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unexpected kitchen remodel- help!


teachermom2834
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Okay- I am a home improvement idiot.  I'll just get that out there.  DH and I are not remotely handy. 

 

I discovered a loose tile while scrubbing the shower today.  Upon further investigation it seems the wall behind the tile has rotted or deteriorated or something.  The tile isn't attached to anything.  When I push on the wall it is soft.

 

This home needed all kind of updates when we bought it 10 years ago and we've done nothing.  It is probably 40 years old so it is time.  We weren't planning on this now but it needs to be done.

 

So, I don't even know what I am looking at for tile.  What should I be looking for?  What is it called?  We're much more function that fancy here.  I will go with something neutral.  We have a white tub that might be able to stay.  What kind of tile am I looking for?  It currently has those tiles that are maybe 4 x4 inches.  Do they even still sell/ use those?  What is most economical/ practical/ easy to keep clean?

 

I am pathetic. I want to have an idea of what we are looking for before we have contractors come out to look at it.  I feel so stupid when it comes to these things and I know that is part of why I put off doing anything. 

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Kitchen or bath?  Your title says kitchen, but unless you have a tub in your kitchen. . ..

 

Do you have a store called The Tile Shop near you?  If so, they sell tile (obviously), but they have a couple of dozen vignettes set up in the store that will give you oodles of ideas of what you want/don't want in your bathroom.  We used a contractor for our last bathroom remodel, and he says he always sends his clients there if they're lost.  Some of the online sites (houzz.com, I am looking at you), on the other hand, mostly featured billion-dollar remodels that were way out of my league.

 

And no, you do not want 4"x4" white tile.  Spice it up this time!

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4x4 tile comes in all sorts of colors.  the easiest to maintain is larger tile = fewer grout lines.  ceramic is cheapest.  there are also acrylic panels that range in looks from "4x4 tiles" to granite/sandstone - but because they are synthetic sheets, there are no grout lines and they are pretty easy to clean/maintain.  I've even seen the 4x4 'sheet tile' installed with a ceramic tile border around the edge.  I think it was a kids bathroom.

 

find a diy tile store.  tiles for less is one here. homedepot and lowes generally have atrocious selection for a price ugarte. even the plain 4x4 can often be found at a good diy tile store for less.

 

with the 4x4 - you can also make a border or sporadic insertion of a contrasting tile for a decorative effect- and the price for the tile is the same.

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You don't have to stick with 4x4 tile. Most common now seems to be subway tile, which is 3x6 usually. It's a classic style too.

 

Check Houzz for tile bathrooms, or Pinterest. You'll get lots of inspiration!

 

Your contractor may have a shop he prefers to use and gets a discount there. Ours does, but they can order most lines. Google around for prices though. One tile we almost used was much cheaper at Home Depot online even with the contractor discount.

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tile prices vary. I happen to like subway very much - and have it on the wall in my kids bathroom. their shower surround in solid.  if it's not in your budget you can do 4x4 in brick pattern instead of running bond.  I have 12x24 in my master bath.  (1dd put them in hers as she had to redo the master shower and floor before she moved in.) 

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If you want easy maintenence, I'd consider a shower surround. Like this - http://www.menards.com/main/bath/bathing/surrounds/sterling-ensemble-medley-bath-shower-wallset-bath-sold-seperately/p-2204457-c-8359.htm

 

Otherwise, I'd consider the 12 x 24 tile. It covers a large area with fewer grout lines. http://www.houzz.com/photos/4345711/Sarasota-traditional-bathroom-tampa

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We recently remodeled our bathroom. The only problem with larger tiles is getting them to all be flush. There is less "give" over the span of a wall, and no walls are perfect.

 

I was not interested at all in tile, and now that we have it, I love it! I have 3 x 6 subway tiles with a "liner" (lines of glass tile and stone on a mesh backing cut to make a stripe around the room). I find it 1000x easier to maintain than the old tub surround (or even my parents' NEW tub surround made of Swanstone). Our tile grout is sealed, and the sealer makes water bead up on the tiles too. It's like wiping off a Teflon pan when I clean, and the tile guy said 50/50 white vinegar and water is the best cleaning solution. I spray it onto a damp wall, and after I clean the sink and toilet, I wipe the tub walls down with a microfiber cloth. I put a tiny amount of elbow grease into the soapier areas. It's SO EASY. It used to take me 45 minutes to scrub my shower surround and tub (we have hard water/water softener).

 

Our tile is installed onto a Durock type of wallboard in the tub and onto green board on the regular walls. We had it installed by a very experienced tile mason, and we couldn't be happier. While I love the tile that goes halfway up the wall behind the toilet and sink, I would happily give it up to keep the tile in my tub, if we had not been able to afford tile for the whole job.

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When they demo out your bathroom surround, they should put cement backerboard in place.

 

Tile varies widely in price. Subway tile is popular now, classic, and it tends to be a less expensive choice. Choosing a glass tile adds to price as it is difficult to work with, and you have to use a sandless grout, but it makes a lovely inset when mixed with other tile.

 

I had fun looking on pinterest. Some of the great ideas I found were: creating a build in spot for shampoo and conditioner bottles and adding a toe rest for putting your foot when shaving your legs. Neither is expensive to do; it just takes planning!

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Another vote for a visit to The Tile Shop. We were totally floundering about our master bath until we saw all the vignettes set up there. It quickly became clear to us that we both had the same vision. Then I went home and spent some time on houzz.com to get some further inspiration on colors, etc. We will use our contractor to actually source the materials, but I feel like we've done a good job using those resources to get kind of a knock-off designer bathroom.

 

Now we just need the contractor to fit us into his schedule...

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