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How to Deal with your Terrible Tile

If you aren't buying a million dollar plus home, you are probably going to have to deal with some aspect of your future home you don't like. Maybe its the school district that is less than ideal. Or maybe there isn't enough outdoor space to host the BBQs you like so much. But one thing I hate to see people skip over good homes for is decor or style, which is a very changeable thing, regardless of budget. Other than paint color (which if you complain about there is no hope for you and you should just keep renting), the thing I hear people skip over homes for the most is outdated kitchens and baths.

Yes, the average kitchen and bath renovation in the US is pretty high, about $5,000-15,000 for a bath and $20,000+ for a kitchen. If you are buying a home, its unlikely you are going to have that much cash in your pocket after closing. But there are some really easy ways of managing an outdated bathroom or kitchen.

In particular, the ones I see shunned more than any other is the "retro tile" bathroom. These are those bathrooms that were done in the 40's-60's and are covered in blue, mint (if you are lucky), pink (if you aren't) and yellow tiles, basically from floor to ceiling. Yes, upon move-in, this is an eye sore and is generally a turn off for your daily morning routine. But let me share with you a few tips on how to make that retro tile work for you without breaking the bank so that next time you see a retro tile in your house hunt, you don't pass up that perfectly wonderful home.

Retro Tile Fix #1: Simply Paint

Lets say you were lucky enough to get a bright yellow tile in good condition or that 1930's mint and black. Then all you really need to do is freshen things up with a little paint and new fixtures...


This sums up the vibe I'm going to go for when decorating our casita.  I want it to feel like you walked into a fresh, colorful slightly southwest home that's been furnished with things you could find at the Natural History Museum



Turquoise subway, fresh and nostalgic in a child's bathroom.

Even pink tile becomes less offensive when next to bright white!

dream house: the bathroom / sfgirlbybay

As you can see, fresh white goes a long way. White paint plus new white fixtures (spending only $300 instead of $3,000) can make for a pretty dramatic overhaul!

Or spruce it up with a little wallpaper instead!


Make It Work: Old School Tile in the Bath

Retro Tile Fix #2

If white paint and new white fixtures just aren't enough to make that dingy blue or over-the-top pink seem livable, try making a cheap fix to one aspect of the bathroom.

For instance, buying inexpensive peel-and-stick vinyl tiles and covering your existing tile floor is a cheap, and easy DIY fix for a too-colorful floor. These tiles come in a variety of colors now, including white marble looks. You can simply put them down or follow easy grouting instructions for a more finished appearance.

grouted vinyl peel stick tile, bathroom ideas, diy, flooring, how to, tile flooring, tiling, The floor really made the bathroom
{via}(with instructions!)

Retro Tile Fix #3

Perhaps you can stand your floor, but the wall tiles are killing you instead. Did you know you can paint them?

Rustoleum Tub & Tile Bathroom Makeover - DIY Painted Bathroom Tiles
{via}  (with instructions!)

Now I wouldn't recommend this for a long-term fix. Often, this paint doesn't wear well over the years and may not look like a quality product. But if you are looking for a quick fix for a few years while you save up, this is a fantastic, DIY option!

Retro Tile Fix #4 

If you just can't stand any of that tile but don't have the money for the big renovation yet or the ability to DIY on tile removal, then a combo of these techniques may be best until you can save up. Paint your walls, install new fixtures if you were 'blessed' with a pink or blue matching toilet, cover the floors DIY fashion and cover that wall tile with beadboard sheeting!

White Bathroom With Beadboard
{via} (w/ instructions!)

With about  $1000 or less, depending on your decision to hire a handyman or not, your dated vintage bath could look like this pretty quickly...

This idea also works nicely in kitchens where the backslash is a detraction!

So next time you see that terrible pink...


... or yellow

all {via} 

mess of a bathroom, don't let it detract you from your dream house and a limited budget!!


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