Need to replace ceramic tile in shower after the faucet is fixed...

Mary T
by Mary T
tile is sky blue (from the 1960s) cannot match now. replace with white?? or try a different and make a design??? Suggestions?
  12 answers
  • Teresa A Teresa A on May 31, 2013
    Could you take a couple white tiles and paint them with epoxy paint? I have painted bathroom tile surround successfully with epoxy paint. Epoxy paint can be color matched and is available at Home Depot.
    • Mary T Mary T on Sep 09, 2013
      @ @Teresa A thank you so much for your suggestion. I have not had this bath repaired yet..waiting to get money together... I plan to use epoxy paint.....?s do I only paint the shiny top of the tile and not get any paint on the sides or back....wondering about that in case it would cause problems when grouting the tiles. Plummer says that they will need to remove maybe 5 - 10 tiles in order to get to the pipes and remove the faucet. This house was built in 1967 and these faucets are the original ones. He has repaired the stem at least 4 times in the last 5 years and says that is worn completely out and of course the new stem is not available unless we know the exact one used.... looking forward to your reply.
  • Depending upon how many tiles are affected you may be able to purchase cover plates that will hide the openings caused by replacement of the faucets. However if properly done most faucet types of that era can be repaired without having to damage the tiles.
  • Randi Destefano Randi Destefano on Jun 01, 2013
    Mary, I'm assuming that this is a bathtub area you want to re-tile? Honestly, your best look would be to replace all of the tile or it will look like a "patch job"...And it will add value to your home. Selecting a neutral color tile, is always a good choice. But you will want to consider the other elements in the room. I love adding accent borders to shower/tub areas because they bring a little "Wow Factor" to the space. All of these ideas, of course, will depend on your budget. If you'd like to learn more design tips, visit my website ( and sign up for my weekly design newsletter. I always offer valuable design ideas and new product information.
  • Ryzach Construction, LLC Ryzach Construction, LLC on Jun 01, 2013
    If you prefer not to get into replacing the tile all shower valves can be replaced by removing the drywall/plaster on the back of the shower wall to gain access. If it an old two handle and you are changing to a single lever style then replacing the tile is your best bet. Just as it was said in the previous comment it will always look like a patch. The other benefit of complete replacement is resale value, bath update have one if the highest return on investments. I would suggest changing it up a bit use some 12x12 tiles with an accent. Good luck!
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jun 01, 2013
    It is rare for the "body" of a shower valve to fail. Either a single handle mixing type valve, or a hot / cold / divert system. Leaky faucets can be fixed with a simple valve kit. I have done a number of repairs to each. In the case of the hot / cold / divert. You can often buy a complete repair kit. that includes new stems, valve seats, and knobs. A complete rebuild can be done from the shower side without disturbing any tile work at all.
  • If the tile is already damaged and the new valve installed, try adding a tile feature that coordinates with the existing. Make sure the feature is significant so as to look planned, not a cover-up (which it is of course!) To balance it you could add a niche elsewhere in the tub/shower area and use the feature tile in the back of that too. Not sure if that would save a lot of money but it would preserve the vintage tile if that's what your after.
  • C & K Custom Remodeling C & K Custom Remodeling on Jun 01, 2013
    Here in Portland Oregon we have a couple of stores that take in materials from homes that have been remodeled or tore down and they resell those items. I have had great luck finding old discontinued tiles for matching. Here in Portland it's called the rebuilding center. You might give them a call to see if there is a similar store in your area. Also habitat for humanity has similar stores for finding old or discontinued materials.
  • You may be able to find matching vintage tile at an architectural salvage company. That's where I refer my customers when they need to match a few tile from an older era home.
  • I suggest contacting a company that can paint the tiles and glaze the finish for a lifetime of use. It is a cost affective way to change any color on your bathtub or tile walls.
  • Accentuations! Accentuations! on Jun 02, 2013
    Great news! your tile is paintable! There are two-part epoxy systems at many retail paint stores (such as Sherwin Williams, Glidden, etc.) Also, Rust-o-leum makes an excellent product called "Restore"...all this if you choose to do the work yourself. You could also consider a bath restoration by a pro. You have options! If you would like more detail, please feel free to ask me!
  • I would have removed the valve from the back side and kept the tiles in tact. Otherwise, you're obviously stuck with adapting a design or some other creative way. You could also try someone like for savage antique tile.
  • Lyn Marino Lyn Marino on Jun 03, 2015
    Update the look with a decorative tile by enlarging the area and put railroad tile or even a decorative look like a seascape. It will give your bathroom a new look.