Newbie Needs Advice On Bathroom Tile Repair

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Old 04-16-14, 06:52 AM
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Newbie Needs Advice On Bathroom Tile Repair

Hello,

I would like to spruce up my bathroom, but I don't have the money to completely re-do it.

I have old style ceramic tile on the walls with spots of missing grout and the grout is discolored.

1) How do I fill in the missing spots of grout in the tile?
2) How can I change or brighten the color of the grout? Can this be applied for a tile bathroom floor also?
3) How do I replace a broken towel rack? (There used to be a plastic rod in between the ceramic towel rack holders on the tile that broke. I'm assuming that I have to remove one of them, replace the rod, then re-affix the holder but I'm leery of doing it for fear of breaking the tile)

In a perfect scenario, maybe it's possible to fill in the grout with a kind of filler - kind of like plaster or putty. And have a "paint over" option to either re-whiten the grout in the shower and walls, or change the color completely. Hopefully this would work for the floor as well.

If requested, I can forward pictures of the current bathroom.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
 
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Old 04-16-14, 07:23 AM
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What colors are you working with? Is the missing grout on the walls or floors or both?

Go to a tile store (not box store), and tell then about your plastic towel bar. They should be able to order you a spring loaded attachment that would allow you to replace the bar without removing one of the holders.
 
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Old 04-16-14, 12:07 PM
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Thanks for your reply.

The missing grout is in the shower on the walls. There is also some missing grout between the tile and tub. The tile is powder blue and the grout was once white, I would believe, but it is now a dark "creamish" color. The floor is an almost checkerboard light blue/dark blue pattern. I'm sure 'grout' is the wrong term for the floor, because I'm sure those tiny squares and rectangles weren't laid out individually, however I'm hoping that a "paint over" approach would work for this as well.

White is probably the easiest grout color to find, I would imagine, but I was curious if there were other color options.

Also, how long will it take to set? I have three ladies in the house and I'd like to know how long it would take before they could use the bathroom again (no offense to any ladies out there).

Thanks again!
 
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Old 04-16-14, 03:09 PM
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If the missing grout is in the corners of the shower or where the tile meets the tub, it is cracking because grout does not belong in those areas. Any place you have a change in plane a flexible caulking of a color matched to the grout is used. There is too much movement in walls for grout (which is cement and does not bend) to handle, you need to bridge the gap with caulking. Find a white color match caulk in the tile department, not the paint department.

If you go to the tile department at the big orange store, you will find "grout pens". Get one in white and follow the directions. You shake the pen (which is filled with white paint/colorant). Depress the tip several times until the liquid colorant flows, and then you drag it along the grout lines and basically refresh the grout by painting it. It is super user friendly and definitely a DIY project. Plan on a couple of hours of tracing the grout, but it will refresh to your satisfaction. Have a paper towel handy to immediately wipe if you Opps outside the grout line. Downtime will be half an hour after you finish.
 
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Old 04-16-14, 03:26 PM
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"The Big Orange Store". Nice.

OK, grout pens for grout on walls and white caulk for tub. Got it.

But what about the missing caulk on the walls of the shower. There are small spots of that as well. Grout pen won't handle that, right? That's just "paint", right? Is there a filler?

Am I out of luck with the floor? Or will "The Big Orange Store" have something for that too?
 
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Old 04-16-14, 03:29 PM
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Just reading your mind now, however, the picture is a little fuzzy... If you could post a couple of pictures of the specific issues, I can get more specific.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 04-16-14, 04:54 PM
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The proper way to fix it requires a lot of work but its cheap. You need to scrape out the existing grout and re-do it. There are tools to scrape it out. Then you mix new grout and using a float you repack the grout into the seems. Seal it wit silicon after it dries. Using GE Tub and Shower caulk seal the corners, and tub edges.
 
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Old 04-16-14, 05:38 PM
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Using GE Tub and Shower caulk
Not always the answer Norm, lets wait for the pictures and make sure our recommendations are correct. Not a fan of GE caulking. Also, picture is this case may point to structural issues that need to be addressed outside of slathering on caulk and calling it a day. We will look to the perm. solution instead of the hide.
 
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Old 04-16-14, 05:54 PM
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There was no talk of soft or spongy areas or possible damage other than cosmetic. So I only addressed items as stated. But I do agree that pics may well reveal other unstated problems.

I have a room with similar grout problem that I have not yet tackled. But there is absolutley no damage or "problems" other than grout that has deteriorated and needs freshening.
 
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Old 04-16-14, 10:22 PM
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OK I have attached the evidence.

Note:
1) In 1st two images, the dark spaces are not mildew but actually missing grout in between the tiles.

2) 3rd image shows 3 tiles that are cracked. I guess those tiles should be replaced, but I'm not sure that I can handle that.

3) last image shows the floor. I'm still wondering if the 'grout' in between can be brightened also. Don't think the pen is a solution.




 
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Old 04-17-14, 03:55 AM
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I'll stick to my original statement. Assuming no wall board damage or other problems, this just needs cleaning up. On those cracked tiles, as long as the board behind it is solid then replacing them is not a problem. If you can find the same tile then crack them off the wall. You might need to use patch to smooth out the board behind it. Re-glue new tiles, grout, seal and silicone the edge.

The floor tiles are a bit more challenging. I don't know if you can find a tool small enough to scrape out the grout in those spaces. But I'm willing to bet a bleach of some sort might do the job.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 06:02 AM
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Shopping list -

Sponge, small plastic cup, white unsanded grout, small wooden stick for stirring.

Custom Building Products White Dry 5 lb. Non-Sanded Grout-WDG5 at The Home Depot

This is for areas that are on the wall. Take 1/2 cup of unsanded white grout put in small plastic cup, slowing add water a couple of drops at a time and mix until you get a thick pudding consistency. Take your finger and smear it into the void on the wall. Go back and forth with your finger until you can not get any more in. Take a wet sponge, wring it out, and wipe across the grout patch once or twice to remove excess. Wait 1 hour and then buff the area to remove any haze and leave patch set overnight. - Done


Custom Building Products Polyblend #381 Bright White 10.5 oz. Non-Sanded Ceramic Tile Caulk-PC38110N at The Home Depot

Shopping List

-Caulking gun, tube of unsanded caulk, blue painters tape

Take the tape and stretch it along the rim of the tub near where the tile meets the tub. Do a parallel line of tape on the tile above the rim of the tub. You should be left with a narrow slit between the two pieces of tape. Squeeze some caulk into the slit running the whole length of the tub edge. Wet your finger and drag it across the caulk smearing it into the crack and onto the tape. Wipe finger in a disposable rag. Immediately pull the tape and reveal a perfect caulk line. Let set up overnight.

Shopping List

-Grout pen in white

Miracle Sealants Grout Pen-GRT PEN WHT at The Home Depot

Drag pen across remaining grout after patch and caulk have cured to refresh the balance of the wall grout.


As far as the floor goes, see if you can determine what the original grout color was. I suspect gray, so not much refreshing likely on the floor. I would use bath mats to distract your eyes from the floor itself.

The crack tiles look like an issue with the glazing the way is is spidering. Cracked tiles look completely different. I would not worry about it and proceed with the rest of your repairs.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 06:46 AM
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OK. Thanks to you both.

Just to be clear, it appears there is a difference of opinion. The opposing views are 1) remove the surrounding grout and caulk in the affected areas and redo and 2) patch the missing/affected areas only.

Removing the grout/caulk could potentially introduce or create additional problems for me (broken tile, etc). Unless it is absolutely required or absolutely recommended, I'm leaning toward the patch. If the patch won't last very long, then it's probably best to bite the bullet and do it right.

Thank you again for your help. This is great.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 03:56 PM
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If it helps your decision, I am a licensed contractor.

The patch is more than sufficient. Check back once you have completed your repairs and refreshed the grout with your grout pen. It will look brand new. You can do this, I don't think there is a need at this time to break up tile or do excessive grout digging. Unless, of course, you want a bigger project than it needs to be....
 
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Old 04-18-14, 05:27 AM
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:NO NO NO:

I certainly do not want a bigger project. I leave that to the professionals. I simply want to stay in my lane while giving my bathroom a reasonable makeover.

Thanks again for your assistance. If I feel brave enough, after I'm done I'll share my experience and post some before/after photos.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 03:51 AM
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Oh yeah, one more thing.

Around the soap dish, someone put silicone around it and it has gotten real dark and horrible looking. Would the calking cover that also or is there something else that I need to do?

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 08:06 AM
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Take a putty knife and remove as much of the caulking around the soap dish as possible. Use the same colored unsanded caulk you are going to use at the tub/tile junction. You will have to get a little fancier with the blue tape to mask off before application.
 
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