Tile over adobe block in shower
Hi all. First let me take the time to thank everyone for all the great information I have found here. I have been what you call a lurker for quite some time.
Ok here is the situationÖ My house is made out of adobe block (the crumbly stuff made out of clay mud poured in a form, then dumped out on the ground and left to slump and dry in the sun), and as such its mortal enemy is water. I have a section of short decorative wall made at the same time as my house that hasnít been waterproofed once a year and if you spray it with a hose it literally washes away the wall.
In my shower the back wall (furthest away from the shower head) is an exterior wall. There is something behind the tile on that wall that is about Ĺ inch thick, and there are cap pieces all the way around the perimeter. Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to whatís behind there?
The one think that worries me is that the adobe isnít very strong when it comes to removing fasteners. Donít get me wrong; it holds to the fasteners like all get out, it just doesnít hold to itself. It has a tendency to leave large craters behind. My fear is to find a mud adhered directly to the adobe and maybe some wire lath. I doubt there is any waterproofing in there. This speculation is based on the fact that in Arizona people seem to be morally apposed to using any kind of waterproofing anywhere.
The reason that I am tearing out the shower is mostly due to the fact that row of tile above the one in the shower ďpanĒ (we here like to make 4 inch depressions in the concrete slab and slope it towards the drain and call it a pan) has come to provide a natural rain shelter for its brother below it due to apparent swelling of the walls at the base. I sure hope the exterior wall hasnít been affected.
Any guesses as to what Iíll find on the tear out, and most importantly any one have any experience with adobe walls? Iím not sure what the best way to re-tile that wall will be. The rest of the wall is just painted over adobe (that is where the paint still sticks to it, but thatís more of a ventilation issue during long hot showers).
Sorry about the long post, I tend to get a little verbose.