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Recycling ceramic tile from another home

Posted by 7803 on July 24th, 2006 11:26 AM

1 of 1 people found this post helpful

Last year, we did a minor upgrade to our bathroom, which still has most of the original (1950s) fixtures and tile. Everything looks good, with the exception of a few cracked tiles--mostly bullnose around an outside corner of the tub/shower enclosure. This was something we were and still are willing to live with.

Flash forward to Saturday. Went to an estate sale at a home in a neighboring town, and in one of the house's 5 bathrooms there's four walls of the exact same tile we have in our bathroom. Since that home is now on the market (at $1.5 mill), I'm assuming the new owners (whoever they end up being) will be redoing the home's "vintage" baths sooner rather than later.

Is it worth it to enquire with those new owners about scavenging tile from the bathroom whenever they decide to gut it?
More importantly is there a prescribed procedure for removing such tile with minimal damage, then cleaning it up for use in a different home? There will be some margin for error -- for example, the other house's bathroom has probably 4 times the amount of bullnose that we need to replace cracked tiles in our bathroom.

Disclosure: During last year's job, I did a search for matching replacement tile with no luck. The main tile is gray, and the trim tile is maroon. Not sure if this is a result of the tile's thickness or the way bathroom tile was installed back then, but the tile (bottom) portion of each wall (in both bathrooms) is about half an inch thicker than the upper wall that the tile is applied to. A much greater difference than you would see in a modern bathroom.

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