+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Retiling old bathroom--use existing surfaces or gut job?

    We have a galley bathroom with original (i.e, 100 years old) subway and penny tile. We love the look but want to update it. The floor has large cracks and the subway tiles are literally falling off the walls--the grout has simply disintegrated. We were hoping to handle most of this retiling job ourselves but decided to get a couple contractor opinions. One told us it would be impossible to retile without a gut job--that is, putting up new drywall to replace both the plaster walls and the concrete upon which the subway tiles appear to have been set. Same for the floor. Another contractor, however, encouraged us to tile right over the existing floor and attach new subway tiles to the outer concrete layer on the plaster walls. Who is correct, in this case?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Retiling old bathroom--use existing surfaces or gut job?

    If you tile over an old cracked floor you will have a new cracked floor. The same pretty much goes for the walls. You've gotten nearly 100 years of service out of that installation. Its time to send it to tile heaven, provided your tiles aren't atheists.

    Over at the John Bridge Tile Forum you'll find a wealth of information in the library, you can easily post pictures on your own thread, and a get answers from a few hunnert tile and remodeling experts

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Retiling old bathroom--use existing surfaces or gut job?

    I agree with that, gut the whole thing. Your finished floor and walls will look like they should: new.

    Whenever I do a bathroom, I remove everything out of the way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Retiling old bathroom--use existing surfaces or gut job?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRemodeler View Post
    If you tile over an old cracked floor you will have a new cracked floor. The same pretty much goes for the walls. You've gotten nearly 100 years of service out of that installation. Its time to send it to tile heaven, provided your tiles aren't atheists.

    Over at the John Bridge Tile Forum you'll find a wealth of information in the library, you can easily post pictures on your own thread, and a get answers from a few hunnert tile and remodeling experts
    Alright, point taken. What am I likely to find behind the old 'marble' after I prise it off the wall and floor? Meanwhile, I'll take a look at JBTF.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Retiling old bathroom--use existing surfaces or gut job?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    I agree with that, gut the whole thing. Your finished floor and walls will look like they should: new.

    Whenever I do a bathroom, I remove everything out of the way.
    Yes, I agree it's the best thing to do but since I have a solid base, I thought it would be good to tile on it. Anyway, can you tell me what I'll find behind the old 'marble' after it's pulled away from the walls and floor; this is what's bothering me. I expect to find some sort of membrane. I don't want to have to replace the walls/floor if it can be avoided. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Retiling old bathroom--use existing surfaces or gut job?

    Behind all that stuff you'll find bare studs on the walls and no waterproofing as there was none back then. Under the floor you will probably find floor joists where the tops have been whacked into a pyramid shape.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Retiling old bathroom--use existing surfaces or gut job?

    Quote Originally Posted by johngmm View Post
    Yes, I agree it's the best thing to do but since I have a solid base, I thought it would be good to tile on it. Anyway, can you tell me what I'll find behind the old 'marble' after it's pulled away from the walls and floor; this is what's bothering me. I expect to find some sort of membrane. I don't want to have to replace the walls/floor if it can be avoided. Thanks.
    If you want to do a remodel job, you have to do it right, or you will throw away good money down the drain.

    If you don't know what's behind the walls and floor, assume the worst. Demolish them, clear them out of the way, and start from scratch. When everything is open, examine your framing and replace bad members.

    Then just continue as schedule. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Retiling old bathroom--use existing surfaces or gut job?

    I completely agree with dj1.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •