So many decisions need to be made before we begin the major demolition work of the bathroom.
The bathrooms in each unit of The Box House still have their original hex tile, and I love the look of it. Unfortunately, the floor in our unit also has a big crack across nearly the entire length, right in the center of the room. (I think the tenants' unit is fine, but it's been a while since I actually looked at the floor critically.)
And no matter what we try, it never really looks clean. If the surface ever had a coating, it's been worn away. The grout is really grungy, too. And who knows what it looks like underneath the cabinet vanity some previous owner installed. It could be even worse.
Poking around the Internet, we found recommendations for Dremmeling out the old grout and redoing it, but that still leaves the issue of the very large crack and the general dingy look of the tiles. So we're toying with the idea of replacing the floor.
The bathroom is small, only five by seven feet including the tub. The section we'd have to replace is maybe 25 square feet.
I ordered a few tile samples online, and here's what we have so far:
The ones above (the blue and the soccer ball pattern) are modern versions. I love the cobalt, which happens to be my favorite color. They measure 3/4 inch, rather than the 1-inch we have now, although they do come larger. They are not historically accurate, as the edges are beveled and the tiles themselves are quite shiny. While a floor made of them might look cool, it wouldn't look right for our 1920s home.
The ones above (with the HC codes) I absolutely love. They are historically accurate, are the exact same size we have now, and come in many colors. The lighter of the two whites actually matches ours, but the blue here is more of a navy. (They also come in a nifty red, but I didn't get a sample of that one.) There are numerous vendors online who sell them; the price averages $10-20 a square foot. They come polished and unpolished (these are the unpolished).
I'm flip-flopping on a daily basis about what to do--some days I think "let's just Dremmel it, regrout, and live with the crack." Other days I think, "Well, if we're gutting everything else, why not this, too?" If we replace the floor, we'll go with the historically accurate tiles. And if we do that, we may create our own design—why limit ourselves to the blue rosettes?
American Restoration Tile has numerous pictures on their site to inspire the creative muse.
Are we crazy for even thinking of trying to replace the floor? How big a nightmare will it be to pull up the old one?