The other day, we spent about an hour wrestling with the thing pictured above. The bathtub faucet drips and is pretty outdated, so we’re going to replace the whole kit and caboodle. We needed to see what was under there, so after removing the faucet handle ($6 is totally worth it for a handle puller, BTW), we tried in vain to pry it off the wall. Fortunately, we knew it would be a major bummer if we broke the tile in the process, so we were careful and didn’t. Finally, I looked at our plumbing book, which promptly informed me that this thing is called an escutcheon (pronounced ih-SKUSH-un) and that it is threaded. We had tried twisting, but it makes a huge difference knowing that it’s supposed to unscrew. It gives you the confidence to apply the extra force needed to get the job done. A minute later, it was off. My motto, “read the book,” proves once again to be the best advice. Too bad I didn’t follow it sooner! But hey, we learned something and didn’t do any serious damage, so I’ll call it a success.