Friday, January 01, 2010


You are probably sick of seeing the before photos of this bathroom, as am I.  But until we have some after photos, there is nothing I can do about it.  Besides, I love driving home the point that while old homes are charming, they take lots of work and money and dedication and compromise.
I tell you again--just in case I have a new reader--that this circa 1860 house had been used as a school for over a decade--thus the paper towel dispenser and the carpeting and the wallpaper and the spitballs on the ceilings.  The day we moved in, I told these two fine specimens  who stopped by for a visit to get that lovely bathroom clean enough to use. 
Just one look at that floor and you will agree that it was asking a lot. Who would have thought that it would take almost six years to get to this room?  Not I, I assure you.  Anyway, while we are not ready for the big reveal, I will tell you a little about the process and also about my new favorite product. 
The debate over whether to rip out all of the old and start from scratch has been going on for years.  After the last two bathroom redos--which did involve removing everything but the cast iron tub in one of them--I was not crazy about the idea.  Call me lazy or cheap or crazy or just plain old and tired.  I have laid awake nights--right outside the door to the pink bathroom--trying to come up with a creative, quick, cheap idea that I and the other family members can live with.

I think I've landed.  And what may push some of you right over the edge--the pink tile stays.  Yes, it's surprising to me as well.  But after visiting Retro Renovation the other day and finding out that there is actually  a movement to Save the Pink Bathrooms with a pledge and all, well, what can I say?  I caved.  I haven't actually taken the pledge yet, but I'm close.  Don't be jealous.

The other deciding factor was finding a product that would clean the grout to my satisfaction.  I've been told that I'm picky.  Below is a before--old and crummy looking.
For my first attempt, I used a Clorox Bleach Pen.  It did a pretty good job.  I just scribbled it on the grout  and let it set.  I then used my toothbrush to work it in a bit.  I ran out pretty quickly, so before I bought another, I researched my other options on youtube.
In a test of several cleaners by somebody or other, Kaboom came out the winner.  Now if they were selling it, I'm not sure I would have rushed on out to Lowe's to buy a bottle.  But they weren't, so I did.  There are only a few products that I am loyal to.  Kaboom is now in that category.  I would sell it if I could.
Check out that center line after a squirt or two.  Is that not amazing?  That stuff ran down that grout line, making a beeline for the nasty floor--which will be covered by the way.  There is a limit to what I will live with and that exceeds it.  I did use the toothbrush--but very lightly and not much.  Amazing.  I stand in awe.  Kaboom!
I am happy to say that I have purchased two products that I saw featured on The Lettered Cottage, and I venture to say that their sponsors will be thrilled.  I have opted for the same floor that they used in their bathroom--hey, if it's good enough for them, then it's good enough for me.  There are also two  or three or six other good reasons for the choice.  One is that I can do it myself--without my husband's help.  He has agreed to do the ceiling and the beadboard and electrical and removal of the fixtures and the installation of the old tin.
Wow, could I have taken a busier photo of it?  Probably not.
And a second reason for the floor choice  is that it matches the real hardwood throughout the rest of the house.  There are more reasons as I've said, but those are darn good ones.

Besides getting to clean the tile and lay the flooring, I get to repair and paint the walls and trim.  I also get to make all the decorating decisions.  I think I got the better end of the deal.


Kati- said...

wow that pen did wonders!!! very nice!!

Mimi said...

I may run out and buy some kaboom!!!
Just cleaning in general it seems like a perfect item!!!!
Thanks for sharing, and I personally love the pink bathroom tile!!!!
Keep it!!!!
Happy New year!!!

Dan and Deb said...

Can't you save the floor?

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Wow, I am in a cleaning mood, I may have to run down to Lowes and get some of that Kaboom! Amazing job it did. Maybe it will work on my tile floors that need a little cleaning. I have a couple of bathrooms that I am contemplating what to do to update them. Can't wait to see your after pictures! Jackie

Dianne said...

I just used Kaboom! (thanks to this post) on my really hard water stained glass shower, and I am now a Kaboom! convert, too :)

momstheword said...

Thank you for the recommendation. I will have to get some as you can tell it definitely works! The downstairs shower is such a pain and we need all the help we can get, lol!

~ Nan

Trudy Van Etten said...

Hi Denise,

When I didn't get a Christmas card from you I was a little concerned if all was okay! But, I see you are just as busy as ever and doing your magical (hard work) stuff. I enjoy reading your blog and wish you all a very, very wonderful and healthy New Year.

Love, Trudy

Jenny said...

I'm so glad I saw this post! I need a good grout cleaner for the master bathroom. I'm going to run and get some tomorrow!