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Old 12-04-2017, 07:32 PM   #1
mbrierst
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Corners of Mud Set 1940s Tile Wall Broke Off

When we moved into our place, there was a row of black tiles just above the bathtub, on top of the otherwise uniform green tiles.

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We decided the black tiles seemed to be holding moisture leading to mold, so we removed them (they were just glued in place) and cleaned up all the mold and glue residue. Removing the tiles revealed that they were put there to cover up damage in the corners above the bathtub. See pictures below. Is there any way we could fix this up, or patch it, or do anything to make it look better? Should we just reinstall another row of black tiles but with caulk on the top edge to avoid moisture intrusion this time?

The bathroom is from 1942. The tile is in cement about an inch thick, so taking it all out is a major job we don't want to tackle anytime soon.

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Old 12-04-2017, 07:52 PM   #2
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Cover it back up, try and cut out the bottom row and patch in a different tile, or tear it out and start new. If you just cover it back up you'll still have the same issues most likely.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:32 PM   #3
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Yep, if you don't want to change it all out at this time, do what Ryan said and remove the bottom row of tile and try to leave the mud. That will probably be a pretty tough job itself. A small cold chisel and a hammer will get you started after you cut the grout joint between the two rows.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice!
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:48 AM   #5
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Hi Michael,

I think removing the bottom row will be beyond tricky. If I were doing the job I think I would go back with the bullnose cover-up. They do make colors other than black, though. I would cut strips of half-inch cement board to set the bullnose pieces on, and I would use thin-set.

If you caulk the top joint where bullnose meets wall with silicone and renew it periodically you'll be able to keep water out.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:24 AM   #6
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"hide the crime". bond something to keep water from getting in first as instructed above. Then put something in front of it like a soap holder ledge (or row of taller tile?). (ie, if you have a hole in drywall you can hang a painting, if you have a bad seam a strip of vertical wood can hide it)
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:30 PM   #7
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:57 PM   #8
mbrierst
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Thanks again for the suggestions. I agree removing the bottom row of tiles would be very difficult in this case. We talked to a guy at a tile store and he recommended patching the holes with the type of epoxy filler used on fiberglass boats, so my girlfriend ordered some marine epoxy putty. We're gonna try to patch, prime, and then paint it green. If that doesn't work, we'll probably cover it with some black tiles. (Black is okay because we have some other black accents and the floor is black.) We won't do a whole row of black tiles like before, just a few in the corners.
We considered a corner shelf over the holes, but it would be so close to the bathtub we were afraid the area between the shelf and bathtub wouldn't be cleanable.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrierst
We considered a corner shelf over the holes, but it would be so close to the bathtub we were afraid the area between the shelf and bathtub wouldn't be cleanable.
You could install a 2" tall horizontal band above and below the corner shelf to keep it off the tub. You could make the shelf and banding material out of the same stuff...perhaps granite. Might look nice. Just an idea, anyways.

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