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Old 07-26-2006, 01:42 AM   #1
Tap2112
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Marble stone tile over Cultured marble slab shower walls

Hi all,

New member here, hoping someone can help me out. I did a search to see if my question had already been asked and found a similar question but that one was for countertops and mine is for walls, so I will ask the question with my specific details included.

I have completely remodeled my master bath (except for the shower walls), including granite floor, new vanity with granite top, new toilet, reglazed fiberglass bathtub, etc. However, now everything looks so nice that my 20 year old cultered marble shower walls pale in comparison. I was thinking of using marble tile, or possibly granite, but wanted to know if I could tile right over the cultured marble slabs since they already provide a water tight barrier. That would save considerable time and cost as well as demolition.

If it can be done, I assume I would have to scuff the slabs a bit first to assist in the morter adhesive. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:49 AM   #2
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Covering the cultured marble walls is not a good idea. They are probably stuck up with construction adhesive either to drywall or directly to the studs, and there is no way to know how well they are adhered.

You should consider removing the cultured marble and then either fixing the drywall or installing new drywall and Kerdi, or using a cement backer board as a substrate for the new tile. Of couse, you should protect your newly-refinished tub with old blankets and plastic before you start. Take a look at the Liberry shower thread to get an idea of the various ways to build your surround.

Then come back here and ask any questions that come up.
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, Jeff. So let me understand better...is the main problem the fact that the existing cultured marble may not hold the weight of marble tile given it's poor adhesion method? Or is it something else?

My house is supposed to go on the market for sale in 8 days and I am really in a time crunch. If what I am hoping for CAN'T be done, then I will make other arrangements, but I am afraid the time to demo and rebuild the walls then laying the tile will push me back so far that I won't meet my deadline.

Can I use long masonry screws (into studs of course) to better adhere the cultured marble to the sheetrock to make my project feasable, or are there other complications of tiling over cultured marble that I am not even aware of?
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Old 07-26-2006, 04:56 AM   #4
Davestone
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Well, there are a few problems,the surface needs to be scarred up, and soap film, and waxes or polishes need to be removed.Also,as Jeff mentioned the glue,yes screwing into studs(if you don't hit a water pipe, or electric) or crack the fiberglass,would help.But most cultured products tend to warp and bend,and they're not as stable as you would want,but i would say it may hold up,a 50/50 proposition.You could cut the stuff out ina couple hours, but i know you're under a time crunch,but it is a slow market, and you do want the most money, and curb appeal,if you cut it out and prepped it, a tile guy could do it in two days.
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Old 08-01-2006, 07:45 AM   #5
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Well, I screwed in the cultured marble with hardybacker screws and the walls seem very solid now. Much more so than before with just the construction glue. I bought some 50 grit sandpaper for my palm sander to scuff up the surface but it still is much more smooth than I would have expected. Any suggestions on scarring up the surface sufficiently?

In addition to sanding, is there anything I can use to prep the surface better for the thin-set? I am a little afraid the mortar won't stick well enough on the walls.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:53 AM   #6
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Successful Install

Tiling over the cultured marble turned out to be a success. I used Hardybacker screws to secure it to the wall and then scuffed it like nobodys business using a belt sander (40 grit). I used premuim marble/granite mortar and it all went smoothly.

Here are some pictures...
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:54 AM   #7
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Finished pictures

Here are a few more pics, including the finished product...
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