LESLIE: Marsha in North Dakota has some mold stains in the grouting around the tub. Let’s help. What’s going on?
MARSHA: Hi. I’m wondering about some graying that’s in – like it’s a fiberglass tub. And the – it’s kind of graying in the bottom of it. I’ve scrubbed it and scrubbed it with all kinds of different things and it doesn’t come out. It just looks real gray and worn. And it’s about a 30-year-old tub.
TOM: It sounds to me like – do you have any anti-stick material on the bottom of this tub?
MARSHA: No, we’ve never done that.
TOM: Because sometimes what happens is the dirt gets sort of rubbed into that and that may be why you see that. But if you don’t think it’s on there then this could just simply be wear and tear on the fiberglass if it’s 30 years old. So there may not be anything that you can pull out of that.
MARSHA: OK. I have bought a kit that’s called a restoration kit …
MARSHA: … for tub and tile.
MARSHA: And I’m just wondering if that is something that might be a good idea or not. It says that it’s for tub and tile and that it’s simple to do (INAUDIBLE).
TOM: Well, you know, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to try it. We would have to caution you, though, that these restoration kits tend to not last nearly as long, of course, as the original material. But you know, it can be a restoration that will give you, you know, several more years of use out of this with it looking halfway decent. But it’s not going to last another 30 years just because you restore it.
MARSHA: Oh, I understand that.
I was wondering also about the tile around the shower; another shower in the house. The grout is wearing away in places …
MARSHA: … around the surround part of the tub.
MARSHA: The grout is wearing around the tiles.
TOM: When you say wearing away is it actually eroding away? Is it wearing out or is it just getting dirty?
MARSHA: It appears to be both.
MARSHA: Again, it’s a 30-year-old tile; tiled area.
TOM: OK. Well, if your grout is actually eroding then you’re going to have to strip it out and replace it. There’s a tool called a grout saw that is specifically designed to get in between tiles and scrape away the surface of loose and deteriorated grout. Regrouting it is not such a terrible job if you get the old stuff out. It’s a matter of mixing up the new grout and troweling it on with a rubber squeegee. And then, by using a sponge and lots of water you sort of rinse it down until only the good – only the thin line of grout between the tile is left. But if it’s deteriorated there’s nothing that you can put on top of that that’s going to solve this and if it’s discolored at the same time I think the best thing for you to do is to try to use a grout saw and pull out the old grout and then simply regrout the tub.
TOM: Marsha, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.