Tuesday, September 9, 2008

18 Million Cracks

in my bathroom. Trust me-- I'm not making light of those more important 18 million cracks*; I'm just getting a little concerned about the stability of the joints in my bathroom.

I was a taking a shower a few days ago (I've taken them since!), and I noticed what looked like mildew in the grout lines. Admittedly, I'd noticed them before, and bought some extra heavy duty tub and tile cleaner. But this time I stuck a fingernail in the grout line...

I think these are actually places where the grout is beginning to fail. Morelike, has already failed. There's quite a few of them. My other guess was that perhaps there was a darker grout to begin with and someone decided to regrout in white. The floor looks like maybe it was a darker grout, not just stained. (We're clean people-- I swear!).

So I'm thinking-- and correct me if I'm going about this all wrong-- I'm going to clean the grout in the tub/shower and walls well with a soft brush and regrout. The sticking point is that it's the whole bathroom's wainscoting, but I think that if I just pay special attention to the areas of failure and do the entire thing with the same batch using a good float, then I should be good, right?

Then I noticed this:

That's the hot water knob in the tub. And that black thing you see is a hole. Bondo and some chrome paint? I know I should just replace them, but I LOVE these knobs. The hole is on the backside and they're perfectly vintage for the rest of the bathroom...Or can you buy those sleeve things separately?

Then, there's the crack between shower and window:

Trust-- the first thing I want to do in this joint is paint the trim. The most recent paint job was done with FLAT paint. Sigh. Dirty fingers galore. However, you'll see that the first thing I ought to do, is address the "why you shouldn't just grout your tile to wood" issue. Clean it out and caulk it, I assume.

An finally, the real crack in the ceiling that haunts me daily:

The AC guys did this and offered to knock a few hundred dollars off the total if I let it go. I was fresh off the kitchen drywalling, so I thought this was the bargain of the century and a good opportunity to practice my texturing. I'm not so worried about the texture as I am about the sheetrock falling down. I think my plan is to perhaps put a couple of drywall screws into the portions that are sagging-- there's plaster with lathe underneath, so it's something for the screws to go into, and they don't have to hold the weight of the whole sheet; just the little saggy bits. Then tape and mud and patch as otherwise.

It's a little daunting, but should be a good trial run for repairing and successfully cammoflaging the, ahem, canyon in our other ceiling:

This weekend was a bit of a dud, so we've promised ourselves greater progress next weekend. We want that final inspection and we want it now. Or at least before the permit is a year old. Yikes.

*After the last 10 days, politically speaking, I feel I need humor more than ever. I'm getting a little worried.


sarah said...

You should be able to get the flange (behind your knobs) separately. Just measure everything you can think of - plumbing is so annoyingly specfic and not as standardized as they pretend. And my tiling class taught us to use grout caulk (yes, basically caulk) anywhere that tile meets another surface, and anywhere that one tiled surface meets another tiled surface at an angle - like the corners of a shower stall, and tile-wood interface. You can get grout caulk color keyed to match grout at a big box store. By the way, I'm jealous of those pink & black wave-detail tile strips! Nice!

Amalie said...

Thanks Sarah-- That's basically what I'd heard, too, about caulking those kinds of seams. And I'll see if I can find a flange that matches. Plumbing is a real pain.

Oh-- and the wave strip is actually burgundy and runs as a detail throughout the bathroom, with burgundy tile at top and bottom. It's what we color-matched the walls to.

I know it's not period to the house, but it's so over the top that I love it anyway!

Amalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

Informative Post.

Thanks for sharing and keep posting.

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