1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bathroom Doubts

Everyone voted to keep the 4x4 white wall tile, and I tend to agree.

One popular suggestion was to supplement with decorative tiles in the tub area. I love that idea. I have my eye on some beautiful and wildly expensive decorative tiles at Charles Rupert.

For example, these, which are so perfect and pricey they make me want to cry:

The trouble, besides our shortage of funds, is that the walls are tiled around the bathtub but not behind it. We're replacing the tub with a clawfoot, so the area that's behind the tub now would be bare. That bottom third is what we'll need to fill in, along with the other half of the bathroom, which isn't tiled at all.

The sink area and tub/toilet area are now separated by a wall and door, which we plan to take out or else widen the opening. I figure, what's the point of installing a clawfoot tub if you can't see it when you walk in the room?

(This pic was taken before we moved in ... the fluffy pink bathmat isn't ours, I swear!)

So basically, we have now 2.67 walls of tile that would stay. We'd have to add about the same amount of tile to finish out the bathroom. These plain white 4x4s should be cheapycheap from a big box store.

But I'm having trouble envisioning how to do the decorative tilework while keeping the tile that's there now. *sigh* I'm confused. I have such big ideas for this bathroom - for example, narrow built-in shelving sunken into the walls on either side of a pedestal sink - but I'm unsure how to achieve them.

A bathroom is scary and expensive and requires skilled work. Darwin claims he can do it all himself, but doesn't he always claim that? Fortunately, we have a functioning shower in another bathroom and another half bath, so if this ends up taking 100 years, at least we won't have to go around smelling like cave people.



amanda said...

1. Please, if possible, post a picture of the actual tub area and also a small drawing of what you hope to do.
2. The top border tiles from your beautiful picture are available at our Lowes. Here's an idea that I've never attempted, but might be fun and very personal for you. If you have a paint your own pottery place nearby, they usually have ceramic tiles that you can paint. Why not get a book of Victorian drawings/patterns that you like, get a big group of friends together, go to the pottery place, trace designs on the tiles, and have each of your friends/family paint one for you and turn it into a party? You can use the ones that turn out best, along with plain tiles in accent colors in your border around the tub. It would be a really personal touch in the bathroom. Also, you can check ebay for lots of salvaged Victorian tiles. Just an idea...

9:32 AM  
Jordana said...

How far up the walls do the tiles go? Could you put a accent chair rail tile all the way around the room on top of the existing tile to tie it all together?

You don't have to do a whole row of decorative tiles to look period and really neat. My parents' house has one deco tile centered over the tub in each bathroom and they look really gorgeous. You could frame it out with pencil tiles. As I said below, when they redid the one bathroom that didn't have any original tile in it, they found a gorgeous large deco tile at TJ Maxx for very little money.

I know I shouldn't mention your addiction, but Ebay has some wonderful antique and reproduction tiles too.

11:27 AM  
Kristin said...

I'll take a picture of the tub area tonight. I can't believe I don't have one already! :)

1:26 PM  
Meredith said...

Can I just say that I love your blog and all the photos? It is so much fun to watch your progress without having to do any of the work myself!

5:32 PM  
susie said...

Marty did the bathroom himself at our old 1765 house in Connecticut (which we've since sold). He had no previous bathroom experience and it came out great. Porcelain tub, tile floor, wainscot walls -- he took the whole room down to the studs and did it all.

However, it did take a year and a half.

I am sure Darwin could do it, too.

9:03 PM  
mindy said...


I don't have any great ideas for your walls that haven't been offered up already, but I CAN give you some reassurance - Teague remodeled his sister's bathroom with no prior experience, and it is beautiful. It had been gutted completely, and he put in the tub, sink/vanity, toilet etc. along with wainscotting, a tile surround for the tub, a new ceiling, and a new tile floor.

They're alot of work though - it was a small bathroom, but it still took him about 100 hours total. That's with all the detail stuff though and he's very anal ;)

I'm sure you and Darwin could handle it.

7:45 AM  
Kristin said...

Thanks for the reassurance, guys! I feel much better now! :)

9:37 AM  

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