Source for 4x4 tile for tub surround, match 1966 "yellow" or a pattern?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by AcidWater, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. AcidWater

    AcidWater Member

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    Need to knock thru the wall to replace the valve -- its leaking back there.
    I don't think the single-handle face plates are large enough since it may require reaching into a big hole to remove the 3-valve, install a support 2x4 for the new valve at the correct horizontal distance from the front of the wall, & tear out the old copper riser pipes & replace them as well.

    Before I open it up, I need to source the replacement tiles. Probably can't really match the color, but maybe they make a package of tiles that makes a design or a picture.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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  4. AcidWater

    AcidWater Member

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    Other side is the hall bathtub. Rather make the bedroom bath look bad. Or better.
    Removing mastic to reuse is "not done" & I thought about it but probably better to use new tile.
     
  5. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Member

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    If the tile could be reused that would probably give the best result. However, even for a skilled tileperson, it would be at best a crapshoot whether they could be removed undamaged. It might be worth a shot though as it will be impossible to find a perfectly matched tile. Even if tiles had been kept from the original lot, they would show a slight difference due to wear. I would seriously try to find a solution that didn't require replacing tile. Make certain the leak cannot be fixed by replacing stems or cartridges. Those are usually the leak points, and there are a number of repairs that can be attempted without damaging tile. Consider carefully if an escutcheon can be used to cover any gaps created by the repair. If you must remove tile, remember that you cannot simply attach tile to a hole, the backer substrate must be restored and this will be a nontrivial part of the repair that you should make sure you understand. It may be easier to retire the whole wall than to repair that section.
     
  6. AcidWater

    AcidWater Member

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    Not leaking from the handle valves, something has corroded behind the wall.
    Have not found any escutcheon plates that would be large enough -- guy has to get his hands in there to cut out old inlet piping & riser, and create a 2x4 support at the correct fore & aft distance from finished surface, to support a single-valve unit.

    Yes one aspect of the problem is replacing the backer (1966 is cement board but would use Kerbiboard).
    The tile extends 3/4 of the way to the ceiling, and extends across the whole wall (beyond the tub).
    Wish I knew where the studs are located, to know where existing supports are, to know how wide a piece must be removed to avoid creating new internal supports for a smaller hole.

    Had a contractor look at it but he was not helpful as a one-stop shop on issues of tile.
    Don't know how to find individual tradesmen without going thru a contractor.
    Does the tile guy also repair the backer? Or what trade does that?
    Don't know how to search for the tile trade in the phone book/internet.
    Getting people to come out for such a small job is also difficult.

    Actually this bathroom is not yellow, but off-white with speckles...
     
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    You could try going to www.johnbridge.com and post on their professional side asking if anyone is in the area. No guarantees.

    Generally, the tile person would repair the backing and prep for the tile.

    Sometimes, it's hard to find replacement tile later that same year, and even if it is still made, there are often subtle color variations in lot to lot.

    You might be surprised what you can do in a moderately small hole. You'd need a pipe cutter designed for close quarters. THe harder part may be providing good support blocking.

    It would be rare to be able to remove tile undamaged. If you can cut out a large enough portion of the whole thickness (remove grout and cut through the cbu), you might be able to grind and chip off the backing. Getting new blocking to then support the repair section could be tricky, especially around that area where there are pipes blocking the bay.

    Is it time for a bathroom remodel rather than a repair?
     
  8. AcidWater

    AcidWater Member

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    Is my tile porcelain or ceramic? How do I tell?
    Hard time finding 4x4 tile for sale online, not a popular size.
    Also not finding patterns with a matching bullnose for the edge piece, or 2x4 edging.
    Really need to find some sort of pattern so I can cut out entire rows & replace with a pattern or picture that does not look too out of place.

    This site list some places for finding "retro" tile:
    https://retrorenovation.com/2019/01...-x-4-ceramic-bathroom-tile-in-vintage-colors/

    Actually I should not need edge pieces, the whole wall is tiled.

    This is so close -- I have gold speckles, this has black & blue/grey:
    https://www.classictilenewyork.com/productcat/414-x-414-dal-tile-0147-pepper-white-ceramic-wall-tile

    But my tile is actually 4 1/4". Don't know how thick it is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  9. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Member

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    How will you repair the backer. You could use construction adhesive to attach furing strips or similar to the cement board. Then screw in a patch and then thinset on top of that, but it's not easy and a lot can go wrong. You could cut away tile and board to the next stud and make a rectangular patch. This solution is more likely to work, but will show more especially if the tile does not match. The time to do this job could come close to the the time to retile the entire tub, so that's something to evaluate. Get a few samples of the tile you want to consider to hold it up to see how it will fit. Consider removing more tile to create a partern like you suggest, but it may be tricky to make this look good. It will depend on what kind of result you are expecting.
     
  10. AcidWater

    AcidWater Member

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    Doing the repair is for the tile guy to figure out. If I can buy a match then the hole can be as large as required. No need or desire to do the whole room!

    I think this might be an exact match, but the damn website is wanko. I don't know how I initially FOUND it, and cannot get to it thru the Search, and the Products are arranged by subjective naming that is absolutely useless... Can't even sort on 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 and get a result... And when I put it into the Cart to get a sample, it goes thru the sequence of buying it, but when I hit the final "buy" -- the cart goes empty & my data is blanked out !!!

    Fortunately I cut & pasted the exact URL before leaving that page:
    https://www.daltile.com/product/semi-gloss-and-matte?color=Golden-Granite
    Countertop | Wall
    Semi Gloss and Matte
    Glazed Ceramic
    Golden Granite 0138
     
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