Before and After: Refinished Tile Bathroom Makeover

Refinished Tile Bathroom

Everyone loves to see bathroom makeovers. You know, the bathrooms that are completely gutted and completely reconfigured. Those bathrooms are fun and completely "pinnable" but for many are not attainable for many different reasons. This bathroom is pretty bad and very outdated. It was actually considered livable before the toilet, faucets, and that random turn dial light switch were taken out. In this bathroom makeover, everything you see besides the wallpaper, stayed in the bathroom.  We refinished every surface and believe me, it does not look the same...   

Refinished Tile Bathroom

See what a little paint can do? The old vintage tile was refinished.  This bathroom process was simple, budget friendly, and the results were amazing. We called our local bathroom tile refinishing company and picked the good ole classic color of white. You can't go wrong with white.

Refinished Tile Bathroom

Before we could refinish the tile we had to patch the missing pieces of tile. One little hiccup is vintage tile is 4 3/4  X 4 3/4 inches and sqaure tile today is 4 1/4 X 4 1/4. We happened to find vintage tile at an architectural salvage store. We only needed 5-6 pieces. If you can't find vintage tile, you can use the sqaure tile they sell at home improvement stores and your grout line will be a tad bit bigger. When you refinish tile, you refinish the grout and tile all the same color so the bigger grout line blends in. Once our tile was patched we grouted the patched tile and let it dry. The guys spent two days refinishing the tile and after the 48 hour dry time...

Refinished Tile Bathroom

The bathtub was also refinished. It originally had a door and it made the bathroom look very small and closed off. We removed it but the holes from the hardware remained. Instead of getting a new tub, the refinishers filled the holes with a putty made for a ceramic tub and refinished the tub. You cannot see the holes. Refinishing the entire bathroom, including wall tile and vanity top, cost less than what a new tub with install would cost...alone. 

The vinyl floor was simply covered by cement backerboard and tiled with a wood-look ceramic tile.

Refinished Tile Bathroom

Many ranches built in the 1960s-1970s had tiled countertops. I would typically change the countertop but in this case changing the countertop would mess with the wall tile. Since removing drywalling or retiling was not in the budget...the tiled countertop had to stay. The sink got a good scrub and even it was refinished.

Refinished Bathroom Tile

The sink got a new faucet and we called it a day.

Refinished Tile Bathroom

The existing bathroom cabinet got a coat of Benjamin Moore Simply White using their Advanced paint line. We added some new hardware and it was finished.

Refinished Tile Bathroom Makeover

Another typical feature of a 1960s-70s bathroom is the towel rods are typically part of the tile. If you remove them because it will mess with the wall of tile. No problem here because we refinished them as well. By the way, I love layering turkish towels and terrycloth towels for a little texture and color in a bathroom.

Refinished Tile Bathroom Makeover

This type of bathroom renovation is quick and painless...for you and your wallet. You might want to stay with a friend while the tile is sprayed. It is a heavy epoxy paint and the fumes are strong. Other than that 48hr inconvenince, you don't have to endure a long bathroom renovation.

I know what you are thinking... how long does it last? My advice would be to get it professionally done so it is warrantied and follow their cleaning instructions. We have done this in one of our bathrooms in our home and it has held up perfectly for almost two years, with no signs that it will break down soon.

If you want to have a go at this yourself, try Rustoleum's White Tub and Tile Refinishing Kit. $59 on Amazon


This bathroom can hopefully be inspiration that a full bathroom makeover can be affordable. Maybe that bathroom renovation can make your New Years resolution list after all.


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Jennifer Farley on Jan 25, 2016:

@Tom The total cost of the entire room of tile refinishing, the bathtub and the countertop was $900. This renovation was done in the Midwest. I am sure cost depends on where you are located. The tub was a biscuit color. Replacing the ceramic tub alone was going to be $2000. Then you add in the cost of demo, tile, new drywall, labor, bathroom vanity and countertop and you this process was a money and time saver.

Tom on Jan 23, 2016:

What was the cost on the tile refinishing?

Ashley on Dec 26, 2015:

Love this and need to know more about the curtain? I need something that is 96" and fabric might be my best bet and I love what's in this bathroom for the curtain.

-Fern on Dec 21, 2015:

Nice! Thanks for this, I never knew you could refinish tile and make it look that great!

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