Help with small, main bath
Katherine Barlow Brandao
March 15, 2014 in Design Dilemma
I am remodeling our 5'x7.5' bath that is used by me, my husband, our 2.5 year old and guests. We have a second bath downstairs that we use sometimes. We have a large linen closet just outside the upstairs bath. Our house is 1953, and I want to make sure the bathroom fits with the style of the he house. We are working with a very low budget of $1500, but we will be doing all the work.

I like soothing blues, greys ,and whites.
We will remove all the ugly tan tile and scrape all the peeling paint.
We will keep the tub and have it refinished.
We will get rid of the toilet shelving unit and mirror.
We want to replace the toilet with a water wise toilet that doesn't clog 2x a day.
I'm also considering a new sink and fixtures if we can find good deals.
I will try to attach pictures of some of the tiles I am considering.

One question. There are so many bathrooms showing subway tile now, if I use subway tile will it be dated next year? Eel probably be selling within five years.

Please excuse the huge mess.
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Subway tile is somewhat of a classic, and certainly appropriate for a 50s house. It also fits your budget. For the best of the 50s with some 21st century thrown in, I'd opt for white 3x6" subway tile on the shower walls, and a large size off white/cream tile on the floor. American Olean Decorum Ideal White 12 x 24" is a possibility for the floor. We just had it installed this week on the floor of our guest bath which is about the same size as your bath.

I'd keep the bath as simple as possible and paint the walls white or
Sherwin-Williams Silvermist.
2 Likes   March 15, 2014 at 11:35AM
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I don't have an opinon on what to do, but did want to comment on your clogged toilet. Most clogs aren't in the toilet itself, so if you don't deal with where it's clogging in the pipe running out, your new toilet is going to clog just as much as your old one.

Watch the amount of toilet paper that is put down there at one time as that's where most clogs form. Pouring boiling water down your toilet will help break up the clogs as does putting dish soap [not dishwasher soap, but dish soap like Dawn] in the toilet bowl and letting it work its way into the pipes.

To keep all draining running fast, pour boiling water down them on a monthly basis.
1 Like   March 15, 2014 at 1:18PM
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In my opinion, I think you can have a stunning bath for the size of your bathroom. It's a matter of your space planning and your finishes. Here are a couple of inspiration pics for you - all small baths. Hover over the photo to expand and click on the photo name for product details and specs.
This first one is slightly larger - it is 6' x 7'6"
Small Space Bathroom
Bathroom 1
Chevy Chase Kids Bath
This one is 5' x 8' to 9' long
Small bathroom with skylight
Bathroom 2
Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers

The subway tile does give a more timeless broad appeal IMO.
1 Like   March 15, 2014 at 1:50PM
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I think square tiles are classic for a 50's bath. I'd do that in white; perhaps with black border. A wall hung vanity. I love the rectangular tile choice for the floor.
1 Like   March 15, 2014 at 5:47PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I do like the floor tile used in the Chevy Chase kids' bath must click on the photo to see the floor. It's very retro 50's and would work for the look you want.
3 Likes   March 15, 2014 at 5:51PM
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Katherine Barlow Brandao
Thank you for all the great feedback. I'm going to select between subway and square white tiles for the bath. Thanks for the reassurance on those. One big question is what grout color to use. I've seen white grout with white tiles as well as grey grout.

I'm torn between the marble rectangle mosaic tiles I chose for the floor and doing a large, simple tile as suggested. The marble is tumbled, so it won't slip, but I'm afraid it will be harder to clean.

Our toilet us the cheapest on the market, so a better quality should help, but we will try the boiling water tip. Thanks!

Now I just need to find lighting that won't break the bank. Our lights, again, are the cheapest possible and are so blah.

   March 15, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Be aware that real marble stains easily. I would def go with the 3x6" subway on the walls and I like the Chevy Chase period flooring tile.
1 Like   March 15, 2014 at 7:45PM
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Marble is less durable, but it has an undeniable character. Still have mine from the 20's. In your case, I think its a nice transitional style if you don't want the room to be too period.
To save money, I'd consider having the tub surround resurfaced instead of new tile, then you'll have funds to get a better sink and vanity.
   March 16, 2014 at 4:18AM
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Katherine Barlow Brandao
I love the marble basket weave tile, but is too much for my budget. Would white ceramic basket weave with either black or navy accents be too period?
   March 17, 2014 at 2:44PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I think they would be too busy. In a small bathroom you need to keep things simple. If you like marble, American Olean has a lovely porcelain marble lookalike called Mirasol that is very well priced. It comes in a matte finish for the floor and a polished finish for the walls. It comes in a couple of different sizes.
   March 17, 2014 at 3:19PM
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   March 17, 2014 at 4:38PM
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A ceramic basket weave would go great with your tub, but I'd consider it period. I think it would take a pretty high end tile to make it look more modern. Your rectangular sample is like a nod to mid-century; could be a little smaller. Herringbone maybe? I like hex tiles in less traditional colors.
Parley's Terrace
Bathroom, Old Westbury
   March 18, 2014 at 2:32AM
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Katherine Barlow Brandao
Thanks again for all the help. I found a lovely light 12x24"cream title with a subtle texture in it for the floor. After watching my daughter draw on the kitchen floor and then throw all her toys out of the tub I decided ceramic tile with fewer grout lines would be best. I'm still doing subway tile for the tub. Deciding whether to put a niche in the shower and what color grout to use. I'll post a picture when we finish.
   March 26, 2014 at 11:04AM
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