Shower tile dilemma - what would you do?

39 Replies

Just got this property under contract. I tried to get the seller to take care of this, but they wouldn't and just lowered the price instead. So now I'm stuck with finding a solution. The tile doesn't go up high enough and I need to do something so the drywall isn't destroyed.

I've thought of a few ideas. 

  1. 1. tear off the bullnose pieces, continue the pattern up and reinstall bullnose
  2. 2. tear out all tile, and just retile. I don't love the b/w but it's all new
  3. 3. install surround, but that seems cheap
  4. 4. install b/w mosaic above existing tile
  5. 5. ????

What would you do?

If you can find matching tile, I would go with option 1 (tear out bullnose and keep tiling). If you can't find an exact match, maybe go with a band of the mosaic all the way around and then go with a close match the rest of the way up.

Take out the bullnose and go up with the same pattern if you can.  Its nice enough for a rental.  The colors are actually pretty good.  You could put an accent strip and then start your retile too of the original pattern.  If you are going to have any problem with lining it up or color differences definitely go with a border before you go the rest of the way up. get the exact tile name too because not all white is the same color..

Not to be a downer, but I would worry more about the window - what do you plan to do with that?

I personally would get some of that FRP shower/wall board and just install it over the rest of the wall. 

Originally posted by @Eric Knapp:

Not to be a downer, but I would worry more about the window - what do you plan to do with that?

 glass block

Just out of curiousity what's wrong with the window?

It is going to be a rental? What about a second shower curtain rod, and put a clear liner on the window wall. Still lets in light, prevents wall damage. $10 Fix until you need/want to remodel. 

Originally posted by @Chris K.:

Just out of curiousity what's wrong with the window?

If it's not tempered, it poses a safety issue and won't pass inspection. Other than that, its too revealing. If it's safe, I'll get a frosted film, if not, Ill replace with glass block

Originally posted by @Mark Gallagher:

It is going to be a rental? What about a second shower curtain rod, and put a clear liner on the window wall. Still lets in light, prevents wall damage. $10 Fix until you need/want to remodel. 

Leaves too much on the tenant to make sure the curtain is in place, plus it doesn't protect the walls.  I want to make it nice, but at the same time 'harden' the place so it will stand up to tenants.

Originally posted by @Chris K.:

I personally would get some of that FRP shower/wall board and just install it over the rest of the wall. 

 I considered this, but wasn't certain about the look. 

I would also recommend going with the shower wall board for a quick/non-expensive fix.  If you have the budget and are going to keep this rental for many more years would recommend tiling all the way up to ceiling.

Sorry didn't see this was posted in the landlord section.. anyways - you can also get paint designed for shower areas, in acrylic. Go to a paint store SW/Porter/Ben Moore and ask for pre-catalyzed epoxy. Make sure it's caulked well, and should hold up unless tenant is complete moron and dumping buckets of water on the walls, which in that case you'll have trouble no matter what ;) 

We're in a similar boat. The rental we bought only has a bathtub. We'll be adding a shower head but the shower is covered in wallpaper. So that's going to have to come down and then I think we'll put up the shower board. It'll match the existing bathtub and it works for our needs.

If you have the money try and match the tile, if not shower board may be your best bet. 

U can put tint on that window and would have the privacy. 

Back to the question. .. number 2. It's horrible.  Tear it out please! !!

IMO you should have the seller disclose the tile contractor, get a bid for tearing out bullnose and completing the pattern as well as a bid for new tile shower that you approve of. Compare the two and whatever you choose, make the discount at least that much.

Option 1. That's a common tile and even if it doesn't match you can have the tile and tub refinished. Expect to pay around $750 or DIY. take the windows to a glass place and have the glass replaced with tempered prob $150.

@Bryan H.  

 I would remove bullnose and window. frame in and put in smaller window higher up, and run tile further up wall. Good Luck

Sebastian

Originally posted by @George P.:

U can put tint on that window and would have the privacy. 

Back to the question. .. number 2. It's horrible.  Tear it out please! !!

 Hate it that much? Haha. It's not what I would choose but it's a rental man. It's new. It's clean. 

On the window you didn't ask but we also one in a shower although it is a little higher.  If the window is vinyl then replacing with tempered frosted glass is an easy fix.  Our window was wood and we replaced with vinyl frosted for ventilation.  Again higher and not visible from street. Block is nice but  I like having the ventilation in addition to a fan. They still steam things up even with that.

 Finishing up with tile instead of shower board is  a bit nicer and if the rest of the bathroom is new   probably more in line with the other finish. If you do a shower surround you likely need to take all the tile out which is more work. I  would say don't downgrade your finishes.

Tear out the tile. Tear out drywall to hieght you want and install hardi tile backer board. Install a standard lowes neutral tile and replace the countertop to match.
Existing is too dark. Frost glass and bring up to code.
Bathrooms are worth the investment.

That shower board is great for low to mid rentals. I used to put it in my apartments. I found tenants actually preferred it because it is so easy to clean. Just make sure to silicone all seems very well.

If it were a tub only, I would keep it like it is and do nothing.  Can you add a shower in another location and keep this bathroom intact?  That may be a less expensive fix and the extra amenity of a walk-in shower would be an added value to the home.  Some of the prefab shower stalls are relatively inexpensive.

If you are adding a shower head to this set up or keeping one that is already there, then I would tile to the ceiling... keep the bull nose and tile up with white tile only.  The window would need a sill that slants downward.  Guaranteed tenants will put their shampoo bottles and everything else on that window sill, so expect water damage.  You can take out the window now, or take it out when doing the water repair. :-)

Originally posted by @Bryan H.:
Originally posted by @Eric Knapp:

Not to be a downer, but I would worry more about the window - what do you plan to do with that?

 glass block

 Bryan,

If you going to pull the window, why not just fill it in and replace it with wall (it would be cheaper)?  

I'm a big fan of glass block and we use it for daylight in rooms where the external wall is too close to the property line to allow a window, but I wouldn't use it in a shower.

I'm not sure you can just take out the bullnose and continue with tiling. It looks like drywall above the tile and we usually install tile over a hardie back or concrete board. It is not recommended to instal tile over drywall in a shower.

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