Save the Blue Bathroom : Part 1

Posted by Andrew on
Tagged: lifestyle

This story started out so innocently... One day I noticed the caulking around the tub needed replacing. I would just re-caulk the edge around the tub... but hey this tile is loose... and another... and... oh there's mold behind this drywall -- 4 hours later half the tiled wall was torn out and some pretty nasty drywall removed.

Save the blue bathroom. Retro remodel 1950s

With our limited budget and love of retro bathrooms, we decided to just repair the wall and re-stick the tile. But this led to a bigger discussion – should we redo the rest of the bathroom? We are fans of and all the mid-century modern bathrooms... and we were living with a partially blue bathroom that was just wanting to be reborn! So we decided to do it all retro, and here is how it went...


Part 1 – The wall

I was very careful in removing the moldy drywall. Wearing an expensive respirator mask and spraying liberally with a chlorine solution and immediately bagging as I went. it was slow and messy.

I saved all the original tiles from the wall. When removing the existing tiles I was pretty careful but unfortunately did break several prying them from the wall. Tiles are quite brittle and crack easily. Fortunately we were able to find close matches at the local Buffalo ReUse store. This place is a real find – tiles in (almost) any color -- close enough to be unnoticable!

I cleaned the old adhesive from the tiles by basically scraping them with a heavy duty scraper. To hold them in place we fashioned a jig. Actually, getting the grout off the sides proved more difficult than the adhesive from the back.

Save the blue bathroom. Retro remodel 1950s tub area

I replaced the removed drywall with green board – a new(er) style drywall designed for bathrooms to resist moisture (perfect!).

Save the blue bathroom. Retro remodel 1950s tub area

Save the blue bathroom. Retro remodel 1950s tub area

A nice trick to help keep tiles in place when (re)adhering them is to use painters masking tape.

Save the blue bathroom. Retro remodel 1950s tub area tiling

When (re)installing everything, I took extra care to seal everything well. This meant using more grout and caulk than I probably needed to. I also used a grout sealant, which is an oil-based product that helps seal the grout. I don't want to ever do this again!

Save the blue bathroom. Retro remodel 1950s

Here is the tilework all finished. You can see the holes in the tile (upper right), where there originally were sliding doors mounted.

Stay tuned for my next entry, where I talk about what we do next!




Here is part 1 of our blue bathroom re-do. Please do read the other parts here:

Part 2 - Part 3




Tagged: lifestyle

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