Matching New Tile to Old Tile
LESLIE: Now we have a call from Eric in North Kakalaka who has a tiling question.
Eric, how are you?
ERIC: I’m fine and you?
LESLIE: Good, thanks. Tell us about this bathroom situation.
ERIC: I have a six-year-old house. Contractor built a very nice master bath but he only tiled around the shower and around the whirlpool. There’s a transition problem where if I put tile on the walls, the current, existing tile sticks out another 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch from the wall.
TOM: OK, so they’re going to be uneven.
ERIC: They’re going to be uneven. So I want to either go in and take out all the tile, take out all the cement border; or what’s my best solution to that problem?
TOM: Leslie, what do you think about the idea of him using not the same tile color but one that complements it so it looks like it was supposed to be that way?
LESLIE: Well, it’s still going to be a thickness issue unless you go with something that’s thicker. But don’t you want the cement backer board?
TOM: You need it in the areas that are subjected to water but he wouldn’t need it in the rest of the areas.
LESLIE: I think it’s fine to use multicolor tiles in the same space; especially if there’s a lineation between the shower area and the rest of the space that’s really saying, “I did this on purpose.”
ERIC: But I’ve got a – the problem is that where he wraps the tile around to the sheetrock, there’s a curvature there. How do I match the other tile to that piece of curved tile?
TOM: So what you might need to do is you might need to replace just the bullnose edge with one that allows you to wrap those two together.
LESLIE: What about – isn’t there like – they make tiles that are half-round. Can’t you use that and butt it up to the bullnose so it creates another profile that brings it down to the lower profile tile?
TOM: Well, that would work, too, but I was thinking – that’s along the same lines of what I was thinking. In other words, you want to basically fill in these areas where you don’t have tile; yet you want to make it look like it was always supposed to be that way. That’s why I think it’s OK if part of the wall is pushed out and part of it is back; as long as it’s not the same color. If you try to do this with the same tile, it would look like a big, fat mistake. But if you use a complimentary color, like two colors together, I think it could actually be pretty cool.
ERIC: OK. Sounds reasonable.
TOM: Alright. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Eric in North Carolina, tiling his bathroom.
Leslie, who’s next?