Sunday, March 4, 2012

bathroom (mis)adventures

To finish up my bathroom "renovation", I wanted to do a thorough cleaning of the shower tile to get rid of gross mildew, staining, and soap scum, and then patch up a few spots where the grout was loose.

All sounds pretty innocent and simple, right? I thought so.

Day 1:
I went to the store for the necessary goods - here is my arsenal:

[Clorox Bathroom Cleaner; Pre-Mixed White Tile Grout; Homax Grout Coating/Whitener; Homax Grout Sealer]
The plan was to:
1// clean grout and tile with the bathroom cleaner
2// clear out any loose grout and fill in all grout holes
3// coat grout with whitener
4// seal the grout
5// re-caulk everything, especially because corners were looking like this (ahhhhhh upclose shots are so scary):

Step 1 went smoothly (but some spots were definitely in need of the grout whitener!) At step 2 things got interesting. Before I started the soap dish looked like this:

Nice big gaps in the grout and of course I wanted to get the loose bits out. Maybe I was being a bit too aggressive, but this happened:

Ahh!! It's hard to tell in the photo, but a lot of the original mortar behind the dish was wet. And when I put the soap dish down, a ton of water poured out of the holes in the back. I panicked for a moment, then realized maybe it wasn't such a bad thing it fell off because the dish wasn't water tight and probably needed to dry out. After pulling mortar pieces down, the shower looked like this:

So pretty, right?! Haha... I also started pulling out the old caulking (shown in the left corner above) to find huge gaps between the tile and tub. Will have to fix that too. Sigh. At this point I turned on the bathroom fan and went out to see my friends - it's a good thing I left the apartment or I probably would have ripped all the tile down.

Day 2:
I started out today with another trip to the store in hopes of finding some manageable quantity of mortar / thin-set / tile adhesive to put that soap dish back up. I was worried I wouldn't find the right thing for a quick repair job, since the stuff is usually sold in 50lb bags. When I was about to give up and buy probably the wrong stuff (mortar crack filler, like for brick walls), I found a nice little 6oz bottle of tile repair adhesive. Yay! And while I was at it I picked up some bathroom caulk and a caulk gun.

The soap dish hole was looking fairly dry (maybe I should have waited longer but I want this done!) so I mixed up a small batch of adhesive and applied to the back of the soap dish.

When I smooshed it on the wall it actually felt secure and suctiony which was very reassuring, but I pulled it off quickly to make sure the back was completely covered.

Success. Now I'm letting it dry for the prescribed 3 hours before grouting supported by masking tape to prevent droopiness)

The adventures will continue...

ps. Some cute encouragement from my dad (yes, diy is the way to go!):

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