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.


How do you feel about this shower curtain?

So I’ve run into a little snag with the guest bathroom makeover. When I started the bathroom it was looking really sad and pathetic:

So far I’ve painted the room, installed all new hardware, and shared tips for painting around a toilet and hanging a shelf level.

Today I want to talk shower curtains.

I found this curtain at West Elm.

It was seriously love at first sight. Exactly what I was searching for for this bathroom. I ordered it on the spot.

Finally the shower curtain arrived in the mail.

It certainly isn’t as yellow as I expected. In fact, it’s more like a yellowish pea soup color. They call it “Citron”.

I wasn’t thrilled but I figured I’d try it out anyway. In the mean time I found this duvet at Target.

I thought the pattern and color were both nice and might look good converted into a shower curtain. So I bought it as well.

Once I had both curtains, I used some basic clips to attach it to the top of the plastic liner. I wanted to just get a visual of how each looked before I did anything drastic.

Once the Target duvet was attached I stepped back to admire. I fully expected to love it the most and return the West Elm curtain.

So, um ya. I totally hate it. It came down and was returned the same day. I actually still love the duvet, but for a shower curtain it seemed too busy and the colors seemed to just kinda clash with everything.

That left me with the “Citron” West Elm curtain. I clipped it up as well, and though I have to admit, I don’t love it by any stretch of the imagination, it’s better than nothing so I kept it.

And here it is fully installed on the shower bar. I’m really disappointed in the color of this curtain. I was hoping for sunny yellow.

I’m just really torn though. Part of me likes the curtain enough to not hassle returning it, yet another part of me thinks the color looks like a newborn’s diaper {you know what I’m talking about!}. Also, whenever I walk into the bathroom, this is what I see:

Why is every single shower curtain on this planet so short? I know this is “normal” but I just think it looks too short. Maybe I’m the only oddball who thinks this, but I don’t like short curtains, and I don’t like short shower curtains either.

My gut is telling me to return the curtain. I probably will. I’m just having a hard time finding one I really love, and it will drive me nuts if this bathroom is left curtian-less for too long. Argh!

I’ll let you know as the saga unfolds. Who would have thought a shower curtain would cause such turmoil and drama?

For now, here’s a good before and after.


Besides the curtain drama, I think the bathroom is looking so much better!

Some have mentioned to frame out the mirror… I actually plan on doing that once I’m not so lazy! lol And also whenever I find a great deal on a faucet, or I have enough money for a nice one, that builder-grade faucet is getting swapped out as well.

I’d love your thoughts on the shower curtain!

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