How to Remove Black Flaking in a Jetted Bathtub?


By the time you see any type of flaking coming out of the jets of a whirlpool bathtub. it’s already too late. The flaking are remnants of bacteria, mostly harmful, condos that have now decayed and are ruining your visual of a relaxing spa bath. Don’t use bleach. First things first, we don’t use bleach because over time it will breakdown gaskets, bushings, etc.


We also won’t use any dishwashing detergent since it will put a coating layer on the flaking we are trying to remove. Fill the jetted tub up with warm water 1″ about the highest jet. Add a non toxic bio cleaner to the water per the instructions on the cleaning product label, normally it is 1 teaspoon or 1 capful, depending upon the bio cleaner.


Run the jets, turn off the air valve if you have one, on high for 10-15 minutes. This allows the bio cleaner to scrape off the gunk (flakes) that are solidified on the pipe and jet walls. Bio Cleaners use special properties that are ecological, green and non toxic and have the capability to eradicate bacteria, algae, mold, mildew, dead skin, soaps, and other gunk in the piping and remove them to the sides of the tub.


When you have completed the 10-15 cleaning cycle, remove 2 inches (5.1 cm) of water, clean the “ring around the tub”, refill with 2 inches (5.1 cm) of water and repeat the process. You will have to add more bio cleaner in as well. To maintain a clean jetted tub, you really need to clean it once a week, preferably after a bath to save on water.


Paint on 2-3 coats of the new finish with a brush and roller. Always paint in 1 direction when you apply the new coat to your tub. Roll on the new finish to the floors and sides in even back-and-forth rolls until the flat area is completely covered. Fill in the corners and curves of the tub with even back-and-forth brush strokes. Let each coat dry for at least 30 minutes before you put the next coat on.

How to Make a Bathtub Tray?


Making a tray for your bathtub is a pretty basic DIY project requiring very little carpentry know-how! The first step is to simply purchase a piece of lumber large enough to fit your tub and hold all of your bath gear. If you want to be fancy about it, you can create holders for specific items by purchasing an extra piece of wood, cutting holes out of it, and then attaching that to your baseboard.


Or you can keep it simple by sticking to just 1 piece of wood. Either way, it’s only a matter of sealing your wood, sticking some grippers to the bottom, and attaching a pair of handles if desired. An older clawfoot tub may not support a tray without it falling in. Add support legs to the ends of your tray so it braces against the side of the tub.


Purchase lumber cut to size. Bring your tub’s measurements to the store. Select the size board you need (for example, a 1” x 10”). Ask the staff to cut it down to size to match the width of your tub. When you bring it home, double-check that the board rests on both sides of your tub’s rim. If you are creating holders, remember to ask for a second board of equal size.


To avoid confusion, remember that lumber sizes are H x W (for example, 1” high and 10” wide). Therefore you are cutting the board’s length to match your tub’s width. Add an extra half-inch (1.25 cm) or so to each measurement to make sure the object has adequate room to fit. For square or rectangular holders, use a table saw to cut them. For circular holes, attach an appropriately sized hole saw to a screw gun.


Attach the 2 boards. First, sand the edges of each cut with sandpaper so they’re smooth, as well as the top of the base board. Then place the top board on top of the base board so they line up evenly. Use drywall screws to screw them together around all four sides. Make sure your screws aren’t so long that they poke through the bottom of your base board.

How Adding the Finishing Touches?


Stain and finish your wood. First, smooth the board’s surfaces and edges with sandpaper and then clean away any sawdust. Then apply stain to match the color of your bathroom’s other wooden features, if desired. Once it dries, add a coat of wood finish (or, to make things simpler, use an all-in-one stain and finish mix to eliminate a step).


Skip the stain if you want to, but definitely seal the wood with a finish to protect it from moisture. Steam from your bath may warp unprotected wood over time. Use a rag or brush to apply either one. When you do, brush or rub with the board’s grain, not against it. Allow the stain to dry overnight before adding finish. Do the same after adding the finish before proceeding to the next step.


Wear protective gloves when using stains and finishes. Also, use a drop cloth or similar material to protect surfaces in your work area. Add handles. Attach handles to the top of the tray, if desired, for easy transport. Use cupboard pulls or any other type of handle that suits your taste. Follow their directions for installation, since each type of hardware may have its own specific instructions.


However, bear in mind: Cupboards pulls as well as other forms of handles may require you to screw through the bottom of the tray, rather than the top. If so, expect the screw heads to project out of the bottom once they are screwed in. Even if you use flatheads, this may result in the screw heads scratching the rim of your tub.


To avoid this, create a pilot hole by attaching a countersink bit to your screw gun. This will cut both a pilot hole for the screw as well as a slight divot in the wood’s surface that will fit the screw head. Attach grippers. Minimize the chance of your tray slipping off the tub’s rim due to moisture and anything else that may make it slippery, like bath oils.

How Creating Holders?


Decide which objects need them. If you’ve decided on creating holders in a second piece of wood, consider what you intend to bring into the tub with you. Out of those, decide which would be most disastrous if they were to fall into the water (or even out of the tub entirely). These could be: Paper materials, like books or magazines. Glass objects, like a mug or wine glass. Open flames, like candles.


Map out their placement. Depending on what you’re creating holders for, think about where on your tray is best to place each object. Consider what else you will be holding on your tray and how often you will be reaching for each item. Also consider which of your hands is dominant and most likely to do all the reaching.


Placing a holder for a candle toward the back of the tray is always a good idea. This way you won’t be reaching over an open flame for anything else. If you’re right-handed, placing a cup holder on the right side and a candle holder on the left is advisable since you will be reaching for your cup more frequently than the candle, and vice versa if you’re left-handed.


Also keep in mind that your hands and arms will probably become wet at some point. So if you’re creating a holder to place a book after reading, set this toward the rear or to the side of your cup holder so you don’t drip water over it when you take your next drink. A hole 3⁄4 inch (19 mm) deep with a slot 1⁄2 inch (13 mm) thick can hold most wine glasses so they don’t spill.


Mark and cut your top board. First, designate 1 piece of wood to be the base of the tray and set it aside for now. Use the other piece as your topper. Now, for each object that will receive a holder, measure its bottom. Use these measurements to trace an outline on your topper to then cut out with a saw.

How Designing Your Tray?


Decide what your tray will hold. First, think about what you intend to keep on your tray during baths and how much space each object will need. Make sure that you use a piece of lumber that is wide enough to hold everything. Allow extra space so nothing is sitting on the edge of the tray. For example: A 1” x 10” (2.5 x 25 cm) board should be wide enough to hold a book, candle, and glass with room to spare.


However, be aware that lumber sizes (such as 1” x 10”) refer to when the wood is freshly cut before it dries out and shrinks. So, if you have something wider than 10 inches that you want to place on your tray, you will need a wider board than a 1” x 10”. Choose how many layers of wood you will need. Decide between making a simple tray with no raised surfaces or one with holders for certain objects.


For the simplest tray, plan on using a single piece of lumber. Or, to minimize the risk of spilling stuff into the tub, purchase a second piece of equal size to create holders before attaching it to the base board. Alternately, you could rim the entire tray by screwing smaller pieces of lumber, like a 1” x 2” (2.5 x 5 cm), around all four edges of the base board instead of creating individual holders.


Line the tray with wood trim on each side 1 to 1.5 in (2.5 to 3.8 cm) wider than the tray to have an attractive raised lip. Use a piece of plexiglass as the base layer and a piece of wood the same size on top with holders cut into it. The plexiglass is easy to clean, waterproof, and it will protect the wood.


Measure your tub. Use a measuring tape to determine the width of your tub. Be sure to include the rim on either side, since this is where your tray will rest. Also double-check that the rim on either side is level with each other. Surround units (where the tub and the shower stall are all one unbroken piece) may incorporate designs without a level rim on the inside of the stall.

How to Tile a Shower?


A tiled shower adds beauty and durability and value to your home, and you can tile your shower all by yourself. There are several things you need to do to properly prepare a leak-proof shower. If you are tiling a shower for the first time, consult with a general contractor before starting the job. Use a hole saw with a carbide bit to cut the holes where the shower head and handles would come through.


Make the cement board flush with the tile lip of your shower pan by using shims behind the board to bring it out to the desired thickness. Make sure to use composite shims. Use 100% silicone caulk to seal the seams between the panels and then apply the silicone behind the board on the stud. Add some seam tape between the panels as well.


Lay the drywall. If using crown molding near the ceiling, lay down 12 to 18 inches (30.5 to 45.7 cm) of drywall instead of cement board. Nails used to fix the crown molding in place will not travel through the cement backer; you’ll need to use moisture-resistant drywall such as greenboard in order to take the nails and affix the molding.


Feather any edges with seam tape and thin set mortar where the backer board meets the wallboard. If there’s a gap between the backer board and the wallboard, you’ll want to use seam tape and then feather the gap with thin set mortar so that it appears as one continuous back. Remember that the seams must remain tight with gaps 3/16″ or smaller. Paint a water resistant primer over any areas you intend to tile.


After you’ve feathered the edges to remove the gap, apply a high quality water resistant exterior primer over the feathered wallboard and backer. Trowel some thin-set onto the back of the tile and spread it with a notched trowel. This process is called “back buttering.” Apply mortar to the backer board along with back buttering and then set the tiles on top of that. It’s a lot cleaner, too!

How Finishing up Tile a Shower?

Grout the tile. Mix up a batch of grout and let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes. Lightly wet the area you’ll be grouting with a damp sponge and dump a bit of grout onto the area. Use a rubber float to smooth it into the joints, attacking each joint at a diagonal angle. After 30-40 minutes (check the directions on the bag of grout) you want to wipe the excess grout with a damp sponge and a circular motion.


Keep wiping with a clean sponge until the tile is clear. The tiles may look a bit hazy even after wiping, so you may have to buff them with a clean sponge to get rid of this haze. Let the grout cure for approximately 3 days before sealing. Then, seal the grout. Run a thin bead of liquid grout or aerosol grout sealer onto the grout line and wipe away.


Let dry and then test its water resistance by dropping water onto the sealed grout. Correctly sealed grout will cause the water to bead up on top of it. Caulk any needed areas. Make sure to use a grout caulk to match the colors. As you caulk, remember to pull the caulk gun relatively quickly across the joint.


Most amateurs caulk too slow and end up dropping too much caulk down on the joint. Other things to remember: Keep the tip angled as you run the bead along the joint. Match the speed with which you pull the caulk gun trigger with the rate at which you pull the gun along the joint. You don’t want to be pulling the gun fast but triggering slowly, or vice versa.


After applying the bead of caulk, “bed” it by running a damp finger across the bead with light pressure. Make sure that your grout chalk matches the grout. Let the caulk dry and redo it if you are not happy with the results. Let the tile set for 48 hours. This will make sure that the mortar has adhered properly to both the tile backing and the cement board backer.

How Laying the Tiles?


Mark your tile layout on the substrate and mark out your first course carefully. If your shower enclosure walls are not perfectly square, or if you plan to install accent tiles, the layout of these tiles becomes increasingly important. Measure up from the bottom of the backer board the height of a tile minus 1/2″. This will give you a 1/2″ overlap over the tile lip on your shower pan.


Make sure that you allow room for the grout joints as well. Mark this with a sharpie or chalk and using a level, transfer the mark across the shower stall. This will be a guide for the top of the first row so that all tiles will be level. Only use dry tiles make sure that the lay out works as well. Another way to plan out the first row of tiles is to measure the high part and low part of the shower pan.


Make the cut spot on the low end a full tile, mark it, and then cut the tiles on the high side down to the level of the uncut tile on the low side. Keeping grout lines away from the inside corners of the enclosure can prevent the need for tiny tiles and poor grout joints. Plan accordingly and always make cuts tight on the inside corner.


Mix enough thin-set for the bottom row. You want your thin-set to be the consistency of peanut butter — not too thick or it will dry out and not too thin or you’ll have a hard time setting the mortar with strength and cleaning. Use an electric drill and a mortar mixing bit attached to your drill to mix your thin-set mortar. This will ensure even consistency and ultimately a better product.


Let the mortar set for seven minutes and then mix it again. Dampen the cement board with a sponge before applying the mortar. If you do not, the cement board will draw the moisture out of the thin-set too quickly, making for a brittle set that is susceptible to cracking.

How Preparing the Shower for Tiles?


Gut the shower stall down to the studs. You may need to remove the shower pan and ceiling, as well. Do not put down any plastic because this can trap moisture and lead to rotting. Instead, use a product that you can paint on to help prevent moisture.


Choose a vapor barrier to install and introduce according to manufacturer directions. If you fail to install a vapor barrier, you might grow mold and mildew as moisture from your shower escapes through the tiles and into walls. Improperly installed tile and grout can allow water vapor to pass into the space behind.


When installing a vapor barrier on an exterior wall, it may be helpful to seal a plastic vapor barrier to the concrete floor but not all the way up to the top of the ceiling. With insulation improperly installed, or in colder climates, there’s a chance that condensation that forms behind the vapor barrier will cause the framing members to rot.


In order to avoid that possibility, install the vapor barrier with space to spare so that the gap behind the vapor barrier can breathe. Use a roll on product, such as Red Guard. Wedi boards are another option some consider even better than cement board. If you choose a membranous barrier such as Trugard or Kerdi, you can install plain old drywall or you can just install a cement board instead.


Put up a sturdy cement board backer. Putting up cement board is just like putting up drywall. You cut it to fit using a grinder with a diamond bit, and then screw it to the studs. Leave a 1/8″ gap between panels and then a very small space between the shower pan and the bottom of the backer so that the two don’t squeak by rubbing together.

The Knowledge of Bathtub Installation


For a fiberglass surround, set the entire piece in place so it covers the tub flange. Drive screws with an electric screwdriver into the divots along the sides and top of the surround so it’s secured to the studs. Seal the gap between the tile and tub with silicone sealant. Once you’ve secured the tiles to the backerboard, place a thin bead of silicone around the bottom of the of the tiles to fill in the gap.


Put the tip of the sealant dispenser into the gap, and pull the line slowly so it applies smoothly. Wipe any excess sealant away with your finger. Use your finger to press the bead of caulk into the crack and create a smooth finish by running it over the caulk from one end to the other. Be sure to give the caulk enough time to completely dry before using the bathtub as well.


Drying time will vary based on the type you use, so read the instructions included carefully. Get a 2-component epoxy chip repair kit from the bathroom remodeling or adhesive section of a home improvement store if your kit did not come with it. Put painter’s tape on the walls and around any plumbing fixtures.


Tape along the edges of the tub where they touch the walls and around the faucet and other fixtures. Even if you have a steady hand, it’s easy for paint to go astray! Painter’s tape is the blue masking tape that you can find at hardware and paint stores. Apply 1 coat of primer with a brush and roller.


Use a roller to roll on the primer onto the large, flat sections of the tub like the floor and sides, then use a brush to get into the corners and curved parts. Let it dry for at least 2-3 hours before you start to paint on the new finish. Priming the surface is an important part of ensuring that the new finish adheres correctly so that you end up with the correct texture. Make sure that the primer is completely dry to the touch before you paint over it.