the farm: bathroom renovation episode 1. – tile experts?

I’ll start off by saying that my husband has strictly forbidden my use of power tools. I’ve had too many accidents with staple guns in my past – I’m working on that. I’m trying to display exemplary tool-belt diva behavior on the off chance that maybe someday I’ll get to use a nail gun. I have manually installed crown molding, I think I’ve earned it!  And hopefully I can help with a power tool or two on our next big project.

Anyone that has been reading up on The Farm’s Renovations knows full well that when the cat’s away, the mouse will play. The last business trip / project-almost-completed was the Laundry Room Renovation, which I almost completed for Jimmy’s Father’s Day gift. 4 days. 2 kids. Late nights! That was a year ago, and the last major project to be (almost) completed.

I was in Philly this weekend, shooting Fay & David’s wedding.

When I left, our downstairs bathroom looked like this:

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

How sweet that my husband, instead of waiting for his father’s day gift this year, started his own! The goal was to have this bathroom “cleaned up” (as in, not gutted, nothing truly major, simply a cosmetic clean up – our own mirror, etc.) by the time I got home.

They always say you never know what you’re going to find in old houses.

What I came back to was this:

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

I know what you’re thinking. He didn’t get very far. Aside from the obvious MOLD issue – which will require a complete gut of the plaster & lathe, the flooring is also now an issue. He did the right thing by stopping, as he thought I may want to save these tiles.

Underneath the vinyl tile were these ceramic tiles:

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Of course, he scraped off a bunch to get a good view and they’re not in bad condition at all. Granted they’re underneath a good amount of sludge and will require a significant amount of work to get clean, but are they WORTH it? The tiles have actually grown on me big time. Probably for many of you it’s hard to envision keeping them, but I have a ton of ideas – and of course I’m all excited I may have something from the past genuinely here ;-).

My question, opinions aside, how old do you think these tiles are? Are there any tile experts out there? I will be very surprised if they’re from anything later than the 60’s, but again, I’m really not sure. I would think they would be even older than that.

Laura Bruen, NYC Photographer, NJ Photographer

Ultimately, the answer, as to whether or not these are authentic vintage tiles, will be the basis on this next decision. I had to get this up right away as of course, we have a few events coming up at the house, and this project must be complete within 4 weeks! Any help out there?

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  • UPDATE: I received a very speedy response from the ever-helpful staff at Recycling The Past.

    “Look like they’re from the 60’s or 70’s…don’t think they have much value. Careful may be Asbestos under those almost guaranteed! I’d look in the phone book for a good asbestos abatement firm that can properly remove them. Wear a mask if you do it yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Recycling The Past


    Pfft. Just like that, my excitement is gone! I do NOT care if these are from the 60’s. They will be gone gone gone. ReplyCancel

  • Did I fail to mention that this is the only bathroom with a working shower?ReplyCancel

  • I was going to suggest calling Recycling the Past since they are the tile experts. But I would have assumed 60s porcelain tile too. Older tile tends to be smaller and have smaller grout lines too.ReplyCancel

  • I don’t know, they’re kind of fun! Somehow the idea of the bathroom all in white with the tiles… Maybe I’m just nuts from a day trip halfway cross country and back. I’ll toddle off to bed!ReplyCancel

  • laura

    Thanks Kate. They are fun!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara

    I don’t know much about the tiles. They were there when we moved in, and I didn’t like them.

    Have fun! LOLReplyCancel

  • […] the farm: bathroom renovation episode 1. – tile experts? the farm: bathroom renovation episode 2. – a […]ReplyCancel

  • I think the tile was made around 60’s.ReplyCancel

  • They don’t really look like valuable tiles and even if they were, simply because they belong in the past doesn’t make them good to look at. Get ’em out of there and put something worth stepping on!ReplyCancel