I’m Fixing a Shower

I’ve had a couple of loose tiles in the tub/shower area for a while and finally decided to do something about it.

Since we have other baths in the house, I just told everyone not to use the shower in there until it was fixed. When a shower stall is not intact, water gets between the walls and can leak onto the slab and cause it to expand. That can cause foundation damage, so this is something that should always be taken care of at the first sign of the problem.

One reason I put it off for so long is the grout is a custom color. We have extra grout mix the builder left for us in the attic, but I didn’t remember the color, there are several different ones they used in the house.

I took little scoops of each one and tried to match by eye, but none of them seemed right. The only thing I can imagine is the people who did the post builder cleaning used bleach in there which caused the color to fade. 

I’ll try that once the caulking is done. Another problem. The builder left about four tubes of matching caulk, but left every single one of them open, so they dried out. 

So here I am just trying to get some handy work done and I just don’t have the materials I need. I could have gotten this done in just one day, but now I have to order this colored caulk over the internet. 

I wouldn’t even consider hiring someone for this job. I know what they’d say, they can’t match the grout so they must remove all of it and grout it all over again so the color will be uniform. 

And I can see them breaking tiles while removing grout.

And then they’d have to order new tiles and the lot wouldn’t match.

I know, I’ve been through this before. To hell with that, I don’t feel like making an appointment with someone who might not show up anyway. Or will take off, never to be seen again after giving them money for supplies. Had that happen before. 

Dude came in here talking about Jesus this, and God that, and had a crucifix around his neck. Didn’t fool me, in fact, after he started that I told Blane, “Watch out, he’s gonna take the money and run.”

And he did. He turned out to be a crackhead. I know because Blane took off with a pocketful of knives and found him. (Don’t ever take money from Blane, he will track you down like a bloodhound until he gets back every penny.) Anyway, he caught the guy redhanded. Smoking crack. Oh boy…

Long story short, I don’t want to put Blane’s life at risk, so I’m fixing the shower.


20 thoughts on “I’m Fixing a Shower

  1. Oh, it is hard to find good help. We are trying to decide on tile and grout. We are going to build and tile the kitchen counters. Have any tips?

  2. Good for you. You’ll probably do just as professional a job as anyone else, I’m sure. Home improvement stuff is always so much simpler than people realize.

    PS: love that last line.

  3. Maybe that plumber thought Jesus was gonna fix it for you when he took off. Yeah, maybe he was just the banker for Jesus.
    I empathize with your handy ma’am challenges.
    I support you in your endeavor but I am fixin’ to “take” a shower now.

  4. LOL Nurse. He’s cool, but I’ve never seen anyone con him and get away with it.

    Voodoo, in my last house I tiled the countertops with some 4×4 inch tiles that looked like cobblestones. Filled the joints with a simple grey grout. Did the work myself. You just apply the adhesive directly on the surface you already have and float the tiles. The sink and stovetop will need to be lifted to the level of the tiles. I’d consider a different material because crumbs tend to collect in the joints and it is harder to wipe down.

    Rassles, so true, home improvement is way easier than people think. I do tend to come out with a better finish than pros because it is mine and I care about it. I’ve done everything from change out faucets to wood flooring to floating Sheetrock. I love that stuff.

    Lea, I like that, “handy ma’am.”

  5. “Fixing to take a shower” is so Southern.

    If some tiles are loose probably all the grout needs to be resealed — test it, you could use a partial grout match putting in the loose tiles and stain all of the grout if the grout has lost its seal. Then you would have a closer overall match and would just re-seal all of the grout after the stain is in.

  6. I have, unfortunately, in my homeless days, met any number of Jesus crackheads. Consequently, I am immediately turned off by overt expressions of religion. Just come and do the work like you said you would.

  7. Thanks for the info. kitty. Your mom says we have too much house work, and she is right. The counters are laminate and are easy to clean.
    We buy the material and pay for the days work at the end of each day. Blane knows how to get paid.

  8. Max, I checked all the grout joints and they’re good. The tiles that came loose were in a corner and didn’t have much adhesive on the backs.
    Now that the new grout is curing, it looks more like the old stuff.

    Eileen, he started with the Bible thumping as I pulled out the checkbook. That’s what tipped me off. It was as if he was trying to assure me that it was okay to write that check.
    It was strange, going through the motions with the intuition that I was being “robbed.”

    Voodoo, there are some gorgeous new laminates on the market right now, have you looked at them lately?

  9. I really get turned off by business people with all that Jesus stuff. I bet you did a better job than that guy would have done. Good thing you are a handy person.
    we are finding it hard to trust anyone in our home that we do not know. We have always done every thing hiring family and friends. I have not dared to look at the price of prefab laminate yet. Billy is not so sure of making the corner cuts on laminate sheets or prefab. He put in prefab when he put in new cabinets, but the corners were not perfect and the new sink will not fit where the antique one is.

  10. Lowe’s has some good prices on prefab countertops, Voodoo. Pretty colors, too.

    Debra, one time I went to my mom’s for a week and ended up tiling her bathroom, putting new flooring, hell, I think I even changed out a door in there.

  11. We tend to fall into projects like this because we’re too dim to know it’s supposed to be hard. But you’re capable, and stuff, so I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome.

  12. What I ended up doing about the matching caulk is a little outrageous, but it worked.
    I got to the core of the dried out caulk tubes which was still moist and put it in a cake decorating bag. Like what you use for a cake. I piped that in the joints et voila! Perfect.
    I’ll have to post a photo.

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