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Bathroom Repair Questions
Answered by Beth Hodge

Q. It seems that the slab or adhesive under the tile in my bathroom floor has deteriorated. When you walk on it or tap on it sounds hollow. The grout between the tile is even cracking.

There doesn't appear to be a leak. Have you ever heard of a similar situation? Thanks.

A: I have seen a similar situation with ceramic tile that is installed over a wooden floor. Ceramic tile should be laid over a cement board layer, the wood tend to age and give over time that will cause cracks and loosen tiles.

My suggestion would be to either lay a new floor or remove the grout, re-glue loose tiles and then grout again.

There are some very inexpensive but time saving and easy to use tools in the tile aisle at your home improvement store.

Q. How do you remove sealant around the bathtub? The area is black with mold and cannot be removed with any cleaner.

I have tried a knife and it is very hard to remove any sealant. Is there an easy solution to my problem?

A: I use a flat paint scraper to remove it. Just use caution not to scratch the tub.

Then I use a mildew remover to remove the black areas. Dry very well and re-caulk.

Q. How do I replace the soap dish that came off of the ceramic tile wall in the bathroom?

A: Replacement dishes can be found near the ceramic tile supplies. I would use that if the dish was built into a full square piece of tile.

Use adhesive to glue it back into place (my favorite is liquid nails) and re-grout the seams.

If this is a dish that attaches to the wall with screws and a bracket, I always use plastic screw inserts (same ones you would use on a drywall surface) put into the holes. The screws get a better grip and it keeps them from cracking the tile.


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