Jeremy and Cassie Dawson of El Dorado Hills had a problem — the toilet that wouldn’t die. Daily plunging and overflowing had damaged their master bathroom flooring and they’d torn it up … two years ago.
“We just didn’t have time to replace it, ” said Cassie Dawson.
Enter Bath Crashers, a television series on the DIY network. Host Matt Muenster prowls home improvement stores like Lowe’s searching for puzzled looking couples buying supplies for a major do-it-yourself project and then he offers to follow them home and, enlisting the help of experts, the homeowners and their friends, complete a major bathroom makeover in five days — free.
Muenster found the Dawsons in the Folsom Lowe’s, listened to their sad story and then followed them home to find out just how bad the situation was. It was bad enough that Muenster decided to makeover the Dawson’s bathroom for an upcoming episode of Bath Crashers titled “Moroccan Spa.”
Bathrooms need tile and local tile experts Mike and John Lomagno of Ceramic Solutions in Shingle Springs joined the team for the tile part of the project.
“We used to work with Richard, a tile setter at Godfrey Tile in Fair Oaks,” said John Lomagno, “and then we all went out on our own.” Godfrey Tile was approached by DIY to do the project, but referred them to Richard.
“He’d already done tile for one of the episodes,” said Mike Lomagno, “and he was too busy, so he referred them to us.”
Licensed since 1998, the brothers each have about 20 years experience in the trade and work out of Mike’s home installing porcelain, ceramic, granite, travertine, limestone, marble, slate tile and glass block for new construction and remodels.
The Lomagnos met with the production team and received the design plans for the tile.
“We don’t have to do the demolition — just the tile work, but it’s unbelievable how much tile work there is. The designer keeps apologizing,” said Mike. “We haven’t even been to the site yet.”
They hadn’t met the homeowners yet either, a radical change from their usual method of working with the owners to determine what is needed.
Last Thursday demolition of the old bathroom began and the tile for the bathroom was delivered — the first time the Lomagnos saw the actual material they’d be working with.
In the ’90s-style plywood lined bathroom, the shower is being relocated across the room and supersized with handcrafted, specially ordered, Tunisian ceramic tile that interlocks.
“It’s not your basic square tile,” said Mike. “The designer pulled out all the stops.” New 18-by-18-inch Mediterranean marble tile will replace the old, ripped up flooring.
An important part of Bath Crashers is the involvement of the homeowners in every aspect of the process. On Nov.3, the evening before the remodel began, Cassie Dawson said she didn’t know what to expect. “We met with the production team and they told us to be prepared to start very early in the morning and the days would be very long. I’ve never laid tile or hung sheet rock, so I don’t know what we’ll be doing but we’re really looking forward to it. They told us to bring our friends to help.”
The tile brothers don’t know what to expect either and the prospect of trying to lay tile and manuever in an enclosed space with a lot of inexperienced “helpers” is a challenging one.
“The host delegates the work in the episodes we’ve seen,” said Mike, “but we don’t know what they are going to be doing.”
The Lomagnos are excited about the project but also little nervous about the time crunch, doing a job that would usually take seven days in just over two days, but they are looking forward to the perks — publicity and food.
“They promised a big breakfast since everyone has to get there so early, ” said Mike, “and lunch. It better not be a bag lunch and it might be good to have a whole ice chest full of Red Bull to keep everyone going.We’re supposed to come in on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. and work until the homeowners kick us out and we’ve got to be fast because we’re only scheduled for Day 2 and 3 and a little bit of Day 4.”
“But, we’re going to try to get in on Friday and set things up,” said John. “We’re going as fast as we can.”
The brothers have done project research by watching every episode of Bath Crashers they can find. “It’s only a half hour show — with commercials, but they run each show a bunch of times each season,” said Mike.
That’s just what the Lomagnos and their very excited mom are hoping for — multiple viewings of their episode during the season.
The “Moroccan Spa” episode is scheduled to air Feb.21, 2011, on the DIY network.