A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

It’s a New (Old) Bathroom Floor

I finished the bathroom floor mid-afternoon on Sunday, a relatively short 3-day weekend project. Once we remove the sink and toilet so I can get the remaining blue-and-white tiles out from under them I’ll be going over the floor again it in more detail to be sure I removed every little speck of cement and thinset.

There’s my little helper again!


2015010801I found a lengthy article on the history and preservation of ceramic tiles in the U.S. from the Old House Journal. Although they state that “abrasive cleaners (including powdered cleansers and even “mildly” abrasive creams)” can damage ceramic floors, in my case I found that Barkeepers Friend had no adverse effect on our floor as the small section in front of the can shows.


One more small section left! In the photo below the area in the upper right is where the (cat pee scented) cement build-up was. I was able to clean it off completely!



Here’s the completed floor! In addition to restoring it to the original tile, it also means that we’ll be able to save a BUNCH of money (and time) by not having to replace it.

It has been almost 2 years since I crunched the numbers on the remodel. I grossly underestimated the total tile cost at the time. At $15/sf, it would have cost us more like $600 just for the flooring! And how funny is it that I was leaning toward almost the exact same tile as the original floor?!

2015010803For the first time ever it makes me so happy to walk into this room (as long as I keep my eyes focused on the floor and not the walls).


  1. Jennifer on January 8, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Your floor looks great! It must be so motivating. Our tile floor is still from the 30s, but definitely your treatment with Barkeeper’s Friend. I might even try it this weekend to see if it helps. Thanks for the tip.

    • denise on January 9, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Thanks Jennifer, it definitely is motivating! I forgot to mention that I also found this Q&A on Apartment Therapy. If Barkeepers Friend doesn’t work for you there are other options. Good luck!

  2. Rene on January 11, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Denise this is an amazing transformation, thank goodness you decided to peek and see how the tile looked! Great job restoring it!

    • denise on January 11, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Thanks Rene! BTW I’ve been meaning to email you to see how your attic plans have been going. Please send me an email and let me know!

  3. Jovie on October 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Looks fantastic!

    • denise on October 5, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks! Hope yours works out as well–good luck!

  4. Laurie on December 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Your tile floor is porcelain not ceramic. Porcelain is denser and the coloring [if any] is IN the porcelain not on top of it. That’s why Barkeeper’s Friend did not damage it. Lovely floor!

    • denise on December 9, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Hi Laurie–thanks for correcting me; that makes total sense! 🙂

Leave a Comment