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Old 04-09-2015, 08:19 PM   #1
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Replace this ugly tile: do-able, or too risky?


I'd like to hire someone to replace the mismatched tiles shown in the photos, but don't know if the repair is worth the risk. With care, can a professional chip out the ugly old tiles and fit in new ones? Or is this a more delicate job than I know, that runs the risk of opening a can of worms once the wall is open?

I'd never attempt this on my own, but don't know enough about tiling to guess if I should hire a pro.
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Replace this ugly tile: do-able, or too risky?-tile_fix_1.jpg   Replace this ugly tile: do-able, or too risky?-tile_fix_2.jpg  
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:35 PM   #2
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I'd go ahead an re-tile the whole thing. But to answer you question, yes, the tiles could be removed and replaced.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:43 PM   #3
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Does not seem like a hard project.

Remove the caulk around the faucet & beauty ring.
Unscrew the faucer & handle, then remove the beauty ring.
Take a flathead screwdriver/chisel/anything to pry with & pry the ugly tile off, starting with the inner tiles (to prevent breaking your pretty tiles)

Take a chisel or razor scraper & remove the old tile glue, slap new glue on with a 1/4" notched trowl. Use spacers that match the space of the other tiles (likely 1/4" or 1/8" but hard to tell from photos) & slap matching tile up on there. You might need to cut tile to fit around pipe or valves. This will likely be the hardest part if you dont have a tile cutter, see if a friend has one you could borrow or see about renting one. You can attempt scoring & breaking but that is sometimes hit or miss. If the faucet & beauty ring covers it though, your good.

Let the glue dry overnight Then just grout. I prefer sand grout with grout booster. Then wipe the tile over & over till all the access is gone (prevents hazing) slap the beauty ring, faucet & handle back on, reapply caulk (or clear silicone, would look better) & your golden.

Whole process shouldnt take more than a hour of time, not including letting the adhesive drying overnight & then letting the grout dry overnight before using the shower. Cost would likely be around 50 bucks for materials, assuming you have the tools

It doesn't look like a difficult project mate.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:59 AM   #4
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As bad as that looks I agree with a complete do over.
As old as that looks I would not be surprised if the tile was not installed over sheet rock.
Looks like all the grout is failing.
There never should have been that small strip of tile at the bottom.
That trim ring and spout have been leaking behind the wall for years and caused the old tile to come loose, that's why someone replaced the old tile in that area.
Want to cheap out and not redo it all, then a glued up enclosure and new trim out set would give it a quick make over and not leak any more.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:11 AM   #5
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I agree, I am afraid of what is behind that tile. That looks like black mold where the tile meets the tub and that is a sign there could be more behind the tile, only way to tell is remove some tile and look.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:47 AM   #6
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First, Davejss, Hick, joecaption and BigJim, thanks very much for taking the time to read my post and share your thoughts!

The house was built in the 1940s, and the faucet is a lot newer than that. My guess is that the original faucets were leaking or causing some other grief, and that someone decided to replace them with a modern, single-handle Delta unit, and use mismatched tile to put it back together.

The narrow tiles at the tub are probably original. Maybe it shouldn't have been done that way, but it was.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:32 PM   #7
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I agree with others, it is likely time for a complete do over. However, if you dont want to do that. Yes, replacing just those few tiles is easily done.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:07 PM   #8
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I'm leaning toward:

(a) working with a pro, even though I probably could do it myself. I'd like my first diy tile project to be on something less critical.

(b) seeing how things look when the tile is removed.

If it's bad enough, well, time to budget for a complete bathroom remodel. But that's a big hit in the wallet when all the other tile looks great, and would put the only bathroom in the house out of commission for weeks. No fun.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:41 AM   #9
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You can chip away and replace those tiles no problem.

My concern would be if they thought that mismatching tile was acceptable, they may have thought sheet rock behind the tile or no vapor barrier was acceptable too. If it was me, I'd rip out the tile and whatever is beind it and start fresh at the studs - subway tile is cheap.

Demo - free
Vapor barrier - $20 (tar paper) or $300 (Kerdi) I only use Kerdi!
Hardi Backer and screws - $60
60sqft of subway tile - $300
Thinset and grout - $100
Trowels/spacers/float - $100

Material will run $600 - $900 depending on if you use Kerdi.

You can buy a small tile saw for subways for around $100 that can be used on future projects.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:14 AM   #10
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Or buy a tub surround for about $500 and keep newer faucet.

New tiles would be nicer though! Good luck!
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:18 PM   #11
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Removing the cover and the spout can be risky as well because of corrosion around the spout connection and the cover screws. Esp if the spout does not budge, you may have to commit to more repairs for replacing the piping behind the spout.
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:56 AM   #12
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Here's an "after" picture:

Replace this ugly tile: do-able, or too risky?-20150530-after-refinishing.jpg

A busy, trusted contractor told me that his crew would need a full three months for a complete bathroom remodel. I'd be out the money and would depend on showers at the local gym for a quarter of a year!

He also told me that a tub reglazer could paint the mismatched tiles to the color of my choice. He was right. I won't learn what was behind those no-longer-so-mismatched tiles, and won't get the same service life out of a reglazed tub, but had to give up my bathroom for only one day, and keep almost all the money I would have spent on a full remodel.

Maybe not the best solution, but the one I chose!
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:37 AM   #13
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So they painted your cracked mismatched tiles and called it done?
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Old 06-10-2015, 01:06 PM   #14
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Well, reglazed the tiles might be closer (or fancier sounding, anyway) ... although I think the reglazing material is close to paint.

Here's another pic, before I cleaned up the escutcheon:

Replace this ugly tile: do-able, or too risky?-20150530-after-refinishing-3.jpg

The tile color is close, but not an exact match ... and like the tub reglazing, won't have the same service life.

FWIW: it the tiles leak, they have me fooled. I've never spotted any water.
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidgeTenant View Post
Here's an "after" picture:

Attachment 159210

A busy, trusted contractor told me that his crew would need a full three months for a complete bathroom remodel. I'd be out the money and would depend on showers at the local gym for a quarter of a year!

He also told me that a tub reglazer could paint the mismatched tiles to the color of my choice. He was right. I won't learn what was behind those no-longer-so-mismatched tiles, and won't get the same service life out of a reglazed tub, but had to give up my bathroom for only one day, and keep almost all the money I would have spent on a full remodel.

Maybe not the best solution, but the one I chose!
Good grief, 3 months, you either have one giant bathroom or they are some really slow workers. I use to turn key a 2000 sq ft house in three months.
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