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Old 01-29-2006, 05:50 PM   #1
skiadct
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Question To restore or not to restore? Rip out and start new? That's my question!

Hello all. I'm in need of several pieces of advice. First, I'm a first-time homeowner, and not very saavy about hardware/carpentry/et al. I'm a medical student, so science is my game, tile is not! Our bathroom is in dire need of attention. House was built in 1956 or something. We have white tile, that's actually not in bad shape considering its age. There are only maybe 2-3 tiles in the entire bathroom that have minor hairline cracks (they look gray). Poor caulking job in the entire room. Original porcelain tub, dingy, needs refinishing? The vanity and counter with sink for sure will be replaced, as we hate them!

Please visit this page for pictures of the room:
http://web.mac.com/skiaddict/iWeb/Bathroom/Welcome.html

I have had people try to tell me that I should leave all of this original tile alone because "people look for that" and whatnot. Many of the tiles have minor chips that have accumulated grime. The grout is awful - in need of cleaning and sealing. There is a 1 - 1 1/2" step up from the hallway wood floors into the bathroom. The floor tile appears to have been laid on concrete board or something - see photos. There is only one corner tile on a wall that needs grout repair.

The tub used to apparently be only that, with no shower, original tile only going up to about hip high. Then somewhere along the way, someone installed hideous tan/beige tile to finish the wall all the way up from hip height to sealing and added a shower.

Points for discussion:
1. Most appealing option and probably most expensive: Ideally, I would love to rip out ALL the old tile and make the new floor the same level with the hallway (don't even know if this is possible). Refinish the tub. Add colored mosaic tiles to the neat arch above shower to add protection from condensation to wall. Does anyone think this would be a mistake?

2. Would new tile throughout bathroom devalue my home?

3. I have considered keeping the wall tile as it is in remarkable condition and just redoing the floor with maybe an octagonal tile for vintage look - leaving floor at current level, and maybe finishing off a little better with something to make a nicer transition from hallway to bath. And maybe some kind of resurfacing of the odd beige/tan tile in the upper portion of the shower (no idea what options there are for that). Then the mosaic tile for the arch above shower, again to protect from water.

4. Leave all tile alone, try to do some restoring? I suppose the grout could use a good cleaning and sealing, but then there's the problem with the chips (their not real deep or bad albeit), and the few hairline cracked tiles on the floor. Paint the room. New mirror and lighting, window treatments......

I'm not sure what these options would cost. I don't think it would be feasible to pay someone to have it all done. I am willing to do the work, just not very confident. My next door neighbor is a retired carpenter, so I suspect he would know about putting in a new floor/subfloor. A good friend of mine is confident in laying tile and helping me with that.

Any advice from you guys would be GREATLY appreciated!
Thanks!

Last edited by Mike2; 08-30-2006 at 07:03 AM. Reason: update link to homepage
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:54 PM   #2
kevjob
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new anything unless cheap material will add value if you want to period date your home then look for tiles that are set to the era of your home i am doing a bath remodel same tile thats there now just new technology and easier manitenance the flooor is mosaic and walls are 3x6 subway with inlays if the tiles are chipped or cracked bset to replace them that step is a mortar bed the best for laying tile but you could remove it and use cbu and lose some of the height. no experience like hands on and making mistakes!
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:16 AM   #3
bbcamp
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What does the tile behind and under the vanity look like, and will your new vanity hide anything you might find there?


Are you planning to live here for a while, or are you interested in resale value in the near term?


There's no doubt that you and your friends can do a full gut and rebuild, if you are willing to take your time and correct mistakes along the way, and you have another bathroom in the house.
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Old 01-30-2006, 06:04 PM   #4
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Like Bob said, you really have to determine what you want, resale value vs. living there long term and work from that. Personally I'd want to rip everything out of there and start over, but what would you expect?, I'm a tiler. Don't like the step at the door in particular, not sure if it's some ill-conceived mud bed or not. I can't see that those tiles would add any value to a period home though.

Rob.
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Old 01-30-2006, 06:35 PM   #5
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Nothing there worth saving IMO.
Room will look much better and value will go up with a new remodel.
With the resources here you can do the job and be happy with the results.
Good Luck
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:03 PM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi Skiadct,

I'd go for the gusto also. Refinishing of tubs only last 5-7 years...less if you have kids. And those wall tiles on the floor are slippery when wet.

Rd (one of the pros here on the forum) seems to have the same general bath layout as you and he just finished his project. Take a look here and you won't dream of trying to spritz up what you have, you'll grab a sledge and start demolishing. Rd's bath project.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:51 PM   #7
skiadct
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I think the tile ends around the vanity and counter. New one would probably hide it if went that route. Planning to live her minimum 4 years. Hoping for residency here so don't have to move, but that's in god's hands at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbcamp
What does the tile behind and under the vanity look like, and will your new vanity hide anything you might find there?


Are you planning to live here for a while, or are you interested in resale value in the near term?


There's no doubt that you and your friends can do a full gut and rebuild, if you are willing to take your time and correct mistakes along the way, and you have another bathroom in the house.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:59 PM   #8
skiadct
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Tub salvage?

So everyone thinks salvaging tub is a bad idea and replacement more favorable?

Thanks for all the advice. What advice do you guys have as far as where to start, as in for my learning first and foremost before touching any tools! Then on to planning and so forth.
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:10 PM   #9
skiadct
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oogabooga
Like Bob said, you really have to determine what you want, resale value vs. living there long term and work from that. Personally I'd want to rip everything out of there and start over, but what would you expect?, I'm a tiler. Don't like the step at the door in particular, not sure if it's some ill-conceived mud bed or not. I can't see that those tiles would add any value to a period home though.

Rob.
I absolutely hate that step. It's weird and does not look right. I think the whole floor has to come up.
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:12 PM   #10
skiadct
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Tub refinish

So my wife is really attached to this old tub. She says it has character. Any idears what it costs to have it refinished... is it worth having it done every 7 years to keep it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Guy - Kg
Hi Skiadct,

I'd go for the gusto also. Refinishing of tubs only last 5-7 years...less if you have kids. And those wall tiles on the floor are slippery when wet.

Rd (one of the pros here on the forum) seems to have the same general bath layout as you and he just finished his project. Take a look here and you won't dream of trying to spritz up what you have, you'll grab a sledge and start demolishing. Rd's bath project.
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:17 AM   #11
Davestone
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I've seen many local ads for refinishing..there must be some around you,here,i think white was like $100.00
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:55 PM   #12
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Having lots of fun

Ok so you may be much smarter than I, but I wouldn't even attempt this project while in school. Having been there (med school). This is not a week-end or even 2 week project. Might consider it in summer if not in class. It will definitely keep you busy. I have always considered myself very handy, and a very similar project has taken me about 3 months to complete working evenings and week-ends. Even took 2 week's off to work on it. Please note I am encouraging you to do this as the satisfaction is truly amazing. I'm just encouraging you for your wife's sake, and your patient's sake to do this when you between spring and fall sememster. Good Luck.

Tear the whole thing out it is ugly and have great fun.
Will cost around $3,000-$5000 especially since you probably don't have the tools.

Good luck with bathroom and school
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:29 PM   #13
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I've also been there and totally agree with Charles.

Unless you want to wake up in a cold sweat from a nightmare anatomy lab practical where you mis-identified the aortic arch as a p-trap, make the renovation a summer project.

And good luck on your real lab practicals.
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:10 PM   #14
skiadct
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I have the summer off.

I have just over two months off this summer. I would never attempt it without a good block of time off. I'll be between M1 and M2.
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:45 AM   #15
Tool Guy - Kg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiadct
So my wife is really attached to this old tub. She says it has character. Any idears what it costs to have it refinished... is it worth having it done every 7 years to keep it?
Around here, it's $300 to $350 to refinish a tub. And to have it done again when it start chipping, you'll have the extra prep work associated with making those chips disappear. I've had it done for a few customers who fit the profile of someone who can stretch the tub's life. I don't like it because for less $$$ I can have a brand new Kohler Villager cast-iron tub in there.

Figure out the rest of the bathroom's fixtures and coverings for the remodel. If you use good design and interesting materials, you might decide you don't need that tub's character afterall.
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