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Old 01-16-2018, 08:55 PM   #1
LynnYan
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Your basic tiled shower over tub

Hi all,

My house is 100+ years old, with an old tub in the first floor bathroom. At some point, someone installed molded plastic wall protection above the tub to create a shower. I've removed these brittle plastic panels, and there's no evidence of water infiltration on the wallboard (but plenty of old adhesive).

My hope is to use the tub and install tile on the three walls above it in the alcove. The tub is in good shape, with vintage visual appeal. I like the look of the 1940s/50s bathrooms.

I've done mosaic work in the past, but that's my only tiling experience. Fortunately, we don't use this shower, so I can take as long as I need to learn and do a good job.

How should I embark on this adventure? Do I need TYW or the Kerdi shower book? I'm sure this is a very common situation, but my searches on this forum are turning up nothing. I must be choosing poor search terms.

I'm hoping that after doing this bathroom, I'll be able to tackle the upstairs bathroom, where I'd like to remove the tub and make a beautiful shower.

Thanks very much
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:09 PM   #2
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Lynn,

Welcome to the forum.

Got pictures? We like pictures.

Were you fixin' to replace the plumbing ?
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:30 PM   #3
LynnYan
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Hi Paul. No, I wasn't expecting to get involved with any plumbing. I am, however, familiar with the phenomenon of job creep

You want pictures? Here's a picture. I'm visiting my 83 year old father right now, and I wanted reinforce the outside steps at his house. This is the drill he handed me.

(I'll post real pictures when I get home from seeing my dad)
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:07 PM   #4
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The reason I asked about plumbing because that would have meant cutting into an existing wall. That would have changed the advice. We can wait for the pictures.

Thank Dad for the drill.

When you get home, bury it in the yard. Some old tools are wonderful. This isn't one of them.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:51 AM   #5
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At some point, you will probably want to update the plumbing. If you ever sell the house, having the shower up to current code would be an advantage. That doesn't mean it has to look new, but it tends to be a little more costly. Current code requires a shower valve to have anti-scald functionality. It's harder to do if you want to keep a separate hot/cold valve, but can be done with some add-on bits behind the wall (but, they would need access for eventual repair which may be a problem).

What you might need to do to the walls would depend on what's there now and its condition, so some pictures would be helpful.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:55 PM   #6
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re plumbing, we do have an anti-scald, installed as a condition of purchase when we bought the house 20 years ago. The plumber didn't do anything behind the walls, though. He put in a temptrol and slapped a big wide escutcheon over the 2 holes.

Heading home from Dad's now. He hasn't electrocuted himself yet, but he won't give up the drill. He did *allow* me to buy a roll of electrical tape and wrap the %~#& cord.
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:33 PM   #7
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Yep, anti-scald has been a requirement for at least that long.

As to the drill, they do make replacements for them...forget the tape. While you have it apart, change the brushes, and it may last a lot longer yet. Maybe grease it up a little, too.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:30 PM   #8
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Are these pictures at all helpful? What do you want to see?

Thanks for your thoughts...
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:43 PM   #9
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Behind that brown layer, is that torn drywall paper I see ?
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:20 PM   #10
LynnYan
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I don't know for sure what's behind the crusty old adhesive, but yes, some sort of drywall would be my guess.

Outside of the bath/shower alcove, the upper half of the other bathroom walls is drywall. The lower half is plastic tile-look board held in place with aluminum fastening strips.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:19 PM   #11
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IMHO, your best bet would be to tear the existing wallboard out to the studs. Then, you can straighten the wall, if required, then put up new paneling, then your tile. It depends on what you want on the walls. There are a couple of panels you can use that would let you waterproof the walls and provide suitable tile backer in one step. You could put up regular drywall, then cover it with a waterproof sheet membrane. Or, you could do a more conventional install where you put a moisture barrier on the wall, then install cbu (cement board), then tile. The first two would produce a truly waterproof wall. CBU is not waterproof, but is not damaged by being wet. Neither tile nor grout is fully waterproof, so you need some way to protect the wall cavity and direct any moisture back into the tub/shower assembly.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:26 PM   #12
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What Jim said plus you get to insulate
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:38 AM   #13
LynnYan
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Thank you both for your help.

I understand that these old tubs sometimes have very small flanges. I'm sure there will be lots of very common issues here, as I hope to leave much of the existing bathroom as it is. Can you suggest a good place to read up about renovating/construction of old bathrooms?
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:55 AM   #14
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Right here.

In the event of a small tub flange, we like to use one of the waterproofing foam bards for the walls. That way we can use a caulking sealant between the board and the tub, achieving a watertight seal. Then after tiling, the gap is caulked again with grout matching silicone, leaving about 3/4 inch of gap sealer.
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:17 PM   #15
LynnYan
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When you say "waterproofing foam board," you mean something like Wedi? I've used that for outdoor mosaic work and the pricing is pretty ferocious. I hope I can avoid putting that into a shower we don't even use! I know someone will use it someday, but still...

I guess I'll find out soon enough what the flange situation looks like.
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