mend: surprise bathroom mini-refurb

It’s been another busy week here. They are all busy weeks. This entire blog is about better living in a busy world after all!

This week’s normal amount of being busy was compounded by more bad weather, bringing another hefty dose of snow and cold temperatures. Don’t worry, we didn’t need to move the hens back in again! We learned from last time. There was lots of repurposing: a beach windbreak was hammered into place to protect underneath the coop and a camping canvas was pressed into use to drape over the fixed run as well.

Anyway, there’s more to our household than making do out in the garden. We’ve just realised we’ve got a bit of a project on our hands, and this one slightly involuntary.

Surprise bathroom mini-refurb.

No, not the nice kind of surprise.

We have two bathrooms in our house, a small ensuite and a larger family bathroom. The ensuite is the one with the working shower, which gets a lot of traffic as it’s the quickest and most water-economical way of getting bathed in this house.


In the ensuite, I spotted a small discolouration on the carpet near the shower cubicle.


Stained carpet near a shower tray.
No, I didn’t choose that carpet – it was already here when we moved in.

Being a nosy kind of person, I took out the plastic kickboard from under the shower tray so that I could pull up the corner of the carpet and take a look.


Mouldy underlay.
That, right there, that is mouldy underlay. Ugh.


So it was clear that we had a water issue, but where exactly from?

Theo volunteered to stand in the shower and direct the spray at certain parts of the shower. I volunteered to lay on the floor and look to see if we could find out where the problem was.

Thankfully, it’s not a plumbing issue. We can’t fix those.

Water leaking from a shower cubicle.
Leak number 1: the edge.


More water leaking from a shower cubicle.
Leak number 2: the bottom of the fixed door.

So, our water problems are failed grouting and expired sealant.

We’ve also got a bit of black mould setting into the grout around the bottom of the shower tray.

Mouldy grouting.
That, I can guarantee you, is not dirt.


Refurbishing the ensuite bathroom was so low down our list of internal priorities it didn’t even appear on the list yet. Even tearing up the stair carpet and refurbishing the wooden staircase was on the list. This wasn’t.

So our plan is that we are going to mend this. We are going to learn how to take out grout, how to replace grout, and then how to replace that door sealant too. When that’s all done, I’m going to take advantage of the upheaval to take up the carpet in the ensuite and replace it myself with a lino offcut. This is not a refurb. This is going to be a bathroom mini-refurb.

That’s the plan.

Let’s see how it goes, shall we? I’ll keep you posted!

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