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Unread 04-10-2003, 09:14 AM   #1
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Question Remodeling old tile bathroom

My small master bath is approximately 45-50 years old, the tub surround and ½ of walls tiled as well as the floor. Most of the wall tile is white but has black top and bottom trim which I would like to change. I have been told that it would probably be a major project to tear out old wall tile (because of possible wire screen instead of backerboard?) and replace but can’t put new layer on top because it would be above window/door trim. I’m thinking about just tiling over the old floor and doing some replacement to trim on the wall.
(1) Can I tell from looking through pipe access panel if wall has backerboard or wire screen? What am I looking for?
(2) Can I remove just the top bullnose tiles and replace with a different color? How do I break out just the bullnose without damaging the one below?
(3) One or two wall tiles have a thin crack running horizontally. Can I make a repair without replacing?
(4) In the alternative, can the black tiles be painted and with what kind of paint and sealant?
(5) How do I remove the soap dish/toothbrush holder/towel bar to replace with new one?
(6) If I leave the existing floor, what is the best way to remove old grout to put in new one?
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Unread 04-10-2003, 10:45 AM   #2
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#1Backerboard hasnt been around that long so you either have a Mudfloated wall or Plaster wall more than likely.Fortunatly,this is actually better than having a sheetrock backer because it is infinitly more repairable albeit still time consuming.
#2You will need to saw the grout out along the line below the bullnose and it helps to do it between each bullnose also.Once you get 1 started the others will come out a little easier (i did say a little) A 1/4" carbide tipped chisel will help to break up the first tile and a wider sharp chisel will help get behind the rest.you may end up taking some chunks of plaster with the tile so do this slowly and carefully.When you are through mix some thinset and fill holes smooth.Be sure to score above the bullnose with a utility knife also.
#3-Broken tiles need to be replaced if you have extras,if you dont then leave them alone.if you do saw out grout and use the same 1/4" chisel to break it up and remove it.clean up area behind and reset with thinset.
#4 I'm a tileman not a painter <grin>
#5- this may cause you some trouble and you may want to consider leaving them be.If you are resolute they gotta go,you will proboly damage the tile around them also.if you dont have spares,leave them be.If you do break them out with a hammer and replace tile as required with method above.
#6- dont remove it,use grout stain to change color and or tile over the floor with new floor tile.

Hope this helps
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