Easier way to install wall hooks

We recently updated our daughter’s bathroom (which also doubles as the guest bathroom) with some beadboard and a row of hooks. Now there are plenty of spots to hang all the beach towels that end up all over the floor each summer.

Today I want to show you how to easily install hooks. This tip can be used when hanging anything on your wall – nails, screws, anchors, hooks, etc.

Start by using pieces of painters tape to eyeball where you want your hooks. You don’t need to measure quite yet. This just helps you get an idea for how many hooks you want and how far apart you want them.

In one section I was debating between two or three hooks… I went with two.


Once you have your layout, use a tape measure to make sure each section is equally spaced. You might have to move your pieces of tape over a bit to make everything even. Now use larger pieces of tape and fully tape each spot where you want your hooks to be installed.

Using a level, mark a vertical line down the center of where you want your hook. Mark a horizontal line where you want your screw holes to go.

I wanted my screw holes 2″ from the top of my board, so I marked a level horizontal line 2″ down on each of my 7 pieces of tape (I’m installing 7 hooks).

Next I took the actual hook and centered it over my vertical and horizontal lines. I marked each screw hole with a pencil. This is where I’m going to drill my pilot holes.

Once your screw holes are marked, drill all your pilot holes through the painters tape. Once the holes are drilled you can remove all the tape. Now all your holes are perfectly placed and ready to attach the hooks, and you have to pencil marks to clean up!

And finally, attach all your hooks. I attached one screw of each hook then went back and attached the 2nd screw. I didn’t tighten the screws down until both screws were installed.

Now I have a lovely wall of perfectly lined up hooks without any pencil marks to clean up.

Here’s a “before” shot just for fun.

For a full tutorial on installing beadboard, you can check out my post here.

The dirty grout miracle cure

Hey everyone! I hope you have had a great week this week. I spent the better part of an evening working on bathroom grout. Yup, fun stuff going on over here at the house of Hepworths.

Our guest bathroom is nothing to scream home about, but you know what? It has a functional shower, toilet, and sink with clean running water, so I can’t really be too disgusted with it. AmIright? I mean, there are so many people in the world that don’t even have clean water, so for me to complain that oh.em.gee. my countertop is tile instead of granite? makes me sound like a total brat.

Well, I guess I am still kind of a brat because the grout on the floor was seriously bugging me. It just looks dirty, and I can’t have my guests thinking I don’t know how to mop.

I mean, it just looks dirty. And no matter how many times I scrub it with a toothbrush and peroxide, or bleach, or scrubbing bubbles, or whatever other concoction I come up with, it still just looks like I never mop the floor. And that is just gross and pretty much unacceptable for a self-proclaimed grime-a-phobe.

I’ve read on many other blogs expert predictions (too many to even try to attempt to link back anywhere else) about a product called GroutRenew (this is NOT a sponsored post!). People swear by it and say it’s a miracle product.

I finally caved and bought a bottle. I was hesitant to try it because I’d rather actually clean the grout than just paint over the grime, but enough is enough. I can only scrub in vain so many times. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and this tile grout is desperate. We do plan on doing a full gut at some point in the very far away, distant future, so I finally just figured, “we can’t replace it any time soon, so I might as well try to make it look good.”

Um… you guys… this stuff rocked my socks off. I was afraid I’d be all, “you can paint a pig but it will still look like a pig”, but nope, this is the real deal. I mean, check out this before and after. Crazytown I tell ya.

It is every bit at magical as they say. You paint it on like, well… paint… and then it dries this somewhat translucent color. It’s hard to really explain. I assumed it would go on like paint and when dry would look just like I actually painted the grout. But that isn’t the case. It went on like paint and it dried the color on the bottle, but the grout still looks every bit like natural unpainted grout. It has slightly darker spots, and slightly lighter spots. It almost looks like it just stained the grout a lighter color. WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY is that it looks totally natural and you can’t even tell that it was ever painted.

I did not think this stuff would be as much of a miracle potion as it is, and I am now humbled and take back every negative thought I had about this product. In fact, I will now go and paint all the grout in the other two bathrooms, and I might even paint the grout in the laundry room too. This is how much of a convert I now am. I will bow down to the great and mighty GroutRenew.

I feel like I just got a brand new floor. No demo needed! After living through a kitchen demo and remodel, I am in no mood to do a demo any time soon, so this grout painting is now my new best friend.

before & after


Hot dawg, I just got me a brand new floor. I will now go and paint ALL THE THINGS everywhere.

How to replace a leaky toilet flapper

Today I’m going to show you a very basic DIY repair that you should know how to do. If you already can do this, awesome! If not, then this tutorial will save you at least a hundred bucks or so (that’s how much you would pay a plumber to come to your house).

Several weeks ago one of my toilets started running continuously. I would go in an jiggle the handle to get it to shut off. It seemed like the tank just would not quit filling up. Not only is the sound of a toilet continuously filling up like mega super annoying, it also wastes tons of water and costs you a fortune on your water bill.

I finally had enough and went to investigate. Turns out, the flapper was rotten and wasn’t functioning anymore.

The flapper is the plug that keeps your water in your tank. When you flush the handle, it acts as a lever and pulls the flapper up, releasing the water to flush the toilet. Once the tank is empty of water, the flapper falls back down and plugs up the hole again while the tank refills with water.

The red piece in the bottom of this tank is the new flapper.

Because this piece is made of rubber, after several years of sitting in water and daily use, it will rot. It is the cheapest and easiest thing to fix in your toilet and chances are you will probably need to replace this every few years.

To replace the flapper, you first need to purchase a new flapper. I purchased 4 because I have 4 toilets. I might as well just do them all at once. Here is exactly what I purchased (not an affiliate link). These flappers run around $4 each or 3 for $10ish.

The directions say to shut off your water (the shut-off is behind the toilet) before you switch these out, but if you are confident and quick (and a little rebellious) you can just do a quick switch-a-roo while your water is still on.

Basically, detach the old disgusting flapper and try not to throw up at how disgusting it is. It should just pop right off. Most are attached on either side with little prongs (double check your tank innards before you begin).

Here’s a good picture of how the flapper attaches:

Now take your new flapper and attach it the same way you unattached the old one. It should just hook right onto the white PVC pipe at the base.

Again, it will look like this when it’s attached properly.

Once your flapper is in place, take the metal chain attached to the flapper and hook it on the bar at the top of the tank which is attached to the flush handle. Now when you flush the toilet, the bar will lift up pulling the chain that lifts the flapper.

Test it and make sure it works. And now you are done. Seems like such a simple fix, but after talking with a few friends I realized that most people don’t know how to do this. I was told a few times by different people that they would have just called a plumber. Yikes! Don’t “flush” your money down the drain. Just do it yourself.

*A quick note – there are a few varieties of fill valves and flappers. Some attach differently than this tutorial. Double check your commode before you begin this project to make sure you purchase the proper flapper attachment.

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