Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Stupid Bathtub Tiles! And Grey Stuff!

Is there a rider on Murphy's Law that says something like "75% of the time you start a simple home project, the rest of the iceberg will pop up and bite you in the ass."?
I try not to look at my husband's bathtub, but when I do I always shudder and clean it. Recently it had reached that point of no return where no matter how much X-14 you sprayed on that caulk between the bathtub and the tiles, there was always some grey left. I hate grey caulk spots. Yuck city. It can smell clean and you intellectually know it's clean but when you can see the grey, it just doesn't seem clean.
My Sweetie left Monday morning to go to L.A. on business so I thought it would be a good time to strip out that gross caulk. When I was working in the front corner, two tiles were loose, so I thought I'd popped them out as it would be easier to clean them. Oh my!
The "dry"wall behind those tiles had obviously been wetwall for quite some time. I was met with a big oddly colorful mess of mushy weird yuck falling out of the wall. After I knocked out the loose fluffy stuff, I still had this left:
I worked for some time getting that stuff out and found out there was wood back there:
That was good. I had some random pieces of drywall left over from when the plumber rerouted our hot water pipes after the big leak a year or so ago and cut some out and put those in:

And if you wondered why I used the plural just then, it's because that wood back there was two drywall thicknesses away so I had to do layers. A lot of that weird colorful moldy old wallboard goo was stuck on the back of the two tiles I pulled out so I soaked them for several hours in soapy water. The smaller tile cleaned up nicely but the larger tile had a thin layer of what seemed like cement on the back. I had extra tiles, but when I pulled out a nice brand new, non cement covered tile, I realized that the one from the wall had been cut. The new tile was too big.
I spent several hours today with a hammer and small screwdriver. I used the screwdriver as a makeshift chisel and bit by bit, pounded that layer of cementy stuff off of the back. I realise I could have figured out a way to have a fresh tile cut to fit, but I figured out the chiseling was good honest labor. And I pretended I was an archeologist finding a rare ancient treasure. Those guys must have hand muscles that I didn't know existed, because my hands are killing me.
After I got that stuff off, I replaced the tiles and then several hours later grouted them:
It will need some touching up and cleaning, but the grey is gone and that is good. I hate that grey stuff.


Jazz said...

You need to come to my house and fix stuff, you do, you do!!!

Mr. Jazz said...

I totally agree w/Jazz. And if you do, all the beer's on us.

Scarlet said...

Nice job! You need to write a handyman book for women!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Very impressive. I am a klutz at this sort of thing.

Carole said...

Great job! You are the coolest handywoman I know. It never surprises me anymore that you can do so many fix-its around the house, but it still impresses me every time!

LL Cool Joe said...

I just popped over from Scarlet's blog, and was so impressed with your work I thought I'd leave a comment!

Looks really professional. It's so satisfying doing a job like that and I think the photos of before and after are a great idea. :)

xup said...

You are totally awesome and if I were that way inclined I would ask for your hand in holy matrimony because I have no interest in doing this sort of stuff and you completely rock it.

Jocelyn said...

I cannot even tell you how much I want you to have your own reality tv show. I would tune in every Saturday morning (even if it was on Friday nights), just to watch it.

Hey, btw, I have taken your comment about the b & w look of my blog to heart and will, at some point in the nearish future, do something about it. I might see if I can hire someone to switch it up for me, to something more original. Please keep coming and reading! I love when you visit.

geewits said...

~~Judging by your latest house pics, it all looks pretty well fixed to me.

Mr. Jazz,
~~See above. And really no one really gets just how much beer I drink, so you shouldn't promise that.

~~You mean a handywoman book? I'm sure some exist already. Besides I make up names for my tools. I call my socket wrench "that ratchety thing" and I call "grippy pliers" just that. I can't even think of the real name for them. See? My book would be horrible.

~~But you are a scientist. You should be a natural.

~~Hey you're no slacker over there!

LL Cool Joe,
~~Thanks for stopping by. My longterm readers know I ALWAYS take before and after pics.

~~I don't think we would work out. You have too many rules. You are structure and I am freestyle.

~~TV show? hee hee. After every commercial this disclaimer would come up: This show is for entertainment purposes only. Using power tools and sharp instruments is not recommended for people drinking beer. I would have a built-in sponsor, though.

And thanks for considering a change. It really does hurt my eyes.

LoLo said...


Anonymous said...

amazing stuff thanx :)