How do I get this mildewy mess out of my bathroom?
December 16, 2012 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Water collects in a recessed area on the edge of my tub. How do I manage this?

I currently rent a studio in a refurbished house that, at one point, was a small, boutique hotel. As a result, there's a jacuzzi tub in my bathroom.

However, I mostly take showers, and during those showers, water starts collecting in that recessed area shown in the photo above. And, as you can see in the photo, someone was overly generous with the grout, so it's not even a smooth surface that I can easily wipe down.

At the moment, I'm just soaking up the water in the area with a towel every few days. But is there something else I could be doing to keep my bathroom looking neat, without that puddle of water in the corner?
posted by SpringAquifer to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
(Furriner here, please excuse any linguistical weirdness.)

I would buy some of those same tiles (they look very, very common), cut them to the right width, glue them on top of the existing tiles with silicone caulk and then finish them off with grout. Then caulk the seams.

I know you're renting, but if you do a neat job it won't catch the eye at all; furthermore, you can always remove the extra tiles if need be.

In other words, I'd make the area protruding instead of recessed.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:48 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

What are the dimensions? You might be able to get a marble threshhold (like the kind you often see in older apartments under a bathroom door) at a home store or salvage yard—they're only about $10-$15 and are usually 4-5" wide x 30" long. A little caulk and maybe a shim to angle it towards the tub and you'd be set. Since it would be one solid piece there would be less likelihood of water collecting under it.
posted by bcwinters at 2:00 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

The really simple, cheap, and non-alteration-involving solution might be to buy a stall shower curtain. It may be possible to rig a full-size shower curtain rod from side to side in your bathroom, depending, or you could just hang it from a wire running from the existing rod to an eyehook on the wall or some such. Cut an opening as tightly as possible for the tub hardware. This will keep 90% of the oversplash in the tub area.
posted by dhartung at 2:38 PM on December 16, 2012

I'd, first, talk to the landlord, and see if they are amenable to fixing the problem. Point out that water collecting in that area is likely to leak down inside the wall beneath, and cause a much larger (and expensive) mold problem.

If they are unwilling to look into that, I'd see if you could get a piece of cement-board (Durock or the like) cut to fit in the area, lay down a bed of caulk, and lay it in. Then acquire some basic white tile, since what is there looks like basic commodity 4x4 tile, and just tile over the cement board and the edge of the tub, so that the cement board supports the new tile. You could use caulk instead of dealing with mortar, and buy some premixed grout to get you through the project.
posted by jferg at 4:42 PM on December 16, 2012

I have a shower curtain covering the tile in my shower on one side, and shower doors on the other. It's like showering in a sandwich baggie, I do not recommend it.
posted by crankylex at 5:11 PM on December 16, 2012

Use 3 or 4 Command Hooks and install them 3 to 5 inches below your shower head to align with the holes in a cut down shower curtain - one that is long enough to extend an a couple of inches below the rim of the tub and create a bit a funneling effect.

Not the most elegant solution but cheaper and easier than a re-tile job and you can remove the curtain and hooks easily enough.
posted by jaimystery at 5:52 PM on December 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

I agree with Jaimy. Quick, effective, and easy to remove.
posted by jmsta at 6:05 PM on December 16, 2012

I think any kind of curtain solution will leave water sitting there anyway, and since it's out-of-sight-out-of-mind, could lead to mold problems. Building it up with cheap tiles and real grout (not caulk) is the way to go here, and angle them toward the tub to facilitate drainage.
posted by Scienxe at 7:44 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

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