Escape from the Home Depot


The new upstairs bathroom will have a shower. A shower needs a base (unless you are having the situation custom tiled, and we are too cheap for that). We found a base that met our space constraints and didn’t make me feel sad.

Bootz Showercast at Home Depot (see it here)

Bootz Showercast at Home Depot (see it here)

It’s porcelain over steel (instead of porcelain over cast iron in tubs), so it has an old-school enamel finish, but in a shower base. It’s a miracle product, people.

Step 1. We buy the shower base.

Tubs and showers are “handed” based on where the drain is as you are looking at it. Assume you are getting into the shower — which side is the drain on? On your right, it’s right-handed. That’s what we need, that’s what we buy. Pan is listed at $189, but rings up at $159. Bonus!

Step 2: Plumber cruelly rejects shower base.

Tells Kev it’s the wrong way around and the drain needs to be at the “other end.”

Step 3: We exchange the base.

We suppose that the plumber wants a left-handed shower base (even though the shower is at the right end), because…well, who knows what plumbers need or want? He wants it the other way. I lead the charge to return it for a left-handed base.

Step 4: Plumber cruelly rejects shower base.

Tells Kevin that the base is the wrong way around. Kevin texts me this information. I make this face.


Step 5: I think unkind things about the plumber.

Step 6: We exchange the base.

We go back for a new right-hand drain base. Every shower base exchange, Home Depot does a full return and puts the total on store credit, then we go get the new shower base and check out. Also every time, some poor soul has to go to receiving to find the base, which for some reason doesn’t live on the retail floor. It’s not easily accessible, if time expended is anything to go by.

I should add that everyone is very nice about all this at the Depot.

Step 7: I notice that shower base 3 is strangely familiar.

“This is the first one we bought,” I insist. “I remember that dent in the box, and it’s been re-sealed.” The Kev makes this face:

exasperated puppy

We open the box in the Depot’s parking lot.

It’s a left-handed base in a right-handed box.


Step 8: I revise my opinion of the plumber.

Step 9: We exchange the base.

We go straight back into the store. The return clerk starts to process it as a full exchange. I’m torn between tears and laughter. “Can’t we please just please have them bring up a different one? Please?” I ask.


At this point, Brandon the Good appears on the scene. Brandon went to receiving for the base only ten minutes earlier. The return clerk was not totally clear on what I was begging her to do (my bad, not hers — I may have been keening incoherently). Brandon looks in the box, understands, says he’ll take care of it…and he does. HE DOES! HE BRINGS US ANOTHER BASE AND WE ALL CHECK IT TOGETHER AND IT IS RIGHT! Correct and right-handed.

Instead of the orange apron, dude might as well have been wearing this shirt:

I'm here to rescue you

Brandon already doesn’t remember us, but I am FOREVER GRATEFUL. ALL HAIL BRANDON.

Anyway, my point: check the drain orientation on the first unit before driving home.

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