DIY's in Bathroom and Kitchen


Flock Mistress
14 Years
Jan 12, 2007
Land of Lincoln
My bathroom is four years old and we installed a one piece bathtub shower combo and in the past year, I noticed black fungus? on the corner of the tub and drywall. I don't think my father put any caulking on the wall or the floor. Now with repeated washings, bleachings, my vinyl floor is yellowing and black crud in the cracks of tub and wall.

How would I clean up the black crud fungus? I sure hate to dig into the drywall to get rid of the fungus but if it must be done, then it must be done. In the meantime, I am thinking of re doing the floor. I love the look of wooden floor but laminated floors looks pretty good. Are they good for bathrooms, wet areas? Or am I better off using real stone tile? I really do NOT want to rip up the vinyl we have in there since it was all inlaid all around the room before all the accessories were placed in there.

I also have paint flaking off from my kitchen backsplash. It was painted vinyl after we drywalled it. Can I go ahead and tile it or do I need to score the wall first before tacking on the tiles to get the mud or glue a solid seal? I am also worried about water getting into the cracks where the tile and formica top meets. The kitchen was totally redone about five years ago and it is starting to show its age. The floor is very much like the bathroom, the gloss from the vinyl is gone and the ridges from the old wood floor is showing thru. With that much traffic going thru the kitchen, it looks like crap. Again, I love the laminated wood and tile effects.

So what you all suggest???????????
Bathroom mold is from water (well, duh)
- leaks behind the drywall
- leaks in front of the drywall
- not enough air circulation (exhaust fan) to remove the moist air
- leaks in drain, leaks in supply pipe, leaks in roof (go into attic and check your vent stack, window, skylight)
- leak at the toilet
- over spray from shower
- the shower head is loose from its fittings (use teflon tape and screw it on tight)

Sorry - to get rid of mold in drywall, you have to TAKE IT ALL OUT. Rip out any that is marked from water, even if not black - black is only the "fruiting bodies" of the mold organism. Even if you kill it dead, which is very difficult even with bleach or boiling water, it will still be toxic. While you have the wall open, check for more hidden damage from the leak (soggy insulation, etc), termites, corrosion, carpenter ants, etc. If you can, replace the drywall with the specialty stuff for wet areas. And keep it caulked.

Lots of good websites on DIY for this, just google., the tv show too.
And for the new floor:

NOT WOOD!!! ack, I so regret the little place of wood flooring in front of the bathroom sink. TILE. and if you can splurge, get that in floor radiant heat system
. unless on concrete, use backerboard.
Don't , based on my personal experience:
- put down white tile with black grout no matter how cool modern it looks!
- use anything that requires sealing, gets slippery, or shows dirt.
- use anything shiny - it will scratch and dull.
Always keep extra pieces for accidents.
Not caulking around you tub/shower is a big no no. You absolutely need to caulk around it. Unfortunately I believe you will need to cut that drywall out and replace the damaged area. NO do not put laminate floors in your bathroom, that is a terrible idea. I have laminate in most of my home, it is very sensitive to moisture. Yes, put in the tile, tile floors are wonderful and get the kind that are easy to clean, you will not regret it. As for the backsplash yes, tile that baby too, you should be able to tile right up to the formica top, the grout will not hurt it, make sure you have nice smooth lines. If you have a vinyl backspash you will need to remove it down to the original drywall before you can tile, vinyl even with scouring I don't believe will hold the tile for long. Good Luck and we want before and after pics!

We tiled the backsplash and the counter top. Ourselves.
Use a really good caulk for all lines between different surfaces (countertop/wall, wall/wall). This is our kitchen. It took FOREVER. Scrape all the peeling paint off the drywall and score the rest to keep the adhesive grout sticking well.
Thanks folks, they are wonderful ideas! I love that tile backsplash in the kitchen! My countertop is grey color with light wood oak color cabinets. I did thought about those metal tiles that you can find in old buildings on their ceilings, those decorative kind but not sure if water can get behind it.

As for the bathroom walls, we put in the green colored drywall which it is for bathrooms or high moisture areas. There are NO leaks in the plumbing but it came from directly from people using the shower, the water hits the walls, past the curtains and they would drip all the way down to the floor and they would settle in that corner. We really do not want a sliding glass shower doors since we have a 5 year old that plays hard in there! Imagine what will HURT big time on your butt if you need to sit on the edge. So that isn't an option.

So would it be ok to put down tile on top of the vinyl floor. I think it is made by Armstrong but not 100 percent sure. I sure HATE to pull up that vinyl floor since we replaced the old floor and everything is tacked down. I think it was 4' x 8' x 1/2" sheets of plywood laid down on the old floor. Maybe a membrane sheet of some sort? I know the radial heating floor sounds great but not financially possible to get it. We already got the on demand water heater and it is not yet install but soon!
I think you should take the vinyl out and put tile on the plywood. There is probably some type of layer that goes down first, though.

We recently replaced our bathroom sink/counter top and I made the backsplash:

We got the tiles at home depot. They come in sheets so you can cut off a few tiles here and there to make them fit. It's much easier to put up one sheet of 16 tiles than to do each individually.
Great bath sink!
There's some complex systems and some old simple systems of laying tile over plywood - the purpose is to prevent movement and flex which will break the tiles, grout and just generally make a mess over time. Research what you'd like. there's a orange membrane and bedding layer, and a concrete / backer board (brand name?) that gets mortared and/or screwed to the plywood, and who knows what else has come out.

I don't have a photo of the bathtub & shower, but DH got one of those curved shower rods (because he liked them in the hotels while business traveling). Overkill the installation mounting - really oversize drywall mounts - and we hung it up extra high. I used to have a vinyl shower curtain that suction-cupped onto the tub to hold it. Then, kids got older, so I don't know if I found a solution or they just outgrew their bathing exuberance.


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