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Advice on re-tiling a bathroom.

Hi. I'm a new home owner. A 1941 cape cod style house in Northern VA. I'm interested in either re-tiling my bathroom myself or hiring a contractor... The bathrooms in pretty good shape, it's mainly a cosmetic issue.

My neighbor, a contractor took a look at it, and said he thinks there's only one layer of tiles on the walls, though the caps are a bit thicker than I usually see. He said that's because there's a heavy layer of mud on the walls underneath the tiles, since my house pre-dates the use of drywall.

He suggested just tiling over the existing tiles, rather than fighting with the removal of all of the old tiles since it's a real pain to deal with removing the tiles from the layer of mud below them.

I assume that you'd tear them off, then have to skim coat the walls, then add new tiles..

What do you think about this, and do you have any advice or thoughts on a job like this. It's a rather small bathroom..

If you have multiple layers of tile on the floor do you need to beef up the joists underneath to hold the extra weight?

Have you run into situations like this?

Re: Advice on re-tiling a bathroom.

Any thoughts?

Re: Advice on re-tiling a bathroom.

I personally never thought layering anything in construction was a good thing regardless of if it was shingles, or tile over old flooring. of course no one knows everything about any subject, there are always new products coming out on the market that make something ok that in previous times wasn't adviseable.

I do see different ones who I have respect for in the trades who are doing new tile over old. I haven't heard of adverse consequences from doing it, but then again I haven't checked with those home owners 5 years later to see how it was holding up. so I too am interested to see if someone has had experience in this area either positve or negative, because I would still be skeptical of doing it in my own house.

Re: Advice on re-tiling a bathroom.

Very reasonable, I've got to go take a look, but my neighbor the contractor said he did it to his place a number of years ago..

Re: Advice on re-tiling a bathroom.

First of all let me preface my advice with; I am not a senior member of this discussion area, but I do have experience working with tile. I would never install anything on top of any other thing. Tear it all out-you just might discover something that needs to be fixed, and no matter how many layers of tile you set on top of each other, those problems will not fix themselves, and if there is nothing wrong, count your blessings and do it right. As far as the weight, if you are going to install a ton of tile over an already heavy set then might want to look into bracing or even few spot footings-depending on the size of the area.


Re: Advice on re-tiling a bathroom.

I took a tiling class at a local community college, and the instructor recommended removing the wall with the tile and putting up a new layer of drywall to tile on. He thought that was faster than removing the old tile by tile. I've never tried it.

I took out tile in a bathroom last summer by prying it off with a four-inch blade. It took me an hour or two. There were two layers of wallpaper underneath so that may have helped speed it along.

I can back up two earlier comments:
* Weight: My scrapped tile was very heavy.
* What's underneath: I discovered a leak from the toilet supply line that had rotted a one-foot section of plaster behind the tile.

Re: Advice on re-tiling a bathroom.

Good advice. I wish my bathroom had drywall below the tile, if it did, I would do that right away.
My house was built in the 40's pre-drywall, so there is a layer of mud (like joint compound) about an inch and a half or 2 thick behind the tiles. It doesn't look like there's a layer of plaster behind that.

That doesn't mean we couldn't tear the whole thing out, mud and all, and then do a new drywall layer first... hm.. good thought..

That sucks about the leak!

Re: Advice on re-tiling a bathroom.

While it can be expensive, do not forget about the bathroom. This is probably the single most dangerous place in the home due to all the hard surfaces that exist. Both my grandparents ended up having multiple falls in their bathrooms - this despite a live-in caregiver standing feet away. Get rid of the tub, and get one of those sit down stallls they can bathe in. Yes it costs, but it will be worth it. I researched extensively and found one that had lots of features for my grandparents to bathing independently at ellasbubbles.com

What I did to Prevent falls in the bathroom while still maintaining independent bathing

Install Walk In Tub W/ Door that Opens
(The ella's deluxe model has a stainless steel door with latch)
(The door has a rubber sealant it doesn't leak!)

Install grab bars on the walls around the around the bathtub

Place slip-resistant rugs inside the shower/tub and next to the bathtub for
safe exit and entry

Hire an Bathing Aid, My experience this didn't work so well. The grandparents are people they wanted privacy in there own bathroom. Im telling you from experience that the walk in tub is the way to go.
Ellas bubbles had the most reasonable rates for walk in tubs and the installation of the tub. There contractors are great very reasonable as well able to work on a budget.

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