Tile of a Different Color

One of our blog subscribers asks:
My 1950’s bathroom has pink and black tile.   The tile is thick, sturdy and in good condition, but I would like the room to be more up-to-date.
Can I paint the tile or should I have it replaced?


Lynn answers:
Hey, I remember that color scheme!
Let’s break your question down.


1.  Ceramic tile can be painted, but paint industry experts do not recommend painting tile in high-traffic or high-moisture areas.
So painting bathroom tile is not a lasting solution.


2.  Replacing 1950’s tile is a dirty job, so if this is what you choose to do, cover your ears, cover your furniture or leave your house for the day!
Here’s why;
I’m guessing that the top tile on your bathroom wall protrudes about a 1/2″ and has a rounded profile.  This type of tile is known as a “mud cap” and was used to
finish off what is commonly known as a “mud installation” – a method was built to last.
My best contractors have needed a sledgehammer to remove it, since behind each tile is a glob of cement.  The good news is that you’ll gain a few inches of space by removing all that … stuff.


3.  If you’re on a tight budget, another option is to keep your tile and replace the toilet, vanity, sink, faucet, lighting and medicine cabinet.
A fresh coat of paint will tie it all together for a more modern look with a kitschy (pink and black) edge.
Refer to my Portfolio page (projects Nip/Tuck: Hall Bath-South Orange,NJ | Nip/Tuck: Master Bath-South Orange, NJ) for an example of this type of solution.


You may be thinking:  So what about the shower fixtures, Lynn?
Replacing shower fixtures is whole other subject, which I will cover in another post, since I have received numerous inquiries on this subject.
So please check back in for more on that topic!

By | 2018-02-21T10:34:52-05:00 December 4th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off on Tile of a Different Color

About the Author:

Lynn M Masiello, CKBD, CAPS