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Handyman: Grout mess on tile

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JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2009
7:35 AM

Post #7266140

I am living in an "Americanized" Korean apartment and I have every American woman's dream = a bathroom made to be hosed down! It has a floor drain, the shower is on a long hose, and there are water spigots mop bucket high in the main part, and it is all tile all of the way up to the vinyl ceiling. No electrical outlets to get you in trouble either!
My problem is that the landlord had a handyman come in to fix a plumbing problem and he made a huge mess. I managed to get the black tarry stuff scrubbed off of the tiles and toilet, but there is grout all over the place. I was still in the states when this happened and DH just blew it off until I could come and deal with it. The handyman got grout on the wall tiles too. I have tried lime away & vinegar...I don't know what else to try.

Got any ideas?

Thumbnail by JuneyBug
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ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

November 12, 2009
3:01 PM

Post #7266764

Here's an article with some tips: http://www.askthebuilder.com/433_Excess_Grout_Removal.shtml
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

November 12, 2009
8:54 PM

Post #7267968

Thanks! Lots of good ideas there!
jkochan
Chandler, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 13, 2009
9:49 PM

Post #7271226

That doesn't look so much on the tiles as IN the tiles, It looks like he cut out the tiles to fit the fixture through and then filled the holes with grout.
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

November 13, 2009
10:27 PM

Post #7271322

The pictures of the drips, smeared footprints where it was mashed into the pattern of the tile and where it looks like he leaned against the wall with a messy hand didn't turn out. New camera and the learning curve is high...

I bought a bronze "large toothbrush" looking thing to help scrub off the 3" wide smears of caulking around the base of the toilet. At least I think that it is caulk - it is very white and not rough and gritty like the other stains. Any ideas on how to get it off of the toilet and tiles without damage? Am I on the right track here with the thought that this will work?
This is the main bathroom and it looks like a little kid did the repairs... I guess its hard to get good help the world over.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

November 13, 2009
11:08 PM

Post #7271445

Caulk is a lot easier to remove than grout--it's usually fairly rubbery and once you get it started you can often just peel the whole thing up. If the messy parts of the caulk are attached to the caulk that's supposed to be there as a seal around the base of the toilet, etc then your best bet is probably to just scrape/peel out everything and re-do it (a very easy DIY project). If it's little splatters of caulk here and there it should scrape up very easily.

Have you talked to your landlord about this yet? It would be nice if you could get him to find someone to take care of this instead of you having to do all the hard work since he's the one who hired the sloppy handyman in the first place.
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

November 14, 2009
9:37 AM

Post #7272769

Bit of a language barrier there, so I am just trying to deal with it on my own. I guess that I could take some more pictures and use them for most of the discussion. DH says that he doesn't think that the owner cares as he is trying to sell the place and concentrate on his restaurant, and that the "handyman" probably is somone that owes him money. I am not going to live with a dirty looking mess, so I am trying to fix it...
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 4, 2009
2:49 PM

Post #7334465

Anyeonghaseyo Juneybug~ having the experience of living in Korea before...you will definitely get action if "ajeossi" or "the Mister" your husband, complains to the owner and demands cleanup and repair...it's a cultural value that men rule and men's demands are honored over a woman's. I too loved the bathrooms in our house and when our bathrooms were "updated" we too had that sci-fi tarry remains sloshed all over the tile...I complained and requested it to be repaired repeatedly. When my Korean neighbor and friend enlightened me to have my "ajeossi" talk to the owner...my bathroom was repaired lickety split!!!...he even came over with the repairmen to make sure that everything else in the home was in order and satisfactory to the "ajeossi". They replaced the air conditioner, put new stylish door handles in, delivered chopped wood for the fireplace and even built a large covered patio for my pumpkins to play. "Ajeossi" definitely made a difference in turning my Korean house into a lovely welcoming home. Must say I do miss the radiant heated floors. ;0)

edited for silly spelling error

This message was edited Dec 4, 2009 1:43 PM
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

December 4, 2009
4:28 PM

Post #7334745

You are so right. I am learning the rules around here and that is the #1 oddest of them all! He is having the landlord over Sunday afternoon and I will not be here. I hope that a lot of things will get done. ^_^

I will miss the floors and the "hose-able" bathrooms when we leave.
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 4, 2009
7:40 PM

Post #7335305

Good for you! I tell you something funny...when we came back to visit my extended family... they thought I went through a time warp...first I told my "ajeossi" to take some summer toys back for a refund at the store. Then several days later, at a very nice retaurant with my extended family, I told my "ajeossi" to call the waiter back as my food was cold. My sister throwing her fork down loudly on the plate, exclaimed " Sunny, what in the world is wrong with you! You're fully capable of telling the waiter that for yourself!!!" Then the rest of the extended family chimed in, one brother even said...":wished my wife would treat me like the king like that!" Of course we had to chuckle aloud and explain to everybody that aspect of Korean culture. I'm still missing the bathrooms... to bathe children and pets then to turn around and hose down shower and floor without skipping a beat was a treat...thus our home have the hoseable showers built in. Do enjoy your time there, and if you can visit China, Japan as well as Australia while you'll there. ;0)
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

December 4, 2009
10:52 PM

Post #7335729

Thank you so much ^_^

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