Bathroom Renovation 2: A Surprise!

After demolishing the walls, we next set our eyes on the floor. Now, here’s the thing. Weeks ago, one of the square ceramic tiles that were part of the previous owner’s 1994 renovation, came loose. And under it, there was a flicker of hope. I saw something, but didn’t want to get too excited.

So what I’m really trying to say is that of everything in the bathroom, all I really wanted to do was tear up the floor. Repeatedly, Gabe had to stop me from tearing up the tile before the walls were done. But I just couldn’t wait!

After we removed the wall behind the bathtub, though, it was apparent that my hopes may become realization after all.Original hexagon tile under bathtub

Underneath the dated, ceramic tile, yes, yes there was original 1925 hexagonal tile.Original hexagon tile

Just underneath the 90’s tile, was a thin layer of glue then this stuff, in relatively pretty good condition.The exposed, original bathroom tile

Definitely going to take some TLC to bring it back to life, but we’re hoping that we can use it and make it the newly restored floor in the bathroom.

On one slightly bittersweet note is how this tile was laid. Since it was original to the house, it is set directly into the wet set concrete sub floor. Meaning, apart from removing the glue, shining and tweaking, this tile is there for good and never coming up. The decision we now have to make is, can we save it? Or are we going to have to replace it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can give it a new life!Original hexagon tileOn another note. We’ve been trying to determine what type of tile this is exactly. Based on research, I’m assuming it’s porcelain, but then again, I’m no tile expert. Anyone have any ideas or know what it is?

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9 thoughts on “Bathroom Renovation 2: A Surprise!

  1. It’s probably unglazed porcelain. It looks like it’s in pretty good shape, but I guess it’s tough to tell until you put a few hours into it. Fingers crossed that you can save it, or at the very least tile over it again. I helped my dad rip out a mud set stall shower when I was a kid and wouldn’t wish that job on anyone.

  2. You guys have accomplished a lot this week in the bathroom! I’m thinking a snow day (or 2) would come in handy right now LOL!

  3. Pingback: Bathroom Renovation 3: Snow Day Edition | Two Boys & A House

  4. It is porcelain. It looks beautiful. My bathroom in my 1927 condo had original tile but it was cracked and malaligned so I had to remove it when renovating. I hope you guys can salvage it!!!

  5. omg, that’s an awesome discovery!!! i am re-doing a couple-decades-old remodel in my bathroom, to bring the bathroom back to the turn of the century, and i am so sad that they removed the original subfloors and concrete that would have made the bathroom floor the most solid thing ever. trying to fix (and make flat) the floor… don’t even get me started. it’s been a lot of work, none of it fun or exciting (and it’s our only bathroom, so we’ve been without a toilet or shower for 2 months now). you don’t want to go through that, so even if the floor isn’t perfect, i think it’s worth saving, both for historic preservation reasons and for saving yourself a major headache (and probably ending up with an inferior end result compared to the original anyway). i bet you can use a floor sander if it comes down to it, to remove the surface layer of gunk. it’s not like they were using beveled/pillow-top tile back then.

    but if you do decide you need to replace it, you can still find those unglazed porcelain colorbody tiles from a company called “american universal corp” (http://www.auc-tile.com/catalog/unglazed.html). american olean used to make them, but discontinued them. whatever you do, don’t cheese out and get pillow-top glazed tile, which so many people are unwittingly ruining their “historic” renovations with, b/c it is not authentic looking at all, and it’s the only type most of the bigger tile manufacturers are making anymore. american universal corp isn’t the only company making the authentic period style, but they were the least expensive we found after extensive searching, and it’s a really great product. if you need any colors besides white/black, then you’ll have to splurge a bit for those ones, b/c they are quite a bit more (a great company for those is “american restoration tile” http://www.restorationtile.com/). but hopefully you don’t need any of this information b/c you’re keeping the original tile!!! 😀

  6. Pingback: Wait, you need a bathroom in a house? | Two Boys & A House

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