Finding matching/complementing tile


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Old 08-19-15, 10:21 AM
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Lightbulb Finding matching/complementing tile

Hello,
I'm hoping to get some ideas for finding a tile to match or complement our existing shower surround. Essentially, I need to add to the old surround. Whoever did the tile before, did not do it high enough and I would like to bring it up at least to the door frame. This is a guest bath so I don't want to spend the money on tearing all the tile out (the whole bathroom is tiled like this, not just the shower part). Any ideas on tile or other material to complement this old tile? The current tile is a pinkish/whitish with the top layer being black (ugh).

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Old 08-19-15, 11:05 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

What's the material above the tile - drywall, backer board, ...?

I'd hit the big box stores and look at the tiles they have available until I saw something I liked.
 
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Old 08-19-15, 11:42 AM
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Finding an exact match will be difficult. Pinkish has not been in fashion for a long time. You could consider removing the upper accent tiles and get enough new tile to do from there up. It won't be perfect but then you'd only have two types or colors of tile instead of making it three by putting something new on top of the black accents.
 
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Old 08-19-15, 12:06 PM
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If you live near a larger city there may be a real tile distributor; they often have piles of old stock and you may find something close. Other possibilities include Habitat for Humanity Restore, and architectural salvage stores.

Otherwise I think Pilot's suggestion to remove the dark tile (and maybe the row of 2x6s) and go up from there so there are only two colors is about the best you can do. Most tile places and the big box stores will let you buy single tiles so you can buy a couple of colors and hold them in place to see how you like them.
 
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Old 08-19-15, 12:24 PM
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Certainly looks like a piece meal & hodge podge. Also looks like it was never designed to be a shower in the first place. The long shower arm remote location tells me that. The tile originally stopped at the mud cap below the dark tile. Can you provide a different picture that shows the bigger perspective of the bath. Also, what is the age of the house? Will determine if you have a mud bed under the pinkish tile or drywall.
 
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Old 08-19-15, 01:08 PM
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The house is 95 years old. We do know it had a major renovation in the 1970s (hence the horrendous colors). We also know the man who owned the home previous was a 'self taught carpenter.' So essentially it has been surprise after surprise of shotty work. The majority of the house is lathe and plaster but it appears this wall is dry wall(I think this part of the house was an addition). I'm still in the process of ripping off the wallpaper backing so I haven't gotten down to actual wall surface to say for sure but i'm going to guess this one is dry wall. I also thought about taking out the black tiles but the grout on the black tiles doesn't look like normal tile grout, it's very dark and very very solid. I suppose I could certainly try ripping them out, but am afraid I'm going to take out the drywall behind it.
Here are a few more angles of photos. Also attached one of the grout on the black tiles. Oh, forgot to mention there are cabinets in the shower. I plan on ripping these out as well obviously.
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Old 08-19-15, 08:26 PM
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Going to a Habitat Restore or a salvage yard is a good idea but if you absolutely must find that particular shade or thickness of tile then you may need to have it custom made. I just recently was watching Rehab Addict on Netflix and on her show she bought from an online retailer that made custom tile. I saw the name of the retailer but didn't pay attention to it so you will have to do a search on the internet but it is possible. If you want your bathroom to look older you may want to watch her show for some ideas.
 
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Old 08-20-15, 04:37 AM
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See if you can get a peek behind the tile by removing one of the shower handles and the cover plate. You should be able to see what is going on behind through the hole in the tile that the valve stick through. You can chip out a little more as long as you don't go larger than the cover trim plate.

Remove the cabinets and inspect the holes that were made by the screws to see if you are dealing with plaster or drywall on the area above the tile.

What does the bullnose piece directly below the dark tile area really look like. Does it have a fairly large sweeping arc back toward the wall? or does it just look like it is a smooth rounded edge that is really no thicker than a normal tile? The first is called a mudcap tile, the second is called a bullnose tile.

FWIW - I had to repair an outside wall to a shower that had pink tile like yours that went around the whole bathroom. Granted the one I did was a vibrant PINK as opposed to an off white to the pink side. Anyway, we used a light gray tile as a complimentary and turned the back wall of the shower into an accent wall that complimented the balance of the bathroom.
 
 

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