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1950's Original Bathroom tile!!
October 23, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I am getting ready to sell my 1 bath, 3 bedroom house that I have lived in for about 8 years. The original bathroom tub tile had white "Epoxy" paint that was chipping. I decided to strip the "Epoxy" myself (wow, what a chore!) and discovered the original 1950 yellow tile with brown trim. My mom saw it and said "oh, that tile is so retro! Don't paint over it!". So, here's my question: (1) just keep the original yellow/brown tile from the 1950's or (2) repaint with white "Epoxy"??? I like a nice crisp, clean white bathroom. Would love your opinions!!!!
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Sarah Yama
Update it. You are trying to sell and retro doesn't appeal to most people.
October 23, 2012 at 8:04PM     
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Need photos of the entire bathroom. Maybe just the brown trim change? Is the whole house "retro"? Maybe just re-grout?
October 23, 2012 at 8:19PM     
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I like the tile.
October 23, 2012 at 8:38PM   
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I wouldn't change it unless you have updated all the other vintage features of the home. Do it still have light wood slab doors, light colored narrow ranch trim, etc?
October 23, 2012 at 10:12PM   
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Foothill Home Repair & Construction
Update to simple, inexpensive, beige tile
October 23, 2012 at 10:33PM   
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I don't like retro anything so that tile would be a deal killer for me. But painted tile would also not work. Call a company like Miracle Method, have them come out and coat the tile with a more permanent solution.
October 24, 2012 at 3:37AM     
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Since you are trying to sell, many people would look at that tile and see it as a chore. Have the tile removed, and then have inexpensive neutral tile installed. It is a quick fix that will decrease your home's time on the market.
October 24, 2012 at 7:52AM   
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If that tile is truly from the 1950's it probably contains lead!!! Don't remove it yourself, have a qualified professional test it first.
October 24, 2012 at 7:54AM   
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a. keep the tiles. b. is nobody else impressed by how white the grout is?
October 24, 2012 at 7:58AM     
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I think I would also consider a recoating of some kind. Since a lousy job will also not sell get someone with references. Or get an estimate and just wait and see, with an option on selling to have an allowance to redo up to an agreed amount and the buyers can choose tile. Just beware what's behind the tile may also have to be replaced. Good luck
October 24, 2012 at 8:00AM   
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Jan May
I've recently painted over my bathroom tiles - they were a hideous colour and pattern and HAD to go. However - the finished result is far from good. So - in your case, I would leave them - as they are plain - and yes, the grout is exceedingly white :) I agree they look dated - but how about just tiling on the top in plain white? It's what a lot of tradesmen do (certainly here in Britain) as it's so quick.

Chipping them off will probably take half the wall out with it.
October 24, 2012 at 8:07AM   
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oh my! That looks just like my 1950's bathroom that I gutted (except mine was peach and maroon). I have done DIY tile paint 2 times now and it's a great quick fix, but takes time and is pretty hard to get it to be streak free. I got a quote from a refinishing company to do the tile and coat the cast iron tub and it was $500. I would think that getting just the tile in the tub area sprayed would run around $300... so I would suggest one of 2 options

1) replace just the brown with something not so 70's looking (maybe white or even black instead) and remove the dirty grout toward the bottom where it meet the tub and re-grout.

2) leave the tile and hire a refinisher to come and spray it all white.

I would not suggest removing it totally unless you plan on doing an entire bathroom remodel. It would look odd with brand new tile and everything else original (if that's the case?). Good luck!
October 24, 2012 at 8:11AM   
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Granite Transformations
Hi aclark900,

I wouldn't paint over the tile. Even though some consider it "retro" that look has actually come back in style. I would however have someone attend to the grout. Maybe a fresh coat, that would really give the tile a "new" look.

After that, I'd give the bathroom a fresh coat of paint and call it a day. Something light, an earth tone would work well. That would tie the color scheme together, but work to give your bathroom an updated look.

A better picture of the whole bathroom would have been nice, but after the grout and painting (if you go in that direction) maybe pickup a new shower curtain and hand towels too. Something inexpensive but that would match the new color scheme.

My suggestion would give you a bathroom renovation of about $200-250, but would likely give you a really nice ROI.

Good luck!
October 24, 2012 at 8:12AM     
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Let this be a lesson to all of us! Big ticket items should always be neutral.
October 24, 2012 at 8:29AM     
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Jubi Arriola_Headley
I'll let the realtors speak more to this - but the idea, so everyone says, when selling your home is to appeal to the greatest number of people. While I kinda like the tile and would appreciate the retro touch, I believe most people will see it as outdated - people like my partner, for example, who'd want to redo the whole thing (and would want to make an offer that took that into account.)

As for fixes: I once had this very issue in a home I owned (except my tile was more pink than peach). Like other people have mentioned, I spent about $500 to have the tub and tile surround reglazed in white, and it came out pretty nicely. Still, I think $500 (if you can get that kind of pricing in your area) is likely worth the investment to speed up the sale of your home. I'd go the professional route - if it looks like a handyman fix, you might as well not have done it.
October 24, 2012 at 8:43AM     
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Aja Mazin
Leave well enough alone.
February 12, 2013 at 11:58PM   
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Painting this tile, in my opinion, would be remuddling instead of remodeling. Anything well done will sell better than something that is a "fix" . I would leave the tile but take Darzy's idea and replace the brown strip. It 's the color combination that dates it, not the tile itself. Once you remove the brown, it becomes a wall of tile that can work for many buyers. Paint the walls a French vanilla color (cream with a hint of yellow). I think it would transform the bathroom with very little work.
February 13, 2013 at 12:13AM     
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I had this same tile in the house I just sold. A couple of years prior to selling I had the tile and tub professionally reglazed in white for $450.00. It turned out beautifully and the house sold on the second day after we listed it.
February 13, 2013 at 12:17AM   
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Loretta Callejas
paint all white classic
February 13, 2013 at 1:13AM   
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i'd focus on great towels, shower curtain, bath rug, medicine cabinet, mirror etc............and leave the major changes to the new owners
February 13, 2013 at 1:57AM   
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Jayme H.
Depending on your market...ie: where I live, 3 bedroom homes are gold mines, sell very quickly..I would leave it and touch up the grout. If your target market is younger people (under 30 or maybe even 40..ha ha)..., I would think about replacing.
February 13, 2013 at 5:38AM     
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Sara Williams
I have the same exact tile in my bathroom. The previous owners put up the most HIDEOUS brown, yellow, blue, etc. BUSY wallpaper above the tile and also a fishy motif sliding shower door (how does brown and yellow go with "fishy"?). It makes my head hurt just looking at it. I've been trying different colors trying to distract from the yellow/brown and a soft spring green is working well. Towels, bathmats and paint...makes it look much more fresh and less "mustard". Good luck! I would LOVE to see what you end up with! :)
February 28, 2013 at 11:10AM   
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My first thought is to have a realtor in to have a look. Someone who knows your neighborhood and what buyers are looking for. If yours is a home that is likely to sell quickly you'd be wasting time and money to put in too much effort. I liked the suggestion re:removing the top brown tiles. Then just paint the wall a flattering colour, new shower curtain, rug etc. Personally, I like the tile, but I am a retro kind of person and there are a lot of us out there.
February 28, 2013 at 11:32AM   
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Richard Rizzo Art and Design
I would say leave it, most people who buy homes from that time period do so because of the retro style of the home itself to begin with.
I personally like Mid Century Modern style homes and the more authentic the better.
Just my opinion.

February 28, 2013 at 11:47AM     
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