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10 Expert Tips For Keeping Your Bathroom Warm

10 Expert Tips For Keeping Your Bathroom Warm
10 Expert Tips For Keeping Your Bathroom Warm

Nobody likes the feel of a cold and chilly bathroom during the winter season. We all crave a warm and toasty bathroom when we want to shower in the cold weather. If you are looking for a way to warm up your bathroom then we've got you covered. 

Here are 10 expert tips for keeping your bathroom warm during the colder seasons. 

1. Keep the cold air out 

Now, what good are electric heaters and towel warmers if there are numerous gaps and leaks in your bathroom windows and walls then cold air will definitely make its way in and chill the entire area. 

The weakest areas are your window frames. If these frames are old and cracking then there will be gaps from which cold air will make its way in.

You need to fill these leaks and gaps with caulk. You can get caulk in multiple colors nowadays, so pick one that matches your bathroom colors. 

Also, another area of concern is your piping system. If the plumbing pipes have holes that aren’t properly filled then those can let the air in as well. So, make sure that you also caulk those gaps as well.  

2. Exhaust fan can be the enemy

When you are taking a shower, you need to make sure that your exhaust fan is completely turned off. If it’s on, it will pull all the warm air and steam from your bathroom and kick it out.

You need to keep the windows and doors locked as well, so the warm air doesn’t just leak out. 

However, you can turn the exhaust fan on when leaving the bathroom so it can remove the moisture which could cause mildew and mold.

Although, during the winter season, moisture won’t be a big problem as it will be quickly absorbed by the season’s dry air, so you can pretty much leave the exhaust off for the entire winter. 

3. Get a portable electric heater

This is a simple and straightforward tip. Just get a portable heater that can pre-heat your bathroom for you. I will suggest you to read this bathroom heater guide before buying.

Portable Electric Heater

If you don’t like a chilly bathroom then just turn on the heater for a while before you enter. This will heat-up your entire bathroom in a short time so you can experience the toasty temperature before and after the shower.  

4. Towel Warmers are all the rage

There are numerous methods to warm your towels. You could just put them in front of the electric heater for a while to warm them, but that won’t do much for the bathroom. 

However, if you invest in a towel warmer then you are set for life as it will also keep your bathroom heated as well. 

There are two types of towel warmers, wall-mounted variants (Radiators) and freestanding models. You can get either one of these to warm your towels while at the same time warm your bathroom as well. 

5. Add a heated bathroom floor

If you are up for giving your bathroom a makeover then adding a radiant floor heating is definitely going to make things toasty for you. There are different styles of floor heating, but the easiest to install is a simple electric mat.  

These electric mats are embedded in a layer of thin-set mortar and the floor tiling is laid on top of that. These mats are linked to your wall thermostat through which you can easily control the heating.  

6. Install heat bulbs

Yeah, you can get bulbs that are developed to warm up smaller areas. Now, these bulbs are not going to you with the sunny day experience, but you can still warm-up a small area with the help of these nifty little lights.  

Heat Lamps

So, these are perfect for a bathroom as it’s going to be a lot smaller than the bedroom. Install a couple of these bulbs to enhance the overall lighting and the heating at the same time. 

7. Change your color scheme

Now, this isn’t going to turn your bathroom into a brick oven, but changing the colors can warm it up a little. Most people often choose white or blue for their bathrooms which are considered cool colors.

You could change the colors to some yellows or reds can definitely add a warm touch to the bathroom.  

8. Get a bunch of rugs 

Now, if you are not able to afford the electric heating floor, or just don’t want to renovate your bathroom then you need to get yourself a couple of rugs to keep things warm.  

No one likes to walk on icy cold bathroom tiles, especially not after showering with warm water.  

So, having a few rugs can definitely help alleviate that problem. These rugs are soft, warm, and can also absorb the water from your feet. Make sure you pile up on a bunch of plush rugs and mats.  

9. Get a large showerhead

Now showerheads are not going to warm up your bathroom, but it will ensure that your entire body stays toasty when you are showering. A smaller showerhead will only cover your head while your front or back of the body stays cold.

Large Shower Head

So, investing in a bigger rainfall showerhead and installing it directly overhead will make sure that your whole body is covered in the hot water. 

10. Humidity is your best friend 

Humidity means there’s moisture in the air. Having moisture in the air causes it to be warm while dry air can be extremely cold and chilly. So, make sure that the steam from your shower doesn’t escape out any fans or leaks. Keep it in the bathroom to make it warmer. 

You can also place a few plants in the bathroom to increase humidity. Plants release moisture into the air which makes the room feel warm and cozy. These plants can also double up as awesome natural decor for the bathroom as well. 

Finally 

Armed with the tips mentioned above, you are now ready for the winter seasons. No matter how chilly the weather gets, your bathroom will stay warm and cozy for the entirety of the seasons as long as you follow these simple tips.  

Feel free to tell us how you keep your bathroom warm and toasty during the winter season?   

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Boost Your Shower Power and Fit a Shower Pump – How to Guide

Boost Your Showers Power and Fit a Shower Pump - How to Guide
Boost Your Showers Power and Fit a Shower Pump - How to Guide

Is your shower lacking enough power to give you the best possible washing experience? Are you getting ready to install a new shower in your bathroom? Do you want to save money and do the job yourself?

Answering yes to any of these questions means that you are in the right place. The following guide will take you through the ins and outs of fitting a shower pump into your home. Once the pump is installed, showering will become a whole new experience, and a pretty euphoric one at that.

Get your toolkit and a notebook; you are ready to learn how to install a shower pump (UK edition).  

How Long Should a Shower Pump Last?  

Shower pumps are small machines that are designed to boost water flow to your shower. There are various kinds of showers and shower heads out there, which means that they each require different bar pressures and pumps. Bar pressure is the pressure required for the shower to function at maximum capacity, and there are pumps for every bar pressure.

If properly installed and taken care of, shower pumps last for around eight years on average. Higher quality pumps may last up to double that amount of time with proper care and maintenance. 

Can You Fit a Shower Pump to a Combi Boiler? 

A combi boiler is a water heater and central heating boiler in one unit. Combi boilers are excellent ways to conserve space in a home, but the lack of a separate hot water cylinder means that you cannot install a shower pump to this system.

There are alternative cold-water mains boosters available for those who have combi boilers. Shower pumps are specifically designed for use in open vented hot and cold systems. 

What’s the Difference Between Negative and Positive Shower Pumps?

Before you purchase a shower pump, you need to check what kind of set-up you have or want to install. If your shower head is below your cold-water tank and the flow rate at 0.6 litres a minute, then you need a positive shower pump.

Positive shower pumps use gravity to allow the water to flow downwards. If your shower head is level with or above your cold-water tank, then a negative shower pump will be required.

Negative shower pumps have a pressure switch that recognizes when the shower is on even if the water is not flowing. If you are unsure which type of shower pump to purchase, a negative shower pump works with both a positive and negative installation. 

Why Do I Need a Shower Pump?  

Shower pumps are designed to improve the water pressure within your shower. Increasing the water pressure improves a shower’s performance, which can mean a more luxurious showering experience. A higher-pressure shower can be more rejuvenating and be a more efficient system overall – even going so far as to save a little on your water bills.  

Things to Consider 

Before ordering your shower pump, there are a few things to consider to ensure you get the best one for you; 

  • Layout: note where your boiler, cold water tank and shower are in relation to each other. 
  • Balance: is your water supply balanced? 
  • Angles: Is your house on a hill or on flat ground? Is the water pressure typically low in your area? 
  • Placement: consider where the shower pump may be placed.  
  • Budget: how much can you spend on this pump? Are there other fees that you need to account for? Do you want to book a consultation with a professional? 

Once you have the information to these questions, you will know which shower pump is right for your needs.  

Preparation Before Installation 

Now that you have your shower pump, it is time to get your toolkit and begin transforming your shower. Before you begin, make sure that there is a minimum height of 10 inches or 250mm between the water level in the cold-water tank and the shower rose.

Anything less and it may not be possible to get the 0.5 litres a minute flow that activates many shower pumps. Also, ensure that the cold-water header tank has a capacity of at least 225 litres or 50 gallons to maintain supply to your shower pump and the hot water cylinder. 

How to Fit a Shower Pump 

#1 When planning where to place the shower pump, make sure you put it in an easy to access spot. This will make maintenance and cleaning easier in the future. Ensure that the pump will not be covered to prevent the motor from overheating and getting damaged.  

Being placed in a low-temperature environment that has a frost risk will damage the shower pump, so make sure you choose a warm and dry place. Safety and following regulations are important; the shower pump must be at least 2 feet or 600mm away from the shower tray or basin. Examples of good places are lofts, airing cupboards, under baths, and above cylinders 

#2 Once you have chosen where to install your shower pump, you can connect it to the house’s electrical supply using a 230v switched spur off a ring main. Do not connect it to the supply for the hot water cylinder heater or anything else that needs a dedicated supply of energy.

If you want to avoid a noisy shower pump, sit it on a 2 inch or 50mm thick concrete block or foundation. Do not screw the shower pump into the floor. 

Also Read: What is a Thermostatic Shower

#3 Fitting a 22mm full bore isolating valve onto the cold-water supply pump will allow you to isolate the water supply to and from the pump. The size of the pipework should be around 22mm to reduce flow resistance regardless of whether there are 22mm or 15mm connections. 

#4 To seal the pump and prevent air ventilation, have a Surrey flange fitted to the top of the hot water cylinder for 15mm connections and an Essex flange fitted for 22mm connections. 

#5 To prevent damage to the pump itself and reduce noise, use the flexible hoses to link to both the incoming and outgoing delivery pipes. 

#6 Properly flush the pipework before connection to the pump to avoid debris damaging it. 

#7 Once the shower pump is installed, switch off the electrical supply and run a bucket of water out of both the hot and cold sides. Once the water runs clear, the shower pump will be primed and ready. Doing this stops air from getting trapped and preventing proper operation. 

#8 Take note of when cleaning and maintenance should be carried out. Put it on your calendar or in your diary so that you don’t forget.  

#9 Turn on the power supply and enjoy your newly improved shower. 

Further Reading: Shower Pump Problems

How to Fit A Shower Pump Under A Bath? 

It is possible to fit a shower pump under a bath; however proper protocol must be followed. Ensure that the pump is 2 feet from the shower basin or tray.

If you need to access the pump after installation, a tool must be used to open the bath enclosure. The pump must not be covered or in a cold environment, as stated above, and should be as easy as possible to access. 

How to Fit A Shower Pump Above Cylinder? 

If you cannot have a raised cold-water storage tank in the loft, you can fit the shower pump above the cylinder but below the ceiling.  

Make sure you have around 225 litres or 50 gallons of cold water for the shower. Then use the separate connection that is not restricted to ensure that little air can get into the pump impellors. Use a dedicated flange and make an anti-gravity loop. An anti-gravity loop is a pipe that bends towards the floor by a minimum of 350mm in 15mm.  

Fit the full-bore isolation valves to the cylinder’s hot outlet either before or after making the loop. Flush the pipework before connecting the pump and connect the hot supply pipe to the inlet of the pump.

If the pump is not in the hot water cylinder cupboard, then you will have to fit another full-bore isolation valve just prior to the pump. Now prime the pump and follow the instructions in the installation section to finish. 

To Conclude  

Hopefully, you feel more confident in knowing how to install a shower pump yourself. Not only do you know your negative shower pumps from your positive ones, but you also know the ins and outs of how they work.

As always, if you have any concerns or get stuck, then we advise that you should seek professional help from a local handyman. Following this guide and asking advice from professionals will ultimately lead to the perfect shower experience; it’s all worth it in the end. 

What did you think of this shower pump guide? Did it help you succeed in installing your new shower pump? Do you have any questions or tips for other DIY fans? We always enjoy hearing from you, so let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

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What is a Thermostatic Shower and How Does it Work? 101 UK Guide

What is a thermostatic shower and How does it Work - 101 UK Guide
What is a thermostatic shower and How does it Work - 101 UK Guide

When living with young children or elderly folks, it can be difficult choosing a new shower. Is your shower prone to constantly running too hot or cold no matter where you turn the handle? Does your shower like to torment you with intermittent temperature changes or unusually low water pressure? 

If the answer is yes, then thermostatic showers may be a safer alternative for your home. Their internal valves ensure that hot and cold water is mixed together before exiting the shower head to provide a safe and pleasant showering experience. 

To give you a clearer idea, let me take you on a journey to show you what thermostatic showers are, how they work, and how you can take care of them. 

What Is A Thermostatic Shower? 

A thermostatic shower seems like a regular shower, but it has something very unique inside; a thermostatic valve. Thermostatic valves mix both hot and cold water together to a consistent predetermined temperature, preventing scalding and thermic shock.

These thermostatic showers are an excellent choice for families with young children or older relatives as they provide safety and convenience.  

How Does A Thermostatic Shower Work? 

Thermostatic showers store water at a high temperature before mixing it with cold water to a pre-set temperature, rather than having an internal heating system like electric showers do. The valve also reacts instantly to changes in water temperature and immediately adjusts the mixed water to get it back to the pre-set temperature.

Thermostatic showers will also instantly shut down if the cold-water supply fails in order to avoid injury. It is these functions that make thermostatic showers stand out from others. 

Is a Thermostatic Shower Electric?  

Thermostatic showers are not electric as they rely on the mains water supply to function. A combination of water pressure and water temperature is what allows the shower to work.

Electric showers have their own heating element, so they use only cold water, whereas thermostatic showers use both hot and cold water. Electric showers are an excellent choice for Ensuite bathrooms and shower rooms, and can be rather economical as their temperature is not affected by other water use in the home.  

Thermostatic Valve Problems  

While thermostatic showers seem high-tech, they can have problems like other showers. Common issues that are reported include intermittent hot and cold water or constant hot or cold water.

Sometimes water can drip from the shower head when the shower is not on and running. Another common issue is a reduced water flow rate during showers.

All of these issues are easily fixed with regular adjustments and maintenance. If you are having trouble with your thermostatic valve, consider contacting a professional for support. 

Further Reading: Best High Pressure Shower Heads

What are Thermostatic Shower Valves?  

As we briefly mentioned in the first paragraph, thermostatic shower valves mix hot and cold water from your supply together. This premixed water then comes out of the shower head and can sometimes be set to a predetermined temperature.

Thermostatic shower valves are often made of metals such as brass or chrome to increase their life span. These valves are what make the thermostatic showers function safely and seamlessly to give you the ultimate shower experience.  

Can You Repair a Thermostatic Shower Valve?  

Repairing a thermostatic shower valve is easy enough with the right tools. Perhaps the handle is jammed, or the water is not mixing to the correct temperature? Taking the handle apart and having a look at the valve may show you what the problem is. Depending on the issue, you can even do it yourself without the expense of hiring a professional.

However, some valves cannot be replaced, so please do proper maintenance to prevent a nasty shock. If you are unsure how to fix the valve, I would advise contacting a local professional for advice and conducting thorough research before attempting repairs yourself. 

How to Adjust a Thermostatic Shower Valve 

Is your thermostatic shower valve not quite working as it used to?  To adjust your thermostatic valve, you must follow these steps; 

  1. Unscrew the handle or lever. Once removed, this will expose the grub screw.

  2. Loosen the grub screw with an Allen Key. This will allow you to pull the handle off of the valve. 

  3. Take off the brass temperature stop lug by removing the retaining screw on the end. 

  4. Turn the flow control back on. If the water is too cold, turn the brass spindle anti-clockwise until it reaches your preferred temperature. Turn the brass spindle clockwise if the shower is too hot. Once you are satisfied with the temperature, turn off the water flow with the handle and reassemble the parts. 

How to Clean a Thermostatic Shower Cartridge 

To clean a thermostatic shower cartridge, you will need a pair of channel lock pliers and some white vinegar. Once you are ready, complete the following steps; 

  1. Remove the handle and trim piece from the valve. 

  2. Using the channel lock pliers, unthread the cartridge and remove completely from the valve body.

  3. Soak the entire cartridge in a bowl of white vinegar, ensuring it is completely submerged for one hour. 

  4. While the cartridge is soaking, turn on your shower to flush the opening until the water runs clear. 

  5. Once the hour is up, rinse the cartridge thoroughly with water. 

  6. Reattach the valve, trim and handle.

How to Descale a Thermostatic Shower Valve  

To descale your thermostatic shower valve, simply remove it from the body and soak it in a white vinegar and water solution for at least half an hour before rinsing it off and reassembling the handle. A good ratio for this cleaning technique is one-part vinegar to one part water.

If this is not quite strong enough, soaking it in pure vinegar as described above is another good solution. Soaking the shower valve in shower descaling products from your local supermarket may also do the trick if the vinegar solution is not quite working or you fancy something stronger 

Why is My Thermostatic Shower Running Cold?  

If your thermostatic shower is running cold intermittently, it may be down to a blocked shower head, damaged shower hose, or blocked inlet filters in the shower itself. Another option is faulty non-return valves. If it is running consistently cold, it may be caused by blocked inlet filters or faulty non-return valves.

If adjusting any of these issues does not work, you may need a new thermostatic cartridge. However, replacing thermostatic cartridges is often more expensive than buying a new shower, so bear this in mind when making your decision. 

Thermostatic Shower for Bath 

It is indeed possible to find a range of thermostatic valves that work for both baths and showers. Often, they appear similar to normal combination taps but just have the thermostatic valve inside them. Thermostatic taps for baths work in the same way as thermostatic showers; water just comes out of a tap rather than a shower head.

There are also thermostatic taps designed for baths alone for people who do not have showers in their home. Places such as your local Screwfix will usually supply these, or you can buy online from websites like Amazon.  

Best Thermostatic Shower for Combi Boiler  

Having a combi boiler in your house may seem like an issue when buying a thermostatic shower, but it is not. There are plenty of excellent thermostatic shower choices that work with a combi boiler. One such option is the Mira Element Thermostatic Mixer Shower; it is a little expensive, but it has an elegant design made of complete chrome. 

It has Magni-flo technology which is capable of delivering three times more flow than other models. All this paired with a five-year guarantee make this is fantastic choice for your bathroom.  

Thermostatic Shower Valve for Camper Van  

Travelling on road trips does not mean sacrificing your creature comforts. Camper van showers have slightly different requirements to other showers, but it is possible to bring a thermostatic shower into your camper van. You can get shower valves for showers only, or a combination bath and shower tap for your convenience.

There are plenty of choices for every need and budget, so you are sure to find the right shower valve for you. Thermostatic shower valves for camper vans can be a little pricey, but the safety and convenience are worth it. Having a thermostatic shower valve in your camper van means that you can take amazing showers even while on the go.  

To Conclude  

Now you know everything there is to know about thermostatic showers. From what they are, to maintenance and how they work; this guide has covered the essential information you need about thermostatic showers.

We even included some recommendations to get you started. Whether you wanted to buy a thermostatic shower, fix a thermostatic shower, or were simply curious about them, we hope you found what you were looking for. 

What do you think about thermostatic showers? Do you have one? Are you now considering buying one? We love hearing from you, so please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.


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How to Remove Silicone from a Shower – DIY Guide

Silicone can be fiddly and frustrating to remove, but it is a job that needs to be done. Over time, it starts to lose its effectiveness, and needs to be removed and replaced so that you are able to keep your shower nice and secure.

Silicone removal is about more than just the shower though; it’s good to know how you can get it off your hands and clothing (since it tends to stick).

We answer every burning question you have about silicone removal, even how to remove mouldy silicone, as well as why you should be doing it in the first place. Time to get to work fixing up your shower. 

Why Do We Need to Remove the Old Silicone? 

Silicone doesn’t last forever, and it will need to be replaced so that it can keep working to protect your walls and tiles. Over time, it starts to lose that adhesive stick, and it may even become damaged or have mould growth that you can’t get rid of.

Mould is especially tricky because it can have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing, which means it should be tackled as quickly as possible. Even if none of this is true, you should be removing and replacing the sealant every year or two to ensure that it remains strong and watertight. 

How to Remove Silicone from Your Shower 

The best method for removing silicone sealant from your shower is the old-fashioned way; with your hands and a few tools. To get started, you are going to need the following:

  • Stanley knife 
  • Chisel 
  • White spirit
  • Thick gloves 
  • Safety glasses 

Once you have all of these, you can follow the steps below to successfully remove the silicone sealant from your shower. Remember to put your gloves and safety glasses on before you begin. 

Step 1:

Use the Staley knife to cut away the old sealant. Make sure you are as gentle as possible while you do so, as this will ensure you do not damage the wall or surrounding area. You don’t need to worry about getting every little scrap, just focus on the bulk of the sealant. 

Step 2:

At this point, you will be likely to be left with some silicone strands. A lot of the time, this can be removed with your hands, using a chisel/scraper, or rubbing it with a cloth dipped in white spirit. It can take a little while, but it is important all of the sealant is removed so that you can reapply it smoothly. 

Step 3:

Make sure you also remove the residue from the silicone as well so that the entire area is nice and clear. Now that everything has been removed, you can apply the new silicone sealant to the area. We have a great guide on that for you as well. 

Further Reading: Silicone and Caulk Guide

How to Remove Silicone from Your Hands 

There are a few ways you can remove silicone from your hands, and it is important to do it quickly because it can be really tough to remove once it dries.

Plus, it can irritate the skin if you are quite sensitive, which is partly why gloves are so highly recommended. Each of the tips below contains a series of detailed steps to help you get it right the first time. 

Method One: The Plastic Bag 

#1 Remove as much of the silicone as you can before it dries, either by washing your hands or wiping them with paper towels. Do not use a fabric towel because the silicone will be difficult to get out once it dries. The more you can get off while it’s wet, the easier it will be to ensure they are completely clean.

#2 Grab a plastic bag from the supermarket and use it in the same way you would a cloth. This is because the silicone will be more attracted to sticking to the plastic than your hands, and so it will draw the excess away from you.

#3 Rinse your hands with water once you have used the plastic bag to remove any remaining silicone from them. Then, dry your hands and repeat the method if you need to. This can be done as many times as you need, but if you act fast, you will only have to do it once. 

Also Read: Remove Mould from Shower

Method Two: Nail Polish Remover (Acetone)

#1 Remove as much of the silicone with a paper towel before it has a chance to dry, maximising your chances of getting rid of everything in one go. Silicone does tend to dry faster on hands because the amount is much smaller, so time is of the essence.

#2 Once the large chunks have been removed, wash your hands with soap and water to soften the remaining silicone so that it is a little easier to remove in the next step.

#3 take some cotton pads, or kitchen roll, and apply the nail varnish remover (which contains acetone) liberally. Rub it all over your hands so that they are nice and damp, and wait for the remover to start taking effect. Once it does, use a paper towel to vigorously scrub the areas so that all of the silicone is removed.

#4 When this is finished, wash your hands with soap and warm water before drying them. Apply moisturiser to your hands to prevent them from drying out, and then check to see if you need to repeat the process.

You should only go through it again once to prevent your skin from cracking, and if it still does not work wait for the silicone to come off naturally. 

How to Remove Silicone from Your Clothes 

There really isn’t much worse than your clothes getting covered in silicone, because it’s really difficult to handle when it dries, and fabrics can be a nightmare.

This is why it is usually recommended that you wear old clothes you don’t care about when using silicone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t want them to be clean again. Have a look at our methods, and the steps that come with them. 

Method One: Freezing 

#1 Place the clothing in a bag and then put it in the freezer for a few hours, causing the silicone to become incredibly hard. The biggest and lumpiest part of the stain should peel off once you take it out of the freezer, and you can do this with your hands.

#2 Grab a pair of scissors and use them to scrape off the remaining areas of the stain. You can also use a butter knife to do this, but make sure your chosen tool isn’t too sharp so that you don’t accidentally tear the fabric.

#3 Once this is done, take some rubbing alcohol and scrub the affected area to remove the stain and leave it looking fresh again. You can also use a stronger cleaning agent if you feel the stain needs it. The process can be repeated if some of the silicone remains. 

Method Two: Blotting 

#1 This method is best if the stain has not yet had the chance to dry, and if this is the case throw it in the washing machine with your usual detergent and let it run on a regular setting. For white clothing, you can add a little bleach to the mix. If the stain is quite fresh, you might find that this step is the only one you need to take.

#2 If the washing cycle was not quite enough, take a cloth and dampen it with warm water. Press it firmly against the stain to let the water sink in and dab it repeatedly to get as much of the silicone off as possible.

#3 When a good chunk of excess silicone has been removed, use a clean cloth and some rubbing alcohol to work out the remainder of the stain. You should blot it liberally and leave it to soak in, repeating as many times as needed until the stain is practically gone.

#4 For the final step, put the clothing into the washing machine and run it through on the usual setting. It may need to be washed a few times in order to remove it, and you should not place it in a dryer as this can cause any remaining stain to fully set and harden. 

Method Three: Chemicals 

You can also use chemical stain removers that you find in the supermarket to get rid of silicone stains. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the label to remove the silicone stains. Just remember to test it on some old clothing first to ensure it won’t damage your garment. 

Method Four: Baking Powder 

#1 Wet the stain with water and leave it to soak for a moment. Then, pour the baking soda onto the area.

#2 Take a cloth and massage the baking powder into the stain so that it can absorb everything. Repeat the process as needed until the stain is completely (or at least mostly) gone.

#3 Put the clothing in the washing machine and run on a regular cycle to rinse the clothing out. Leave it to dry naturally and then check to see if the stain is gone.

Can You use Acetone to Remove Silicone? 

In short, you can use acetone to remove silicone sealant, but it is not always advised. It does a fantastic job at dissolving the silicone, making the job pretty quick and easy when compared to other methods.

However, the solution is so powerful that it can actually melt some plastics so you should test it on a hidden area first. It can also damage the seals on drains, so you should speak to an expert before you decide to use it in your shower. 

To Conclude

Hopefully, this has helped you to figure out the best way to remove the silicone sealant from your shower. What about replacing it though?

It may feel like it is missing in this guide, but we actually have an entire one dedicated to the application process that you can check out. We’re dedicated to making your bathroom renovations a massive success, so no matter your needs, we have something here for you.

What did you think of our silicone removal guide? Were you able to get it out of everything, or are there other areas that you felt should have been covered? We love hearing from you, so feel free to leave us a message in the comment section below. 

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How to Increase the Shower Pressure UK – Expert Advice Guide

How to Increase Shower Pressure UK – Expert Advice Guide
How to Increase Shower Pressure UK – Expert Advice Guide

There is nothing more disappointing than stepping into the shower each day to discover that you have low pressure that barely does anything to help you get clean.

There was a time when I thought there was no way to tackle the low pressure in my shower, but the solution can actually be incredibly simple; and really cheap. So, if you are looking for ways to increase your shower pressure, this is the perfect guide for you – because we have all the problems and solutions. 

Do I Have Low Pressure in the Shower? 

Before we look at whether or not you have low pressure, it is good to go over the main causes so that you have a good idea of what might be causing the issues. Here are the most common reasons:
Your mains use old piping.

If you are in the middle of a town or city, then you likely have low water pressure because of the mains system. This is because they use much older piping as replacing it would cause severe disruption and so is not deemed as urgent work (unless it breaks).

You have an undersized piping supply. There are so many homes with piping that is technically too small, and this can cause very low water pressure. Older houses are most at risk because the original plumbing system is likely still in place.

Again, this is disruptive work, which is why so many homeowners don’t bother replacing it. Your system might be clogged. If you live in a home that uses iron piping, then you are more at risk of it becoming clog.

This is because iron is very prone to rust, and where the pipes are frequently in contact with water, parts can break up and block the pipes so that the water cannot flow as freely as it did before. You have a shower head that is restricting the flow. 

Your shower head can actually make or break your water pressure, and you might not even realise that you have a flow restricting or water saving head attached. Before you do anything, try replacing the head and see if that changes the pressure.

Your valve is obstructed or shut off. This usually happens when you buy a new home or have just had building work done. Often, you will find that it is not fully opened, and ensuring that it is can make a huge difference to your water pressure.

Usually, it is located under your kitchen sink, and if you think it is broken, you need to contact your plumber immediately. The thing is, it can be hard to know if you actually have low pressure or not, and it is not always possible to tell just by watching the water come out of the head.

To determine whether or not you have low pressure, here are some quick and simple steps. How long does it take? Six seconds, to be exact. Just check out the section below to find out how to do it. 

Further Reading: How to Install Concealed Shower Valve Mixer

How to Test Low Pressure 

What you need:

  • A 1-2 litre measuring jug 
  • A timer 
  • A calculator 

Step One: take the jug and place it under the shower head.

Step Two: turn the shower on, and make sure it is on the most powerful setting.

Step Three: use the timer to see how long it takes to fill the jug. If it takes more than six seconds, you have low water pressure.

Step Four: if you want to measure the full water flow, take the calculator and the timer. The flow rate should be at least ten litres of water per minute for a regular shower.

This is the quickest and easiest way to measure your water pressure. You can also hire a professional plumber to do it if you want an expert reading, but the above method is just as accurate and effective. 

Shower Pressure Booster 

This is the hardcore way to increase your shower pressure, and it is also one of the most effective (aside from changing the head). You could be boosted up to 60 litres per minute by having one of these, and the key is ensuring that you purchase one that is high-quality.

It might end up costing you a little more, but it will be worth it for something that works well and provides you with the pressure that you need. However, before you decide to embark on this venture, you should have a professional come an assess your home.

There are some systems that are not compatible with a shower pump, and if this is the case for yours, it would be awful to buy one only to discover that it doesn’t work. The expert consultation also means any other potential issues can be identified and addressed.

Here’s a quick look at how they work, and how they increase electric shower pressure (and general shower pressure), as well as the estimated cost of your new installation.

When you turn them on, the shower pump is activated, and the water travelling to your shower will pass through it first. As it does this, the pump uses a propeller mechanism to boost the water pressure before it reaches the shower. 

It’s a really simple process, but also exceptionally effective. Generally speaking, it could cost anywhere between £100 and £500, depending on the pump and the quality. You will need to put an extra £150 or so aside if you decide to have a plumber install it. 

How to Fit a Shower Pump 

If you are going to install a shower pump yourself, you really need to know what you are doing before you do so. If at any point you feel it might be too complicated, call a plumber to do it for you.

A shower pump that has not been installed correctly could leak and cause water damage, as well as general damage to your shower system. Now, if you’re ready, you can follow the steps below:

Water-Saving Airdrop Showers

Step One:

Choose where you are going to install the pump. It should be in a location that is easy to access in case it needs to be repaired, replaced, or the filters have to be cleaned. It must not be covered, and it should never freeze or be exposed to low temperatures. Similarly, for safety reasons, it must be installed two feet from the shower tray and basin.

Also Read: Find the Best Shower Trays

Step Two:

Now you can hook up the electrics, although unless you are a qualified electrician, this stage should be done by a professional for safety and to ensure it is up to standards. When you connect the pump, it should be from a 230v switched spur off a ring main.

You should never connect it to the supply for the hot water immersion cylinder, or another high-load installation, as these require a dedicated supply and cannot have others working off them. 

Step Three:

Make sure that the water supply to and from the pump can be isolated, and the pipework should be 22mm to reduce any flow resistance. Even if it has 15mm connections, you should still use 22mm pipework. A flange should also be attached to the top of the hot water cylinder to prevent air from escaping. 

Step Four:

Ensure the outgoing and delivery pipes are flexible, because they are less likely to break or be affected by the vibrations that occur when the pump is running.

This also means that the noise levels will tend to be reduced, and there is little risk of damage to the actual pump. Make sure to flush the pipes before they are connected to the pump. 

Step Five:

once it has been installed, prime the pump. To do this, switch the electrical supply off and run a bucket of water out of both the hot and cold sides until it runs clear. This means that air will not be trapped in the pump while it is running. 

Can a New Shower Head Improve Water Pressure? 

The short answer? Yes, it really can, and it is perfect if you are looking at how to increase shower pressure without a pump. There are a few shower head issues that could cause the water pressure to below:

  • You have a water saving shower head 
  • You have a bad shower head that blocks easily 
  • Your shower head is dirty 

These three factors can be detrimental. If you have a shower head that blocks easily (I have one like that currently, and it is a nightmare) just replace it. There is no point trying to fix it, most of the time it won’t work, and they are cheap to replace.

If you have a water saving shower head, again, replacing it is the best way to boost your water pressure. A top tip for new shower heads; pick one up that is easy to clean, these have nozzles that just need you to rub a finger on them in order to keep them clean.

Now, if your shower head is dirty, there is a way to fix that. One of the best and most effective ways to clean your shower head is to leave it to soak in a bucket of white vinegar for 30 minutes.

If you have a mounted shower, just tie a plastic bag around it and fill it with white vinegar. After, drain the basin/bag and scrub the nozzles on the shower head to remove any excess limescale and debris. Then, rinse it out and make sure that it is running smoothly. 

To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide was just what you needed to try and solve your shower pressure issues. It could be something simple, like replacing your shower head, or something more serious that requires the attention of a plumber, but there are so many things you can try to get things working properly again.

Plus, we even included a handy guide to installing your own shower pump if you feel like taking that road. What did you think of our guide to increasing your shower pressure? Did our solutions work for you, or are there others you would have added? We love hearing from you, so leave us a message in the comments below. 

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How to Seal a Shower – Detailed DIY Guide with Video and Pics

How to Seal a Shower – Detailed DIY Guide with Video and Pics
How to Seal a Shower – Detailed DIY Guide with Video and Pics

If you are installing a new shower, the sealant is an essential part of the process. Without it, you lose that watertight seal that keeps the water away from under your tiles and protects your walls and floor.

Even if you already have sealant in place, it’s not something that will last forever, and there will come a time when it needs to be replaced. Sometimes, it will get covered in black mould from prolonged exposure to moisture and cannot be cleaned. Other times, it will lose its adhesion and peel away from the surface.

You might be sat here thinking that you have no idea how to fix this issue, and are currently sighing over the costs you can expect from a handyman. However, it’s not a difficult task at all, and this guide will transform you into a sealant expert. Why not give it a try? 

How Long Should Shower Sealant Last? 

A lot of this can be down to how often it is used, the quality of the sealant, and how well it is maintained. A poor-quality sealant won’t usually last as long, and may need to be resealed once or twice a year. A good sealant could last as long as ten years, although it is often closer to five.

If your sealant becomes mouldy and you cannot clean it all off, it will need to be replaced quickly to avoid health issues, and you may need to consider a dehumidifier or ventilation system.

While it is really down to individual situations, we can roughly estimate that the sealant will last around three years – based on the average between poor and good quality sealants. 

How Long Do You Need to Leave Silicone Sealant to Dry? 

Now, this really does depend on a few factors; the sealant type and the temperature of the bathroom.

There are some sealants that will be dry in an hour, and while this might seem like a very tempting choice, they do also tend to be poorer quality than others on the market, and so you will find they need to be replaced more frequently and they may also fall apart faster.

Higher quality silicone sealant will take longer to dry, and this is where the temperature factor comes into play. If it is cold in your bathroom, it will take 36 hours to dry, and in a warm room, it will be 24 hours. 

However, if it is too warm, then you may end up with a film over the sealant, or it may not stick correctly to the surface. This is why a temperature of 18C is recommended. 

How Often Should You Reseal a Shower? 

Similar to the first section in this guide, it really does depend on your personal circumstances, as well as issues like mould, and the frequency you use the shower. Often, the sealant on a bath will need to be replaced a lot less because it is not used as often as a shower.

If you use a sealant that is poor in terms of quality, it is often advised that you replace it every 6-12 months to ensure that it remains adhesive and watertight.

If your shower is used regularly, you can usually get away with resealing it every two years without an issue, as it will generally remain waterproof (especially if you are using a good quality sealant).

Mould can be an issue as well, causing you to need to reseal more regularly, but there is a way around this. The second you spot the mould, make sure to clean and remove it instead of leaving it for later; because this is how it ends up being too late. You should also consider improving ventilation. 

You Will Need the Following

  • Silicone sealant 
  • A sealant gun (for accuracy)
  • Stanley knife
  • Masking tape 
  • A damp, soft, cloth 
  • Sealant tool (for finishing touches)

Once you have gathered all of these tools and items, you will be ready to move onto the next stage and get the work done. Check out the next section for detailed steps on how to seal your shower. 

Method

Below are each of the steps you need to follow in order to seal your shower quickly and professionally. Of course, there are a couple of things you should remember before we go any further.

The first is that you should always read the instructions on the sealant that you buy, as the manufacturer may have a couple of specific steps that need to be taken.

The area should be completely clean, so free from dust and dirt, to ensure that it sticks to the area properly. If the area is damp, it may also reduce the adhesion, so you should make sure that it is entirely dry in order to get the best possible results. 

Step 1

Check that the area is clean and dry, but also that you have silicone sealant and not grout or caulk.

This is because silicone sealant is the only waterproof product out of the three, and it is also a lot more flexible, which means it can be used on joints and edges without cracking. Place the tube into the sealant gun, and you will be ready to go. 

Step 2

Take your masking tape and stick it along the shower tray with a 3mm gap between it and the wall. Then, grab another length of tape and place it 3mm above the bathtub.

This will leave you with a good gap for the silicone sealant to be placed. It also means that if you spill any, it will get on the tap instead of your surfaces, making it easier to clean.

Step 3

Cut the nozzle according to the instructions on it, and ensure that you are using the narrowest point on it. Then, run it along the edge of the tray slowly, making sure that every gap is filled.

You can use a sealant tool or your finger to push anything that is falling out back into the gaps. Before you move onto the next area, ensure that it is completely airtight and that there are no gaps. 

Step 4

Now take the Stanley knife and cut further down the nozzle. This will give you a wider opening, and therefore a wider layer of silicone sealant. Use it to go over the areas that you have already applied the sealant to, creating a second layer around the entirety of the shower tray. 

Step 5

You can use your finger to check that there are no gaps or lumps in the silicone sealant by running it along the strips after dampening it a little. Once you have confirmed this, remove the masking tape quickly before the sealant dries. 

Step 6

Wipe the excess away from the sealant nozzle and replace the cap, remembering to release the pressure so that it does not leak into the lid. Use the damp cloth to wipe away any sealant that has managed to make its way into your shower tray so that you can have it all clean before it dries.

Step 7

Use the smoothing tool to make sure that everything is nice and neat, and generally give it a good tidy up so that when it dries, it looks professional. Clear up any excess from this and then leave the silicone sealant to fully dry before you use your shower again. 

Also Read: How to Remove Silicone from Shower

To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide has been able to teach you all about how to seal your shower, but also give you some useful information about silicone sealant and its maintenance.

It’s actually quite easy to do, but we will give you the same advice we always do with home renovation projects – take your time and do it slowly to avoid mistakes. There’s no rush, and your bathroom will be left looking amazing.

What did you think of our shower sealing guide? Did it help you to become an expert in the field, or are there things that you would have liked to see included. We love hearing from you, so why not send us a message, or even a picture of the finished job, in the comment section below. 

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How to Install a Concealed Shower Valve Mixer – DIY Guide

How to Install a Concealed Shower Valve Mixer – DIY Guide
How to Install a Concealed Shower Valve Mixer – DIY Guide

A concealed shower can be quite a bit of extra work, but the results are so worth it. They are some of the most beautiful and stylish showers out there, so if you take the time to get the job done, you are very unlikely to regret it.

Of course, a concealed shower also means concealed valves, and as these are quite an essential part of the shower installation process, it is important to know how to do it correctly and safely, all while ensuring they remain fully concealed. This DIY guide is exactly what you have been searching for. 

What Does a Concealed Shower Mean? 

When people refer to a concealed shower, it means that practically everything is hidden safely in the wall, floor, or ceiling. So, you won’t be able to see any pipework or a unit, and the only things that tend to be visible are the taps, temperature controls, and shower head.

It looks amazing, but having a fully concealed shower can be a little impractical. Many people go for what is known as a partially concealed shower, and this is where the shower head is on an adjustable rail.

The adjustable shower head does make cleaning much easier (especially if you have pets or kids), but it doesn’t look quite as spiffy as the fully concealed variety. While the form that you go for is entirely your choice, it should be noted that the vast majority of concealed showers are power showers.

If you are looking to install one of these, there will be electrical work required, and you must get an electrician out to do the work for you, or check over anything you have done before you can use the shower. 

Fast Fixing Kits for Concealed Shower and Valves 

There are some mixer shower valves that come with something called a fast fixing kit, and this is supposed to allow for the easy connection to the tails in one movement.

Most showers have this option available, and they make everything so much quicker and simpler. If you have copper pipes, it should be noted that these will be fitted with compression or soldered joints. Flexible pipes, on the other hand, will be push-fitted together. 

Two-Way Concealed Shower Valve 

These run two outlets, such as an overhead shower and a side shower, or even a bath filler. It will have at least two handles attached to the valve, and if this is the case, then one of them will be a diverter and the other temperature control.

They are also known as a dual or twin shower valve, and are one of the most popular choices in modern bathrooms. Controlling the flow and temperature separately is incredibly efficient, and it helps to make things clearer for you.

However, there are also two-way valves that allow you to use one handle to control both the temperature and flow while the other determines where the water will be going (another shower head, the bath, and so on). 

Also Read: Sealing a Shower DIY Guide

Three-Way Concealed Shower Valve 

This particular type of shower valve tends to have three controls as opposed to two. It will allow you to run two of the outlets at the same time and each one of them independently, but this can depend on the manufacturer as well.

They are also known as triple valves and have been referred to as recessed/built-in valves. They are usually designed to be hidden behind a wall so that only the controls are visible, and all modern models are thermostatic so that you have complete control over the temperature at all times.

The handles usually work where one controls the flow, one is for the temperature, and the other divers the water to other outlets. It’s a handy and efficient process, especially with the extra handle. 

Fitting the Concealed Shower Valve 

Once you have chosen your ideal shower valve, you can get to the installation process. Of course, the aim is to ensure that it is hidden, and we have the perfect way to achieve that for you. Time to dust off the toolbox and get ready for a day of hard work; DIY style.

The best way to achieve the concealed shower effect is through false walls that contain all of the pipework and other components that you don’t want to be visible.

These must be carefully constructed, and accurate measurements should be taken before you begin building them. You can use flexible connectors to feed the shower with hot and cold-water supplies, and these pipes tend to be long-lasting because of their flexible design. 

The hot and cold feed will need T-junctions to be put in place, and if you have plastic pipes connecting to copper tails, you should also ensure they are done so with the appropriate fixing kit. This is something you can check with your local hardware store, as it often depends on the piping.

Also Read: Shower Pump Problems

The copper tails should be passed through a backboard to ensure that they are in the exact location they need to be for when the plasterboard is fitted over them.

You must make sure that none of the pipework is able to move, as stability is key for a secure and safe shower system. Once the plasterboard is installed, the valves can be as well. 

It’s a very simple process in terms of the number of steps, but it does require you knowing the ins and outs of your plumbing system, where everything is, and also being confident enough to build false walls in your bathroom.

If you decide to undertake this project, do so slowly and with great care. If you feel lost or unsure at any point, call a plumber in to do the rest. It’s better to be safe rather than end up with a leaky valve. 

To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide has been able to teach you more than just how to install a concealed shower valve, and you have learned a lot more about how they work as well as what they are made up of.

Having a concealed shower might seem like a lot of work at first, but with this guide, we are able to ease you through the process so that you can achieve your dream bathroom without too much stress and hassle. 

What did you think of our concealed shower valve installation guide? Did it have everything you expected, or are there areas that left you feeling stuck? We love hearing from you, so feel free to leave us a message in the comments below. 

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How to Fit a Power Shower – DIY Installation Guide 2019

How to Fit a Power Shower – DIY Installation Guide 2019
How to Fit a Power Shower – DIY Installation Guide 2019

Are you getting ready to have a power shower installed in your home? Are you looking to do the job yourself instead of hiring the professionals? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you are in the right place.

We have compiled this excellent guide to doing the whole thing yourself – from figuring out the costs, to the actual installation of your new power shower. Are you ready for the wash of your life? It’s time to get out the toolkit and start work on your dream shower. 

How Much Does It Cost to Fit a Power Shower? 

A lot of this depends on the path you choose. If you decide to go with a professional plumber, you could be looking at around £500 for a new installation in your bathroom. For simply replacing an existing system, however, a plumber and the shower is more likely to cost around £300 instead.

It should be noted that the day rates for both plumbers and electricians are approximately £150 to £200, and then you factor in the cost of the shower unit on top of that.

New installations tend to cost more because both the plumbing and electrics within your home will need work, but it also depends on how much of it you are prepared to do yourself. 

Can I Have a Power Shower in My Bathroom? 

A typical power shower works in much the same way as a mixer shower in that it combines hot and cold water from the appropriate tanks to create the perfect temperature. They also tend to come with a pump to increase pressure, which is why they are so suited to homes with low pressure.

As a result, they tend to work best with gravity fed systems. There are also electric versions of power showers available for you to buy, and these do not need access to both water tanks as they heat the cold water up within the unit.

Again, they work best with the gravity fed systems. While there are some mixer versions that can be compatible with a combi boiler, it is essential that you check with a professional or the manufacturer before you buy and install the power shower. 

Further Reading: Tips for Increasing Water Pressure

Preparation 

There are a couple of things you need to do before you can install a new shower, and each of them is essential. The first is checking the kilowatt rating as soon as possible. This will give you a rough idea of how much the shower will cost to run because it will tell you how much power it needs.

Therefore, you have time to look into options that are cost-effective or have lower power settings. You should also ensure the room is clear and free from clutter. This gives you a good working space, but also ensures that nothing of value will get damaged during the installation process.

You should also have a qualified electrician booked to come and check the finished results. Even if you are doing it yourself, you need to be safe and make sure that everything is working correctly. Plus, they will be needed to make the final connection. 

Materials Needed and Instructions 

Now that you are prepared for the installation, you need a list of the materials required for you to get on with the job. We’ve gathered an excellent one for you below:

  • Drill (and bits)
  • Electronic detector 
  • Adjustable wrench 
  • Reciprocal saw 
  • Compressed tee fixing 
  • Pipe cutter 
  • A good screwdriver set 
  • Pencil 

Once you have all of these items gathered up and are ready to go, you can follow each of these steps to get your power shower installed:

#1 The first thing you need to do is switch off the fuse box. Once this is done, you can find a good position for your new shower unit. When you have found the perfect place, take the front cover for the water heater, lean it against the wall, and trace the outline with a pencil. Make sure you clearly mark drill hole locations, pipe points, and cable points. 

#2 Before you get down to drilling, take the electronic detector and scan the wall to ensure that you aren’t going to hit or interfere with anything. When that is all clear, you can begin drilling the fixing holes in the wall.

As a safety side note, the electrical cables from the water heater in the wall should be buried in the middle of the switch and unit either horizontally or vertically. 

#3 Now, drill the holes for the pipes and cable. If you need to, use a reciprocal saw to get everything just right, and then use the wall bracket or sliding rail so that you can make the outline for the shower rail hole position.

Then, turn off the main stopcock and run the cold tap dry. You can then use an adjustable wrench to connect the copper piping to the rising main with the compressed tee fixing.

#4 For this step, cut a hole in the wall at the mains pipe so that the compressed fixing can be accommodated. Once this is done, put the new copper piping in the third arm on the tee and place a stop valve close to the tee so that you have easy access for any future repairs.

Turn the stop valve off, reconnect the cold-water supply, and then attach a flexible hose over the end of the copper pipe. 

#5 You should then flush the new pipe so that you can check for leaks. Once finished, shut off the stop valve and link the copper pipe to the bottom of the heater unit. You should use an elbow pipe for this part, as well as a nut that can be sealed with an adjustable wrench.

You can then open the stop valve again to check the whole system for potential leaks. All you need now is for an electrician to come and ensure that everything is hooked up correctly to the electrics. Just make sure the unit is attached securely to the wall, as well as any railings, and you are good to go.

Choosing a New Power Shower 

When you do go to select the next power shower for your home, you have the difficult task of choosing one that is just right. You will have the option of an electric or water-based system, and each of them is explained in a little more detail below:

  • Electric. This is ideal for a high-pressure combi boiler, especially as they take less time to fit and don’t need a lot of pipework.
  • Water-based. This runs directly from the mains supply while it is also using an integrated booster pump to draw the hot water from the tank. 
  • Mixer. This is for those who have separate hot and cold tanks for their water. They cost less to run, but do need a little more maintenance. 

Power Shower Pipework Size 

While there are varying sizes of power shower pipes out there, only one of them achieves the best results. A 22mm set of pipework is the ideal size, and alongside a 2-3 bar shower pump, you are sure to be enjoying the best shower of your life as soon as you turn it on. 

Also Read: How to Fit a Power Shower

To Conclude

Hopefully, this little guide has been able to help you gain the confidence to take on your DIY project. Alongside the steps to fitting your power shower, there is a plethora of handy information and tips so that you get the project just right.

Of course, we always advise that you seek out professional help if you feel stuck, concerned, or even a little unsure during the process. After all, having an incorrectly installed power shower would be an absolute nightmare.

What did you think of our power shower installation guide? Did it help you to achieve success, or are there areas you felt were lacking? We love hearing from you, so make sure to leave us a message in the comment section below.

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Give your Bathroom a Makeover – Remove & Replace Your Tile Grout

Give your Bathroom a Makeover - Remove & Replace Your Tile Grout
Give your Bathroom a Makeover - Remove & Replace Your Tile Grout

Grout is not something we often think about when we are in the bathroom, and it is only when it becomes grimy that we really start to notice it’s there. Usually, by this point, the grout is past the point of no return, and it needs to be fully removed and replaced in order to be fully functional as well as look good.

It’s not always the most convenient task, but it is fairly simple to complete, and with the help of this handy guide we have compiled for you, we are sure you’ll be able to undertake the task with no problem. It’s time to get the tools out and learn how to replace your tile grout. 

Why Do This? 

Before we get into why you should replace your tile grout, you should first check to see if it can be salvaged at all, as this will reduce your workload and means that you won’t need to go through with the whole removing and replacing process.

If your grout has mould on it, there are several ways you can clean it – using a chemical mould killer or natural solutions – and we have a great little guide that covers the various cleaning methods for you to read.

Before you head over to our grout cleaning page, here is a quick rundown of some of the natural methods you can use when you’re wondering how to clean grout in showers:

  • Mix a small amount of bleach with baking soda and create a paste. Apply it to the affected grout and leave it to sit for around 10 minutes. Then, take an old toothbrush and scrub it, repeating several times if the mould is quite bad. After, rinse with clean water and wash the area. 
  • Mix hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap together to create a paste. Apply it to the grout and leave it to sit for around 5-10 minutes. Then, use an old toothbrush to scrub the area, and rinse with clean water once finished. 

However, if your shower grout is so mouldy that chemical and natural solutions no longer work, removal and replacement may be the only way to go. The black mould that grows in bathrooms can be damaging to your health, and for those who have asthma and allergies, it can even lead to hospitalisation.

If you have brown mould, it is likely that there is a leak behind your tiles, and you should not undertake any re-grouting work until this has been repaired. What are the other reasons you might remove your grout?

If your grout is chipping or crumbling, it needs to be removed and replaced because it is no longer watertight, and it also looks unappealing. It may also be because the grout was not applied properly in the first place, and so a new application will be able to fix the issue.

Further Reading:  Tips for Fitting a Shower Screen

One key thing to remember when putting new grout in is to make sure that you do not leave any holes when you are finished as this can let water through, causing mould and also the tiles to become loose. You may also want to change the colour of the grout, and for this to happen it will usually need to be completely replaced. 

There are loads of different grout colours available, so you may find yourself surprised by the selection provided. Sometimes, it is possible to colour the existing grout, but this method is far less effective than taking the time to replace it. 

How to Soften Grout for Removal 

A lot of the time you will find that you don’t need to soften the grout before removal, but sometimes it will have set incredibly hard and be difficult to get rid of – especially if it has solidified on a hard surface.

When this happens, there are a few different methods you can use in order to soften it up a little so that it is easier to scrape out. We have each of them listed below:

  • Use a high-pressure steam jet and apply it directly to the grout. This will make it softer and much easier to remove. The jet needs to be positioned close to the grout in order to be most effective. 
  • Apply warm water and lemon juice to the grout and allow it to soak in. It should help to soften the area a little to make removal easier. For grout that has solidified on a surface it should not have, use steel wool to remove it as the water dissolves the grout. 
  • You can also use a heat gun or hair dryer positioned around 8in away from the grout. The heat will cause the grout to become a lot softer, and therefore easier to take out. 

Once the grout has been softened, you can move onto the next stage of the process; the actual removal. In the sections below, you will be able to learn more about the ways you can remove grout both with hand tools and powered ones. 

Grout Removal Tools

If you want to remove the grout in your bathroom by hand, you will need a tool known as a grout rake. While quite small, it has been specifically designed for this task, and most models will come with replaceable blades so that you can use it for years to come.

It might seem like using this tool will become a very time-consuming task, but actually, it doesn’t take that long at all. Generally speaking, these tools are very affordable, so you won’t need to spend a lot on your new grout rake.

There are also some models that will allow you to fit two blades so that work with tiles that have large gaps, and therefore a lot more grout to remove. They can also mark your tiles and scratch them if not used carefully, so make sure you don’t rush during the removal process. Even when you are taking your time, the whole thing is still pretty quick.

How do you use the grout rake though? Here are the quick and simple steps:

#1 Place the grout rake in the joint, and push it gently into the grout. It should not be more than 2mm in the grout to be effective.

#2 Move the rake up and down while applying gentle force. You will see the powder start to drop as it is loosened.

#3 Repeat the above step until the whole joint is clear, and then move onto the next section. 

Also Read: Best Silicone Sealant for Showers

Grout Removal Power Tools

Large areas are often impractical to clear if you are using hand tools, and power tools are the best option in cases like this. It will take less time, and still do an excellent job keeping everything clear.

However, when you are using power tools, you should make sure that you wear safety goggles to avoid any dust or debris getting in your eyes. You should also take things slowly, as rushing and slipping could result in destroying entire tiles.

The best thing to do before you undertake the entire bathroom is to practice with the tools on an unseen area. That way, if there is any damage to the tile, it will not be noticed, and you get the chance to learn how to control the tools properly.

There are also loads of different tools you can choose from as well, some of which were designed to deal with grout. However, these are expensive and only really used by professionals – which is why a multitool will do the job perfectly. 

What you will need:

  • Oscillating multitool 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Gloves 
  • Flathead screwdriver 
  • Dull Stanley knife 

The steps:

#1 Fit the tool with a blade that has been specially designed for dealing with grout removal. Then, hold the tool up to the grout (horizontally or vertically, depending on the joint you are working on) and switch it on, gently pressing the tool into the grout. The blade will be able to get through the grout without you forcing it, so be careful.

#2 Once the joint is clear, angle the tool so that it can work on the next one following the same method as the previous step. As you continue to work on the grout, your arm may start to get tired. If this is the case, you can rest it on your toolbox while you work to keep everything steady.

#3 Now that all the joints have been cleared using the power tool, you can remove the excess that is stuck using a flathead screwdriver. Make sure the head fits in the joints and then use it to scrape the stubborn chunks of grout out. Don’t remove everything though; the next step helps with this.

#4 Take the blunt Stanley knife and use it to get the little bits that are left in the joint out. The dulled blade is better for this, but it also removes the risk of the sharp point snapping off and potentially causing you injury.

Once these steps are complete, you can move onto actually replacing the grout with new stuff. 

Grout Removal with Chemicals 

If you have really tough grout, there is also the option to use chemicals in order to remove it. It’s also really easy to get your hands on some, as you can find it in your local hardware store or a specialist tile shop.

Most of these places have it available to order on their websites as well, but be careful not to mix it up with grout cleaner as this won’t have the effect you are looking for.

Removing grout with chemicals will make the grout incredibly soft and easy to take out, but you will still need a hand tool to remove the chunks smoothly. You should also remember to wear gloves and old clothes, as well as safety goggles, because getting chemical remover in your eyes could have painful results. 

Continually Vacuum Grout Work During and After 

When you are removing the grout from the tiles, you will find it creates a lot of mess and dust. This can obscure your vision, and may lead to you accidentally damaging your tiles or wall because you cannot see where everything is.

This is why you should use the vacuum cleaner almost constantly when you are removing grout. It will get rid of the dust and debris, leaving your work area clean and making sure that you are able to see what you are doing at all times. Vacuuming also means that each of the joints is completely clear, ready for new grout. 

How to Apply New Grout 

The application of new grout is actually a lot easier than the removal process. It does need care and attention, which means a slow and steady pace works best. Instead of listing instructions, we have included a fantastic video that will teach you all about what you need, how to apply the new grout, and finishing it off. 

To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide has been able to take you through the various methods you can use for grout removal so that you can get your bathroom back to looking spectacular.

Whether you are undertaking the task by hand or using power tools, there is definitely a way for you to get the work done with minimal stress and hassle.

What did you think of our guide to grout removal? Did it help you to give your bathroom the makeover it needed, or did you feel it was missing something? We love hearing from you, so make sure to leave us a message in the comments below.