The bathroom in my grandparent's house is 30+ years old and costly to replace. How can I clean them? I tried bleach, Clorox, dishwashing soap, acid, etc. What else can I do?
By Why Me from India
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Something called mean green works real good on dirty stains>its sold in most stores like walmart or dollar stores and comes in a spray bottle. You know you could paint the floor to cover up stains and even do a stencil design on top of it after you painted it.
What I would do is clean it good with bleach and then buy a rug to cover up the stains.
I would clean it really good. Then sponge paint 2 dif. colors only in the squares, not on any of the grout. Then put some sealer on it. New looking floor and some of the stains will blend in as part of the stone.
It looks like you might have some rot under the floor covering...or at least that's how it looked in my mohter's house when they had rot going on. You might want to ask a handy man type person to look at it.
I would take care of the grout before redoing the tiles. You can go to Home Depot and in the flooring department, locate a product called Polyblend Grout Renew. It is actually like a paint and comes in different colors. You apply it with a toothbrush, then immediately (before it dries) wipe over it with a dry rag, which removes it from the tile, but not the grout. Once that is done, on the ceramic tiles, you can sponge on 2 colors of paint that is made for ceramic floor tile, trying to keep the paint off the grout, as wacky camper suggested. The instructions on the paint can will tell you what you need to do to seal the ceramic tile paint. As for the grout, there is no need to use any sealer or anything else on it as the grout renew has a sealer in it that works really well.
I'm a tile-mural & wall-mural artist by trade so I know a bit about tiles & I personally would stay away from painting them. You CAN do it, if you follow all the steps, otherwise the paint will eventually wear off, even if you seal them. Also, if you have one tiny bit of dirt, soap or oil on the tiles the paint won't stick properly. If you DO choose to paint the tiles, first sand them so they have "tooth" then seal them with a high adhesive primer, then paint over the primer, then varathine over the top (at least 5 coats).
As Glen'sMom said, I also bet you have rot under the tiles, & if you remove them, this opens another whole can of worms! If you do have rot (& you can't afford to do anything) you can open your windows on a nice day, then pour bleach into the bad areas, let it sit about 20 minutes then mop it up, & after it has totally dried you can seal the area with a product called "FUTURE". It's a 100% acrylic floor sealer. You can buy a large bottle for $6 at Walmart (where the floor care products are sold). This stuff is the strongest floor sealer out there. The only problem is, it's VERY hard to remove. But that's what you want! Make sure the Future goes into the groves (where the rot has started) so it will seal the area.
But before you put the future on, you may want to re-grout the area. This is easy & cheap. (about $5). Also there are many grout cleaners out there.
For under $100 you can buy a brand new piece of Vinyl flooring & place this over the old tiles (after you bleach the area). You'll need to caulk the sides around the walls with clear silicone, this way the rot can't come up & water can't go under the new flooring. Most people will shriek if you suggest placing vinyl flooring over tiles, but this can be a great temporary fix & this way you won't have to deal with the rot you most likely find under the tiles! You can buy a wonderful new product (sold at Home Depot). It's a vinyl flooring that bends but doesn't break when it's bend like other vinyl flooring does. This flexible & bendable vinyl flooring is so easy to install that even I could do it myself. I believe it's made by Armstrong? Just ask at Home Depot. You could use any type of vinyl flooring (even a remnant) but the new flexible type is by far the easiest to install. In fact the company sells (for $20) a template making kit & if you purchase this kit & make a mistake when installing their product, the company will actually refund the money you paid for the vinyl. So you can't mess up! After talking to the folks at Home depot about this new flexible vinyl flooring, I'm convinced that even I can install it (& I've never done anything like this before!).
If you decide to go over the tiles with vinyl flooring you should put in a thin foam padding under the vinyl & over the original flooring. This is because you'll otherwise see the cracks & grout lines in the tile through the vinyl after it's been walked on for a while.
To TOTALLY re-do the floor & to do this whole thing right, you'd most likely have to pull out the toilet & patch (or replace) the plywood flooring & under layment, but for way under $100 you can put NEW vinyl flooring over the already installed tiles!
* On last thing; you might want to try pouring Hydrogen Peroxide on the floor's stains. Peroxide can sometimes fizz them out.
My husband is a carpenter/handyman, we have 'flipped' several houses and have dealt with mold and the problems that go along with it. The rest of this post assumes that there actually is mold (It's hard to tell from the picture.)
Where there is mold, there is water, and could very well also be rotting wood. Even if you kill the existing surface mold, then seal and 'beautify' the floor without fixing the water problem first, the water will cause the mold to return, the wood will rot even more and if these problems aren't dealt with, the toilet could eventually fall through the floor.
The first thing to do is find out where the water is coming from. First check the visible plumbing behind the toilet to see if it is leaking. If the water is seeping out from under the toilet, then the toilet most likely needs a new wax ring. I'm sure the toilet is due for a new one, so that should be replaced regardless. If neither of those things is causing the water problem, you need to find out where the water is coming from and get that problem taken care of before you do anything to the floor.
Water plus wood equals rotting wood. When replacing a wax ring, the toilet has to be removed. That will give you the opportunity to check the condition of the wood under the toilet. If there is any rotted wood, it needs to be replaced. Mold isn't always just a surface problem, the mold could and probably does go all the way through the wood in that area of the bathroom. I would also tear out and replace any moldy wood to make sure the mold is definitely eliminated and doesn't return.
My friend and I used toilet bowl cleaner to clean the bathroom floor in a house that she and her husband and bought. I have also used it to clean the shower in my boys bathroom. And used a watered down version on the floor. It did a better job than the tub and tile cleaner. I buy mine at the Dollar Tree, for, you guessed it, a dollar!
IF the wood under the tiles or the wall is not rotting, CLR is what will remove many stains if you leave it on a few hours and paper towel it off then rinse.
If any stains are still stubborn I'd get a pumice stone from the 99Cent store and begin scraping the stains with it, wearing gloves through all procedures, of course. It's likely algae stain but regardless, it will clean up if you don't get impatient.
If there are any metal stains, like rust that the CLR won't remove, try the clothing rust remover in the rust colored plastic bottle from the grocery.
Remember to have plenty of ventilation when chemicals are used, and to move all pets into another room with door shut until it's dry and clean. Turn off any circulating air and use any exhaust fan in the bath you might have, otherwise crack open the window. Good luck and God bless you. : )
P.S. If you have damaged the finish on the tiles in scrubbing with different other chemicals or using steel wool, it might be a worse problem than you thought. (The rust remover should clean any metal stains from any steel wool, if that is the case. Or you can use Creme Peroxide Bleach from any beauty supply as a last resort, "painting" it on and letting dry before trying to remove it. That should be a last resort, but worth a try if all else failes. Some tiles are "seconds" and this could be the case with those tiles as well? Sometimes the clay used in inferior tiles will "effervesces"(sp?) changing color from within that shows on the outside.
If the stain is mold that has been there a long time, it may be growing inside and the Creme Bleach should get to it if you will leave it on overnight. You might also try covering the Creme Bleach with Saran Wrap to keep it moist while it works it's magic. Try to keep the bleach just on the tiles. If it works as well as we hope, then you can apply it for less time on the mortar to lighten it to match the rest. If the original color was white, you can use common sense and apply to the mortar as well as the tiles for the same timing. If the mortar was gray to begin with, use no bleach on it.
I hope these suggestions help. God bless you. : )
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