Saturday, July 30, 2011

Seal up your grout

I finally completed a project this weekend that has been on my to-do list since May. I had been dreading it for some reason, but it really wasn't that bad. The most irritating part though is that you can't tell a bit of difference before and after. The project? Sealing the grout in our shower. The contractor recommended we do it, and we did (but three months later). The reason I suddenly felt eager to get this one crossed off the list was that I was noticing mold/mildew buildup (even though I wash once a week). So, the first step was to get all of that buildup out of there before I sealed it all up. This was accomplished with first scrubbing everything down with 409 so it was nice and clean. Then, I used the super heavy duty magic eraser to get rid of all those hints of red I was seeing in the grout. The magic eraser did the trick (along with a lot of elbow grease). After that I dried everything off really well with paper towels. The next step was to use the grout and tile sealer I had picked up from Home Depot. Funny story about that, while I was intensely studying the different brands, a customer rep approached me to ask if I needed help (sidenote: this never happens when I am with J at Home Depot, only when I am by myself - they must think I look lost or something). I asked what the difference was between the brands (though I had pretty much already decided). The guy explained to me that one was good, the next one better and the last one best. There was also a $10 difference in price as you went up that scale, so I asked what I was really getting if I chose the $30 version versus the $10 version. His response: "Well, the best one has a 20 year guarantee." Yea, I got the $10 one. It was also the only version that was no-VOC which I liked. I will have to reapply in 3 years, but as I already stated, this wasn't that difficult to do, so I really don't mind. The Scotchguard brand one has enough VOC content to kill you (which was the "better" brand) and after my spray paint episode, I wanted to avoid affixation if at all possible.

Okay, so the next step was to basically follow the directions on the back. I sprayed the sealer over about a sixth of the tub bottom at a time and spread with a sponge. I did a little bit of the bottom vertical tiles as well, but they don't seem to be getting much water on them in general, so I only did the areas I thought were needed. I can always do this again if I need to. I then waited 5 minutes then wiped off the excess sealer with a sponge and left it to dry. I actually repeated the steps again the next day, just to make sure. Here are some pictures, but yea, no real aesthetic difference, which is what you would want anyway.

In other slightly more exciting news, I bought an elliptical last weekend which arrived yesterday. It went down in the basement, and I am so thrilled that I can cancel my gym membership and get rid of driving to the gym.

An added bonus was that putting the elliptical downstairs forced me to organize that room a little more. It had been a catch all for all the crap we didn't know where to put, so I spent some time re-arranging and organizing and am pleased with how the downstairs is looking.

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