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March 1, 2012

New Grout AND A New Toilet in Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo

By Sara In AZ

Oh man, this is what I was dreading all along – cleaning that horrible grout in the shower. It’s like beyond horrible. It was a rental, nobody cared, it was just………ugh.

You can totally see from the following  pictures it looks hella bad!


I’ll admit it, I avoided the “grout situation” for as long as I possibly could. Smile

I was really scared that I would have to remove all of the grout and then re-grout. It terrified me to no end…………….I had nightmares thinking about how long this was going to take me. Would Mom even be able to move in within the year??? Winking smile


It’s SO pretty, isn’t it? Eeks!


So I got myself all psyched up one day and started on my grouting project. First I had to scrape out all the the old, hardened rubber caulking that was all globbed up at the bottom of the tile where it meets the tub. There was also a line down each corner of the tile. At first I thought this would be easy peasy because caulking is so, well, rubbery. Ummmmm, no. The stuff was old and it was hard. I had to chip it out with a razor blade and a scraper, and let me tell y’all it took hours and hours and hours. 

Here you can just barely see some of the old caulking laying in bit and pieces on the tub floor. In this picture I was working on chipping out the line that runs below the tub spout.


I also cleaned like there was no tomorrow with this Magic American Tile and Grout Cleaner. And let me tell you, that stuff cleaned like magic too! I just sprayed the walls down, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then scrubbed the grout with a heavy duty scrubbing brush. Be sure to wear eye protection and junky clothes, because the cleaner can spray back at you as you are scrubbing it. Yay, NO grout removal needed!!!


And Yee-Haw! I managed to chip out all of the old caulk!!!


Now I had to go back in and re-grout all the areas I had taken the old hardened caulking out of.


You can see here I am grouting from the  left to the right. That is the old original grout, where I left off, which was kind of chippy. It is actually clean, it just looks a bit spotty here because of those little chips. I figured I had better leave that old, original,  grout in place, but I knew it needed something on top (as an additional water barrier) because there were little breaks all over the old grout.


I used this Mapei product for the new grout. It is a premixed grout and adhesive, so it works really well in this situation. It is kind of like a grout/caulk – it acts like grout, but has a slight rubber barrier too so it won’t crack up.


And, just how did it turn out??? Well, we will have to wait a few more weeks to see! Smile

As I was cleaning the tub I noticed this on the front of the tub, on the bottom left, you can faintly see it says ‘Standard’ for American Standard. Neat!


Onto the toilet!

The toilet that was in the condo was not an original American Standard toilet, had it been we would have kept it. I did not get a picture of the toilet we removed, but it was  pretty stained up so we figured since it was not original we would just replace it.

Mom loves Kohler, so she choose the Kohler Cimmaron Toilet.

Let me tell you, it was an exciting day when this toilet was finally installed! We had removed the old toilet when the flooring was getting installed, then we had to deal with various issues with the flooring getting repaired, so we were without a toilet for about 2 months. Not fun when you are there all day and need to, you know, use the restroom!

Oh yeah, it’s coming out of the box! Sorry the picture is a little blurry, I think I was so excited I was actually shaking!


We are sooooo close now……………I forgot to get pics of the wax ring. Mike was not happy with the first wax ring we put down, so we made a special trip out to pick up just the right wax ring for the install!


The bottom is attached!!!!


Look, the tank is getting attached!!!


OMG!!! We have a toilet!!!


It seriously is like a dream come true!!!

Come back next Thursday when we install the new NuTone Medicine Cabinet!

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15 Responses to New Grout AND A New Toilet in Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo

  1. Victoria Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I go to my local janitorial supply and buy ‘Bath Blaster’ to remove hard water and other bathroom tile stains. Works like a charm without having to gear up for caustic chemicals. You might want to try it on your tile. They also sell a product to coat the tile to keep hard water stains from sticking to the tile.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks for the heads up on Bath Blaster Victoria, I will definitely have to check that out! I also really like the sound of that other product that keeps hard water stains from sticking – totally gonna check that out too!

  2. Vickie Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Bravo! Great job. I bow to you on that grout job!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Hee! Thanks Vickie, I tried my best to do a good job for Mom ! 🙂

  3. Pat M Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I’m also impressed with the grouting around the base of the new toilet! You guys work like pros. Great job.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Well thank you SO much Pat M! For some reason I have this fetish about that empty gap between the toilet and the floor, I ALWAYS grout that area because I just can’t stand that gap! 🙂

      • Pat M Reply

        March 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm

        Your instincts are right on, Sara. In my experience, the pros really do always caulk the base of the toilet–and your neat, thin line of caulk is perfect!

  4. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    You’re a reno goddess, Sara. I wouldn’t do caulking if you paid me. Or scraping out old caulking. It sucks!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      Awwwwwww, thanks SO much Eartha! Though I do completely agree with you, caulking completely sucks – both the scraping it and the re-doing it. ugh. 🙂

  5. Andrea Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Nice job, Sara! I am going to have to look for that cleaner – my grout is stained, as the previous owners of this house felt it was a good idea to paint!! over the tile in the bathroom. I scraped all of the paint off, but my grout’s still stained in some areas. I’ll have to give it a try!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Nooooooooo, they painted over the tile?!?!? ugghhhh! I give you props for scraping all that paint off, I’m sure that was a real blast for you to do. 🙂 There are some other cleaners at Home Depot and Lowe’s, Zep was one of them – and Victoria mentioned Bath Blaster in the comments above, you may want to give those a try too?

  6. Amy M Reply

    March 6, 2012 at 6:09 am

    We live in a rental with grout that looks about like that. We have tried cleaning with everything we could think of. I will have to try that stuff you used. The lovely blue tiles are the only thing I love about our ,so teeny you can sit on the toilet and rest your head on the sink, bathroom!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      Amy M – Thanks for the comment! Let me know if the grout cleaner works out for you, there were other ones mentioned above, in the comments, if mine doesn’t work! Here’s to ‘pretty white grout’ coming your way! 🙂

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