Options for Remodeling Old Bathroom Tile
LESLIE: Jumping into the tub with Jim in Rhode Island. How can we help?
JIM: Oh, I’m up against the eight ball here trying to figure out whether to put a tub surround. I’ve got an old-fashioned, built-in, cast iron tub …
JIM: … that’s pretty deteriorated. My water’s not the greatest. I’ve got a lot of iron in the water.
JIM: All the scrubbing has taken off all the finish. I’ve had it refinished once, so now I’m trying to decide to bust it up.
TOM: Well, the tub inserts – I think you’re talking about the tub inserts …
TOM: … and they pretty and they’re certainly a good option, but I will tell you they’re very – the two things I don’t like about them: they’re real expensive; and secondly, they take up space, so it makes the tub physically smaller. But the other advantage though is that you can pretty much do a makeover of your bathroom …
LESLIE: In a day.
TOM: … in a day, yeah. So those are sort of the advantages and disadvantages of the tub inserts.
JIM: Now taking out the old tub; say I was going to put just another cast iron tub in. People tell me you’ll have to take all the walls down and other people tell me you have to take two, three layers of tiles off from the tub – existing tub.
TOM: The chances are you are going to have to take some tile up and the way to deal with that is, Jim, to actually choose a complementary tile color. So now, when you put the walls back together, you might end up with two tones because you may not be able to save the tile that you had so just choose one that matches; you know, a forest green and a mint green; or, you know, a gold and …
LESLIE: Yeah, make it have its purpose …
TOM: Right, exactly.
LESLIE: … like you chose it as a design element.
TOM: Right, make it look like it was always supposed to be that way. That’s a way around that.
JIM: Oh, it’s pink. Remember the old-fashioned 1950s pink? Yeah.
TOM: (overlapping voices) It’s pink? So, put a maroon lip around it; you know? Or a rose color.
LESLIE: Or even you can go with so many of those mesh-backed like tumbled stones or marble or even like river rock. They’re so easy to install. It would make a great transition. It sort of modernizes that vintage-y pink feel and it’s really an easy do-it-yourself project.
JIM: Plus I think putting a regular tub will keep – you know, the house is a cute, old-fashioned house. To put one of those inserts …
TOM: Yeah, it’ll be very consistent with its design. I agree with you. Jim, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.