourself.

*A quick note – there are a few varieties of fill valves and flappers. Some attach differently than this tutorial. Double check your commode before you begin this project to make sure you purchase the proper flapper attachment.


How do you feel about this shower curtain?

So I’ve run into a little snag with the guest bathroom makeover. When I started the bathroom it was looking really sad and pathetic:

So far I’ve painted the room, installed all new hardware, and shared tips for painting around a toilet and hanging a shelf level.

Today I want to talk shower curtains.

I found this curtain at West Elm.

It was seriously love at first sight. Exactly what I was searching for for this bathroom. I ordered it on the spot.

Finally the shower curtain arrived in the mail.

It certainly isn’t as yellow as I expected. In fact, it’s more like a yellowish pea soup color. They call it “Citron”.

I wasn’t thrilled but I figured I’d try it out anyway. In the mean time I found this duvet at Target.

I thought the pattern and color were both nice and might look good converted into a shower curtain. So I bought it as well.

Once I had both curtains, I used some basic clips to attach it to the top of the plastic liner. I wanted to just get a visual of how each looked before I did anything drastic.

Once the Target duvet was attached I stepped back to admire. I fully expected to love it the most and return the West Elm curtain.

So, um ya. I totally hate it. It came down and was returned the same day. I actually still love the duvet, but for a shower curtain it seemed too busy and the colors seemed to just kinda clash with everything.

That left me with the “Citron” West Elm curtain. I clipped it up as well, and though I have to admit, I don’t love it by any stretch of the imagination, it’s better than nothing so I kept it.

And here it is fully installed on the shower bar. I’m really disappointed in the color of this curtain. I was hoping for sunny yellow.

I’m just really torn though. Part of me likes the curtain enough to not hassle returning it, yet another part of me thinks the color looks like a newborn’s diaper {you know what I’m talking about!}. Also, whenever I walk into the bathroom, this is what I see:

Why is every single shower curtain on this planet so short? I know this is “normal” but I just think it looks too short. Maybe I’m the only oddball who thinks this, but I don’t like short curtains, and I don’t like short shower curtains either.

My gut is telling me to return the curtain. I probably will. I’m just having a hard time finding one I really love, and it will drive me nuts if this bathroom is left curtian-less for too long. Argh!

I’ll let you know as the saga unfolds. Who would have thought a shower curtain would cause such turmoil and drama?

For now, here’s a good before and after.


Besides the curtain drama, I think the bathroom is looking so much better!

Some have mentioned to frame out the mirror… I actually plan on doing that once I’m not so lazy! lol And also whenever I find a great deal on a faucet, or I have enough money for a nice one, that builder-grade faucet is getting swapped out as well.

I’d love your thoughts on the shower curtain!


Leveling out new shelves in the guest bathroom

Hey! I hope you had a smashing weekend. We got loads of spring yard work done, and I am so thrilled with how the yard is coming together!

In addition to working on the yard though, I’ve been trying to give my ugly little guest bathroom a fresh makeover.

Today I’m going to share a super-easy trick to getting shelves (or anything else) to sit level on the wall.

Let’s recap first though. The bathroom started like this:

ScotchBlue_bathroom_edges_hoh_01  ScotchBlue_bathroom_edges_hoh_02

The last place I left off had the bathroom looking a whole lot less barfy:

I painted it the same color as my piano room – Route 66 by Dutch Boy.

I also threw in a tip about painting around a toilet. Sure you can remove the whole tank, but seriously. Do you really want to remove the whole tank? I didn’t think so. And neither do I!

Well, today I’m back to share another step in the guest bathroom makeover. This time it involves hanging some pretty shelves above the toilet.

I found these shelves at Ross a few years ago when we were living in a little fully-furnished apartment in Beverly Hills, California (Ben’s Company sent us out there for 6 months for a project).

Okay, so this is so weird. I posted about these shelves almost exactly 2 years ago, to the day. How weird is that?

Anyway… the shelves got a little switcharoo with the decor when I showed you guys how to paint ceramic a month later.

Looking up these old posts really brought back some fond memories of living in the 90210. Well, we actually lived in 90211, but who’s counting? There’s a part of me that really misses that little apartment, our simple carefree life, and our many weekend vacations around Los Angeles.

And of course, who can forget that I started this blog almost two years ago (this Tuesday will be my two year blogiversary!) in that cute little Beverly Hills apartment.

Wow. Nostalgic anyone? Not sure what got into me. Let’s get back on topic, shall we?

Where was I? Oh, shelves. Right. Okay, so I’ve had these shelves in my stash of crap-I-want-to-use-but-don’t-know-where-to-put-it pile for a year and a half. This bathroom makeover seemed like the perfect opportunity to proudly display these beautiful shelves.

Only problem? (A problem I chose to ignore in Beverly Hills)…

They don’t sit level from the wall. Check it:

How would you like to be minding your own business doin’ your thang on the porcelain throne, when all of a sudden something rolls off the shelf and smacks you on top of your head? Ya, me neither!

Obviously I needed to do something to get these things to sit level.

I went into my office and dug around for a minute trying to figure out what I could use to remedy this non-level situation. I totally scored when I stumbled upon the best invention ever. One that I use constantly around my house.

Scotch Mounting Squares.

These things are the best! They are kinda thick, and are sticky on both sides.

These squares will totally do the trick. All I did was take a square and cut it in half. Then I peeled off the paper on ONE side of each square, then stuck the two rectangles together to form a thicker Mounting Square.

From there, I peeled off the paper on ONE side, and stuck it to the bottom corner of my shelf. Then I did this again for the other bottom corner.

Please note: I didn’t peel the paper off the back side of the Mounting Square. I didn’t want it sticking to the wall, I just wanted it to sit against the wall.

See how the two pieces are stuck together then stuck to the shelf?

When I hung the shelves, the Mounting Squares gave it just enough space against the wall to make the shelves sit flush and level.

Such a simple and cheap solution to a really irritating issue!

Look how great they look now!

I’ll be back tomorrow with even more riveting updates to this small but well used bathroom. Hopefully the end result will blow. your. mind. And not just when you are high either.

Have a great day, my friend! Stay tuned because in addition to this bathroom makeover, I’ve also got a laundry room renovation going on, and both kids are getting a little bedroom updating too. Yes, I am crazy! I love DIYing though!

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