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What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Posted by autumngal (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 15, 08 at 10:21

Hello, I'm also going to post this at Old House to get some of those folks two cents.

We are moving in (hopefully closing today!)to an 1898 victorian home, it's a very simple victorian, no real leaning to one style or another. The main bathroom has a claw foot tub, a neat old toilet with push-button flush, and an old sink. The walls have a strange white with weird blue spatter on them with a black tile edge. I'm not a huge fan but they'll do for now. The main problem is the floor, which has a sheet of something on it, which is crumbling. Under is the wood floor.

We will (at some point) be putting another full bath in, so I'd really like to keep the neat fixtures and make this more of a period bathroom. I know bathrooms weren't too fancy in Victorian times, what would the traditional floor be? Just wood? Are we better off re-finishing the wood floor and eventually putting in wood wainscotting, or is wood just a terrible choice and we should tile it.

Another note, there is a ton to do on this house (we will not have a kitchen at first, so re-doing that is #1), we were just going to leave the floor, but with it crumbling and with three little kids who pick at things, I think we'll need to do it sooner than later. But, a stop-gap measure of doing something would be great.

Thanks! This photo is from the MLS, we aren't moved in yet so I can't do a close-up.

Photobucket


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Can't offer much advise, but I wanted to say that I just LOVE the original fixtures. Hopefully, you can use them. Having said that, I would in the meantime, put some hexagonal shaped tile in white, give the moldings a fresh coat of paint (unless you wanna strip it) and remove the striped wallpaper. Perhaps once you remove the wallpaper you will appreciate the tile variations a bit better. I too had a bathroom with block tile in white with blue variations in it. It had wallpaper and just looked weird. I removed the wallpaper and really like by tile now. My color scheme in the bathroom is blue, taupes, and chocolate.

If I were you, I would keep the bathroom vintage looking, can't wait to see finished results!


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

In ascending order of expense would have been wood (softwoods, ash, or maple, because oak water stains badly) encaustic tile, marble.
In restoration, reclaimed heart pine will be almost as expensive as tile or marble, leaving maple or ash flooring as the bargains.
Casey


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

We're putting in a new upstairs bathroom in our 1906 (or 1912, we have two dates from the tax office) era home. We chose to go with Forbo Marmoleum. We chose the Dutch Designs line and will have a narrow border of artist Irma Goedemondt's M1012 Red about three inches in from the wall. The rest of the flooring will be Richard Hutten's M1012 All The Colours Of The Rainbow. The narrow red border will be "welded" together with a dark brown welding rod - just like in the years past. It will look very vintage and it's a green product from Germany. It cost us $31.56 per square yard (9 square feet) so it is very reasonable at about $3.50 a square foot.

I like the real life samples better than the ones on their website but you can get an idea by clicking on the link below.

Good luck!

The cool thing about marmoleum is the pattern goes all the way through. It's made of linseed oil, cork and wood dust.

Here is a link that might be useful: Forbo Marmoleum Dutch Designs


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Wow- thank you so much! littlealexa, we are planning on keeping the original fixtures. I think when we eventually put a new bathroom in (and after the kids are teenagers, which will be some time), I'll take out the shower and just have it as a vintage bath. sombreuil_mongrel, thank you for the great information, I think that will come in handy with the whole house. golddust, thanks for the link-I handn't thought of marmoleum and will definitly consider it.

When I peel up the crumbling floor, if anything exciting happens I'll update!


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

As far as I'm concerned, that bathroom is SCREAMING for 1" white hex tile:

Photobucket


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

We just installed a 2 inch hex tile with a gloss finish. I think that this would look great in your victorian bathroom. This tile was under $3 sqft.

Photobucket


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Love the white hex tile and it *would* look great *if* you don't mind maintaining the grout. Even sample installs in flooring stores can quickly develop paths where the grout is much darker. It always looks beautiful when it's new. I'm just not that thrilled with how white grout ages.

Our new bathroom is 9 x 17 - it's upstairs and we had an engineer help us with some structural issues in the floor and attic. We decided the weight of the tile wasn't worth the risk, even though we were assured it would likely be just fine.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Love the white hex tile and it *would* look great *if* you don't mind maintaining the grout.

Not quite so fast..... one trend I'm seeing alot more of is the use of a light to medium grey grout, instead of using the white, just for that reason. It's still period appropriate, and looks alot better for alot longer. There have been several people in here over the last few years who've done that. Do a search on "white hex grey grout" in this forum, and see what you come up with.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Bill,
Know I bow to you, please! I listen very carefully to everything you and Mongo say on this forum... If you only knew how much I name drop in my DIY renovations, you'd be proud of how close I listen. I have an old 1912 era house that I bought fully bathed in 1972 era updates, harvest gold everything including the shag carpets, but I guess it is all about where one lives. If you have sidewalks, cement, very little dirt and no children, well, that is one thing. Do the white or light grey grout.

But that isn't my lifestyle. I don't have money for a housekeeper and I live on a farm; in a house I care about, with no housecleaner and that is too big to dwell on impractical decisions like white or grey grout that needs scrubbed every day after someone comes in from the garden or barn or just getting the mail. I'm busy keeping up with laundry and rugs and floors and cooking. I'm not waiting for a magazine to call. The white or grey grout just means more work to my mind. Granted, other people live differently and I'm just giving my perspective.

That all said, I'm trying my best to explain the Keri system for my new shower. I've even shown Mongo's photo show - my people (who are quite talented, see my photos) are still not quite getting it.

I related to the photos presented and the priorities stated

Here is a link that might be useful: This is my house for better or worse


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Must say, I got lost looking at the Marmolelum, so many choices and looks. With kids and farm lifestyle, the seamless soundreduced soft quiet floor and wainscot looks like it would be easy care, fun to design and quiet to live with. Did you like what you saw? What do you think of the dark wood forbo?


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http://www.themarmoleumstore.com/Default.aspx?MenuId=1101RE: What

http://www.themarmoleumstore.com/Default.aspx?MenuId=1101


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

It took me two stores to obtain two lines of Forbo that I would consider. One is the Dutch Designs and the other series is called "global 1". Many of Forbo's lines of marmoleum appears very modern hospitalish to me (melba toast). I haven't seen the wood but I do have the M0812 Miriam van der Lubbe color that is a darkish brown... I'm choosing that for the 1/8" welding rod between the small red border and the rainbow edges and body.

Dark brown - for where I live - may show all the dust that seeps through my country windows. If you live somewhere a tad cleaner, it sounds wonderful!

It's worth it to go see it in real life. The colors are so much better than anything my computer screen shows and you can see the jute backing.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Yikes! It would help if I checked my links before posting. Here is a link to the progress we've made on our house so far.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our house now


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

autumngal, the window and baseboards in this picture are wonderful, are they in good condition to keep throughout your new ole home? Would love to see more, looks like this may be a very special house.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

So I'm close to making an offer on a 9 bathroom...it may be 10, victorian. Most of the bathrooms are converted closets (It's a B&B) and they were obviously done in the 80's. The showers are fiberglass of some sort with glass doors and brass trim. Nice sinks (pedestal) mostly, and mostly claw foot tubs if there is one. All sitting on formica or something like that or cheap tile, tan and gold.

So, I thought, white tiles, basic ceramics, with gray grout. But, I'm wondering...is that right for the house? This house was built by the founder of the town, and is definately one of the "mansions" in the little victorian town. It is so fabulous...aside from the bathrooms, and after reading above...should I be considering wood or marble foors? I was considering a few marble showers, (Slab walls on all sides with a slab floor and victorian style multi jets) as well as a ribcage shower in the master. But again, I was all over the white ceramics. So what's appropriate to the house? Victorian mansion, but not a super fancy one (if that's possible to say about anything victorian). It's not the stone mansion of our dreams...it's obviously been a family home and probably was one, but one with servants I'd guess...

Lead me in the right direction please experts???


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

I'd have to look into it. The subways and gray grout WOULD be period specific, but do you want to do ALL the bathrooms the same?


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

I totally agree on the hex for the original poster. Or a basketweave, possibly.

And I do think some white subway bathrooms would be nice, but also agree you'll want to mix up the bathrooms more. First, for variety, but also I would be concerned about everything looking dated at the same time. I am in the process of doing white subways right now in my 1920's house, and while I like to think this is a classic look, etc, the truth is that subways have been having such an extraordinary comeback in the past decade, that there is a good chance 10 years from now it will look a little 1990's/2000's. Maybe not in as bad a way as avocado appliances were 1970's, but I always worry that something that is so popular becomes trendy, even if it is a classic. I hope I'm wrong, but just to hedge my bets, with 10 bathrooms, I would definitely branch out. The marble sounds lovely, and I think if you look at a lot of inspiration photos you will find some other looks that appeal to you. Good luck, sounds like a huge (hopefully fun) endeavor!!


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

I wouldn't do them all exactly the same, but for many, it would be difficult to differentiate without doing something modern. Many are very small converted closets with a shower stall at the end, sink then toilet. I was thinking that I'd get rid of the shower stall and make the room wet rooms, with tile walls and floor. I was thinking a mix of hex, subway, etc...different white tile trims for detail. Are there other colors for accents we could play with? We really do want to keep the house period and be sensative to the possible use as a B&B if we ever sell it.

I do love the idea of marble. Some of the baths could be done in marble, especially the suites like the master. I wouldn't make that room a wet room like the other small rooms.

I also like the idea of wood floors...but wonder if that's a good idea in a B&B (we won't run it as such, but it has been one for 30 years). Does it hold up well?


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

If you're going to do wet rooms, then might I suggest while you're down in Pendleton at CTEF, that you spend an EXTRA week while you're at it, and go to "Schluter School"! Kerdi's a beautiful thing!

As for doing different color accents, that's actually a great idea. You COULD use the white subways and white hex as the field for floor and walls, and then use different colored pencil liners to accent the walls, and then you could use dots or "daisies" in the floor. The one above has dots in it, and if you need me to show you what I mean by daisies, let me know, and I'll go out to my garage and make a small mock-up to show you.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Bill, I'm assuming that by "daisy" you mean one hexagon surrounded by six hexagons (or Grandmother's Flower Garden to your quilting DW). Would love to see pix/mockups, if it's not too much trouble. I'm on the fence as between basketweave and hexes.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Oh daisy's are a great idea Bill! I think I can play with a few different themes using basic tiles and make each bathroom different. I like that idea. I'm hoping that I can buy a ribcage kit (reproduction most likely) for at least a couple of the bigger bathrooms. And maybe wood in the powder room on the main floor....

Is black pretty much my accent color option? I can't say I've seen a victorian bathroom with much more than black or white tile, even if done in marble.

So Schluter school huh? LOL I do love the idea of at least half of these baths being wet rooms. That's the best way to get rid of the glass in a tiny tiny bath IMO. And it's fairly guest friendly since you don't need a bunch of storage in a guest bath like that.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

That's exactly what I mean. When I get home from work this afternoon, I'll bring in a sheet of hex and some black pieces and take a pic.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Bill, if you see this, are there any fancy/creative things to do with hexagon daisies without going too far into avant garde artistic mosaics? I'm still playing with ideas....


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Gosh, no, black and white doesn't make it Victorian.
Here's a link to some authentic tile floors of the period.
Casey

Here is a link that might be useful: encaustic tile patterns


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

This is what's called a "daisy":

Photobucket

As far as what you can do with them, you can do different patterns with them by changing how many you use and how you arrange them.

As for the comment about black and white, actually it IS very period appropriate, but there's nothing that says you can't use other color hex for the accent, either. One other possibililty would be like what I did for salbwil in her laundry room, and that's to run an accent stripe around the room using 1x1 square ceramic mosaics:

Photobucket


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Here's our original blue daisy hex floor from around 1911. This vintage pattern and color are fairly common in old Chicago buildings built at that time:

It could not be saved, so we replaced with a new black daisy hex that retains the vintage look:


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

but what about autumngal's bath ....... are you still there?


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

My house was built in 1897 and the bathroom has an old pine floor. We have a claw foot tub, too, and I love the look of the wood floor with it. It hasn't been any trouble to take care of and it is very easy to clean. I think you should consider wood.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

American Restoration Tile has tile that looks just like the old tile. If you click on their 'color palette' you can see which colors correspond to which times in American home building. The 1985-1910 palette has quite a few colors!

The 'shop pics' page shows a lot of border and other types of designs, from simple to fancy.

This company was extremely fast to reply to a request for samples. After that both my tile installer and I found them to be rather slow (e.g., getting us prices) but when the order was placed they got it to us in a timely fashion. So, you need to be prepared for that. The tiles we received are fantastic and I was unable to find that quality in the less expensive options I looked at (e.g., DalTile).

Here is a link that might be useful: American Restoration Tile Co.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Autumngal, I love your windowsill, apron, moldings and baseboards! I hope you choose to keep them.

The tile walls are more recent (I dunno, guessing 40-50 years old), so from a preservation standpoint you don't have to keep them, but from an I've-got-kids-and-other-things-to-do standpoint, what if you keep the tiled walls, and get white and blue hex tiles that coordinate with them? That would be both period appropriate and work with the walls, making less work for you. White with blue daisies might be lovely. Actually, with those black edge trim tiles, you could do white hex with black daisies.

To add to the general discussion of victorian bathroom floors, I plan to do encaustic tile similar to that in fern4's link in 2 of my bathrooms, 1" white hex with an intricate mosaic in black hex, kind of like a medallion in the center, with a border and some field stuff going on, in another bath, and finally another cool mosaic of mostly 1" white hex with some 1" carrara marble hex hand inserted in another bathroom. I'm also a big fan of Daltile's octagon and dot, especially the cobalt. Wish I had more bathrooms so I could use it too.

Incidentally my neighbor has an 1895 victorian with more recent spattered tiles in their bathroom like yours. They carefully chose a paint color that matched the spatters, and their bathroom looks great. In general, when you have something distinctive like that, it's best to either embrace it or get rid of it.

I think your bathroom already looks cool and it will only get better!


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moved in!

Thank you so much everyone! I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner, we just moved and then had Christmas, so even GW didn't get me online.

I was really leaning toward just doing a simple wood bathroom, which I would gradually strip the wood from everything and eventually replace the tile with wainscotting. However, with the stunning hex tile (which I didn't think I could love anymore) photos I'm really reconsidering. Slateberry, I love the idea of doing a blue daisy and then replacing the tile later- especially if it looks at all like Bill's bathroom- which I really adore.

Back to picture hanging, I'd like to respond more later-
Ginnie


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

With a quiet moment (my husband was ripping out kitchen cabinets and a drop celing earlier), I'd love to respond a bit. Thank you so much for the great info!

Igloo, I know your kitchen well from the kitchens forum and I'm shocked that you would leave that amazing view and great mosaic!

Bill and Lauren your photos have really pushed me toward the hex tile (although I love the many links that were posted). Our first project is our kitchen, so we'll have time to live with it all a bit. I think the big thing is the condition of the floor. If it's in good condition, then despite the amazing photos, I think we'll go with that waterloxed, if it's not (which I think it might be), I think hex tile might be the answer.

Slateberry and Bodica, I wouldn't dream of taking out that moldings or baseboards, they are through the whole house, except the kitchen, and I love them. Just like in the bath, they have a thick coating of paint, and very far down the road, I'll get it all off. Although the sink and toilet aren't period, they are just too fun and so must stay.

Bodica, I think if you click the picture, you'll get to photobucket where I have the other real estate photos of the house. It's a great house, we've been happy in it for the week we've been here!

Thanks so much everyone for great info and encouragement. I'll post more when we get to the bathroom, kitchen first!
Ginnie


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

I think this would be a nice option. I haven't seen this pattern before in hex tile, and it would work well with white subways or larger carrara tiles. It will stay cleaner looking than all white hex, and dark grout as shown will look good with it cutting down on maintenance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Black & White Hex Tile


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Hi autumngal, how is this coming along for you?


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Carrara 1 inch Hex


Carrara 2 inch Hex


Carrara Trim


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Hey Mosaic King-- Spamming's not allowed.


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RE: What floor for 1898 victorian bath?

Hi there!

I just joined this wonderful website group, and I found it very informative!

I was wondering if anyone can help me out, as I am very stuck in deciding what to do with renovating the bathroom in our new (only 50 years old) home!

I have attached a picture above. It is longer and narrow. That is the vanity and mirror I will be using. I also am going to put in a white tub, and I want to put white v-groove 6" paneling, vertically on the walls.

I wanted to use the hex tiles on the floor, but I really wanted to use glossy, but I can only find matte! Does anyone know where I can find glossy finished plain white hex tiles? Also, I planned on using subway tiles on the shower walls.

I had originally planned on putting down the white tiles and a very light grout, as I like the bright look. But after reading this, I am very confused and hesitant now! I don't want to have to be cleaning every second of the day in order to keep it looking that way.

Any other thoughts on the floor tiles? Any other thoughts on the wall tiles in the shower? I really like the rustic and country look, but I cannot think of any other tiles to use to achieve that look!

Much help needed :)

Thanks!

Rhea


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