Bathroom Issues

Walking into a house sight unseen can be…  adventurous.

There are a few MAJOR priorities that have to be dealt with:

#1  Electricity
#2  Running Water
#3  Working Bathroom

Let’s talk about the working bathroom.

Well…  It works and right now it’s going to be a work-in-progress.

You see, at first sight it’s pretty…  kind of – but nothing was really installed properly.

Problem #1 – The Floor
The floor tile was not properly installed.
The majority of the tiles are still loose
The floor is a little “squishy” – not the wet, rotted wood squishy… at least I don’t think so – but the “there isn’t a proper sub floor and it wasn’t leveled” kind of squishy.

IMG_1051 IMG_1052

This tells me a few things:  

  • It was probably a rush job with poor workmanship.
  • The tiles are eventually going to break
  • If it’s not properly sealed the “supposed” sub floor is going to eventually get ruined

Bottom Line:
The whole floor needs to be redone.

Problem #2 – Bath Surround
The other issue with the bathroom is the tile in the shower area, or bath surround.

IMG_1053 IMG_1054

Again – pretty at first gander but not properly installed with areas where grout or sealant is missing.   That’s a big problem because water can get behind the tiles ruining the backboard/drywall and then you need to re-do the entire thing.

I’m going to make an educated guess that the walls were not properly treated.

Bottom Line:
New walls and re-tiling may be called for.

Problem #3 – Mold
Well – in the house’s defense – it had been sitting unoccupied for almost a year.

There was mold on the ceiling.  Definitely not pretty!  And every time I went into the room I felt like there were shadow people in there with me.  You know that creepy “I see something out of the corner of my eye” feeling?  That’s what the mold on the ceiling was like for me.

bathroom mold bathroom mold2


Well…  If you’ve been following along then you know I’m on a tight, tight Ramen noodle & chicken gizzard budget.  I know my bathroom projects but I also have to plan ahead to save up to do it right.

At this point in time there are only a few solutions I can really accomplish:

Pull up the loose floor tiles so they don’t break from being tread on.
This budget-friendly girl is going to reuse them because they are already cut to the room!

Temporarily put a plastic sheet on the floor with some bathroom mats/towels so people don’t kill themselves slipping and falling out of the shower, thus keeping the sub floor dry as much as possible until I can get to it.

Silicone sealant in the shower/bath area where the gaps are.  I hate doing this because I don’t know what’s behind the tile BUT I can stop the water from continuing to go back there until I’m ready to properly fix it.

Kill the mold!  This I can do right now.
With my safety glasses, face mask, rubber gloves and scrap towel I climbed my handy step ladder.

At Lowe’s I had bought a bottle of spray Mold & Mildew Remover with Bleach.
Brand: styleselections

IMG_1050For full disclosure, I was an idiot at first spray.  Here I was standing under the area I wanted to treat and happily spraying the chemicals.  You know that saying “what goes up up must come down?”  Yeah, well I was showering myself with this stuff.  Stupid, right?

I learned quickly to spray my towel directly and set it against the treatment area.  Then I began to wipe it off.

Note:  The bottle states to test a small inconspicuous area first but I didn’t because the ceiling is white AND it’s going to be re-primed with KILZ and painted again.  My goal is to get rid of the mold – not worry about the color.

I got smarter!  I put some mold & mildew remover into a small bowl and dipped my towel to treat the area.  I did this because with the entire bathroom ceiling to treat it was the faster, more efficient way to go.

Once I did the initial treatment I let it sit overnight.

The next day, any stubborn mold stains were treated again and left another night.

Two days of treatment and the mold is gone!  It’s a small accomplishment but the bigger fixes are pending.

Okay – so it’s not dealing with the major stuff right now.  We do what we can, when we can, with the resources that we have.  I’ve made a promise to myself that I will refuse to do a “cheap” and crappy job.  I want it to be perfect and I want quality material and work.  If I need to save up to do it then so be it.  If money were no object I could gut the house and start from the beams.  Most of us don’t have those kind of resources.  So, it’s going to take a little longer.  I’m okay with that.

And if I can do this stuff – then anyone can!

Are you fixing your house on a tight budget?  Share your stories!

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9 Responses to Bathroom Issues

  1. Vicki Warner says:

    Meredith – oh my goodness, that’s a big job coming up. The mold can be in the attic too. Have you checked there? You poor thang, girl. Wonder if it would be an idea to have a building inspector check it out? That once saved me many thousands of dollars!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meredith L. says:

      Hi Vicki – we actually dodged a bullet with the mold. It was all surface and a couple of shots with the mold killer took care of it. As scary as all the fixes seem to be, we are confident that we can do the work ourselves and save a lot of money. It’s just a matter of budgeting and prioritizing because we have a vision of what we want and we’re going to do it right. 🙂


  2. ps, you could line the bathroom ceiling with bamboo too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do what you can with the resources you have? Make bamboo mats for the bathroom floor, at least temporarily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meredith L. says:

      You know what…that is a damn good idea! I will have to experiment: dry pieces and fresh cut – then see how they split. If I can get thin enough reeds I actually know how to weave them together. THANK YOU for the suggestion. That’s awesome.


  4. James Higgins says:

    Oh boy! I lived in a rental many years ago and the wall in one bedroom sweated and was black with mold. Now I know that mold like that can be hazardous to your health. I wish you well on your project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meredith L. says:

      There is only one place that I’ve ever visited with sweating walls and mold everywhere – and that was Houston, TX. 3 days at a conference and I was sick for 3 weeks afterwards. Thankfully the treatment worked. The mold has not returned and the only one sweating is me! Glad you stopped by. 🙂


  5. Pingback: Evaluating & Setting Major Project Priorities | Sight Unseen DIY

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