Life Hacks I Love #10: How ’bout that Grout?

My spring cleaning spree continued and a I spent most of Saturday scrubbing the bathroom. There is a bit of a story behind our bathroom and perhaps it needs to be explained at this point. In 2010, we hired an independent contractor to gut and renovate our bathroom. This was a huge job and quite pricey for such a little space, but it was literally crumbling down and had to be done. We signed a contract, gave a deposit and were excited that his timeline was 3 weeks. Unfortunately, 3 months later the job was less than half done with no toilet, sink or floor and none of the finishing work completed. He would show up sporadically at best and never answered our calls or emails. When we finally reached our limit and gave him an ultimatum….finish by Friday or don’t bother coming back, he chose the latter. This left us with a huge job to complete and uncertainty about where he was in the process of some of the jobs. It was a huge stress and at this point we just wanted it done. It was so hard to find trades people and at this point we weren’t feeling very trusting, so we decided that Tim would finish the job. This added a lot to his plate because he was working full time and had to do the bathroom around his schedule. In the end Tim did a great job, but there was one major problem.  The tile work. Although I know Tim is capable of doing pretty much anything around the house, he had never done tile before. We weren’t sure if the bathtub tiles needed any kind of sealer on them because “Darryl” had done this job before he walked off. We assumed it was complete and never did any kind of treatment over them. As for the floor tile, Tim took on this job himself, but under the time crunch of knowing our vanity was to be installed in just a few days. He pulled a couple of all-nighters in the midst of a family camping trip and got the job done, but there were issues with the grout. I can’t actually remember what went down, but the result was somewhat disappointing. I can be pretty fussy and especially when we’ve just spent an arm and a leg to get our bathroom done, but my husband had just spent every spare moment working his tail off to get this job done and believe me frustrations were high, so I had to tread lightly if you know what I mean. He knew there were some flaws in the grout, but it has always been a bit of a “touchy subject”.

Over the years, I have attacked the grout on that floor several times, but to no avail. It just doesn’t seem uniform in colour and I have never been very happy with it. Someday, perhaps we’ll get it redone, but for now it is what it is. In fact, some say it is natural looking and looks like it might have been the original floor with the normal wear and tear of a 100 year old house. So, having said all of this, the bathroom tile and I have a bit of a contentious relationship and it has never been “spot on”, even after its initial installation. I’ve had several fights with the tub and floor tiles, but always feel like I’ve lost the battle in the end. Well, for the first time ever, I actually felt pretty good with the results.

Tub Tiles:

I found a homemade mixture for the tub tiles and was quite pleased with results. I have tried several store-bought tile cleaners and feel like the discolouration never really goes away. This homemade concoction worked quite well.

  • 1 part bleach
  • 3 parts baking soda

Mix the bleach and baking soda together to form a paste and spread it over the grout. Leave for about 10 minutes and scrub. Now, I won’t lie…I did have to scrub the grout, but the whole thing didn’t take me longer than about 10 to 15 minutes. There really is no comparison between this method and other traditional cleaners I’ve used. Most of the discolouration came off and I was pleased with the results.

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About Cindy RoyI’m a busy mother, wife and kindergarten teacher. I have a huge list of loves! I love my family, The Source Church, old houses, “up-cycling”, DIY projects, scrapbooking, volleyball, interior design, cake decorating, party planning, healthy eating, and last, but certainly not least…gift wrapping! I just launched my brand new Youtube channel and am super excited to share BOWhemian WRAPsody with my followers. My channel is dedicated to all things relating to gift wrapping and creating beautiful eye catching presents…its all in the PRESENTation! I’m very organized and reflective, and am continually striving to do life more lovingly, passionately, effectively and successfully.

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