I want something with zero maintenance and have my doubts about
My bathroom has old black and white 2" ceramic tiles from the 1940s.
I'm thinking of covering them over with linoleum tiles and wondering
if I'm going to end up with a big problem. The existing tiles that
meet the walls are curved, so none of the tiles will press flush
against the walls. It's a small bathroom and we don't generally mop up
pools of water after getting out of the shower.
What kind of care do I need to take with these tiles once they're
installed? Do I have to worry about water leaking behind the tiles and
making mold. What about or scuffing? My wife and I aren't the most
careful people. What about occasional replacement of one or two tiles?
What's the lifespan of such a floor? I don't want to have to replace
this stuff every five years along with all the careful measuring and
I'd rather leave it the way it is, but my wife wants the bathroom
pretty. But we don't want to end up with a pile of ugly mangled
plastic permanently glued to a perfectly usable floor.
Leave it the way it is, just re-grout where you need to. Unless you
are missing a lot of tiles, I would not put a linoleum tile over
ceramic, especially one that curves up to meet a wall. It will look
ugly. Have you considered using a grout and tile cleaner, and then re-
grouting and re-sealing?
You'll probably have to take up the old tiles and possibly do some other
work to get the floor perfectly flat. Vinyl tiles, no matter how thick, will
take on the irregularities of whatever's underneath.
Well, not totally irreversible; you can still tear up the
whole shooting match when it turns out to be a complete
disaster -- which is my prediction.
I think you'll have a mess with no redeaming qualities
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
Yeah, no matter what you do, putting vinyl tiles on top of the ceramic
ones is going to look like hell.
You really have two choices:
1) Clean-up what's there and live with it.
2) Rip up the tiles, lay a plywood base, and lay the vinyl on top of that.
If the house is old enough, under the tile will just be hardwood...vinyl
will look like hell if put on top of that as well.
| >I plan to use some floor leveling compound to smooth out the bumps in
| >the existing tile, not sure what's really involved with that but I'm
| >guessing it will make the job totally irreversible.
| Well, not totally irreversible; you can still tear up the
| whole shooting match when it turns out to be a complete
| disaster -- which is my prediction.
| I think you'll have a mess with no redeaming qualities
The house I bought a few years ago had Armstrong self-stick vinyl tiles
over real tile. It was horrible. Water wicked along the grout lines
of the underlying tiles and made some of the new tiles lift in places.
It took only a few hours to remove all the vinyl tiles (and remove/replace
the toilet), but the residual stickiness was difficult to deal with.
Armstrong would not recommend a solvent for (I think) liability reasons.
I ended up spending a day alternating between paint thinner and Pine-Sol
with ultimately good results. The underlying tiles were in good condition
and (at least to my view) far more attractive than the vinyl.
If you're good with a knife, you could always get a piece of vinyl flooring
and cut to fit. Shouldn't need to glue it down... Maybe a bit of removable
silicone along the bathtub edge and door to keep it from lifting.
I have never seen linoleum tiles that looked good or adhered well. If
there are no missing or broken
tiles, you might be ahead by just removing some grout and putting in new
grout. Fairly substantial
job, but done right will make tile look a good deal better.
For a small room, either a grasscloth or indoor/outdoor carpet might be
a better cover. Either could
be laid up the curve to cover the tile - with care, adhesive might be
applied to tile only so it holds well, doesn't
shift or sag, and can be removed without damaging tile. I got tired of
our little rug by the shower looking dirty, so I bought a grasscloth
enough to throw away if soiled, not damaged by standing on it wet, and
goes with anything. Little scratchy
to stand on, but I'm not delicate.
I think his real problem is that black-and-white tiles look so, so... retro
and his current squeeze has a highly delicate sense of style, panache, and
I like your idea of a rug. I'd even go so far as to suggest colored
have your wife take a look at modern bathrooms, to see how many are showing
the old black/white tiles.
then get out some grout and some silicone and go to town sealing up
make sure that you are using a long enough shower liner, and USE a bathmat
to collect water from your showers, and then hang it to dry.
just my opinion,
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