Wainscot [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-21-2003, 09:30 AM
Hi all,

First time poster but long time lurker. This site has been great answering most of my questions for my 700 sf floor installation, however, I have a situation in a small 1/2 bath where I need some guidance.

After re-texturing the walls in the 1/2 bath after some plumbing work, the wife and I were planning to paint the walls. But we recently decided to put up tile wainscotting instead. My question is what would be the best thing to do to the walls to prepare for the wainscotting? There is no shower in the bath, so water is not an issue. The sheetrock currently has knock-down texture on it, no primer or paint. The rock is fairly straight, and because of the small size of the bath and short walls, I don't *think* that any unneveness will be noticed. However, I can move the rock a little, so am planning on adding a few screws.

Do I treat this like a backsplash and thinset and tile? What about the unprimed wall texture, will it fall apart with the moisture from the thinset? Oh, BTW, the wainscot is roughly 39" high, three rows of 8x12 ceramic and listello on top. Floor is 18" porcelain which I will be placing tonight.

Thanks in advance.


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01-21-2003, 12:07 PM
According to what I've read you should be able to go right over the rock, being that it is not subject to getting wet

01-21-2003, 12:37 PM
Well if it were me i would flat skim coat the area i planned to tile and let this dry overnight.Then i would tile as normal.
Another option should you choose would be to use a wallpaper scraper and claen the sheetrock mud off.Its not a moisture area though so i wouldnt be overly concerned about it.

01-21-2003, 12:59 PM
Just skim coat flat with thinset?

I guess my main concern is the flex in the wall breaking thinset bond or cracking grout, especially if someone decides to lean against the wall, since the tile is only part way up. But then again, its only a bathroom...

01-21-2003, 01:19 PM
I think you're gonna want to get that texture off the walls.

Then, don't walk on the wall tiles. I mean this! Seriously!

01-21-2003, 01:33 PM
Ive skimmed a knockdown before and put up tile. never had a problem. Of course there were no charging linebackers living there either.

Like i said though a wallpaper scraper would make short work of the stuff more than likely!!

Walk on wall tiles Bob?????

01-21-2003, 01:38 PM
Neither walk on wall tiles mounted on the walls nor mount wall tiles on the floor. Simple concept, what part needs clarification? :D

01-21-2003, 01:56 PM
I'll just wet and scrape the texture with the same taping knife I knocked it down with. :(

BTW, you never know what goes on in that small downstairs bath of mine, with 3 boys in high school. ;)

01-21-2003, 02:15 PM
They are always banging walls, etc. with their friends. I guess if they crack the stuff, they can fix it!

John Bridge
01-21-2003, 09:07 PM
Hi Brad, Welcome. :)

One of my boys was demonstraing a karate kick in our hallway one time and put his foot through the dry wall. I wanted karate HIM. :D

I'm with the others. I wouldn't worry about the knockdown in this instance. Thin set will stick to it quite nicely.

01-30-2003, 04:45 PM
Well the wainscot is up and I'll be grouting soon. That virus this last weekend put a delay in my work schedule! Anyway, I did wet/remove any wall texture that would scrape off easily before putting up the tile. Seems to be sticking ok for now anyway (but those boys havn't been in there yet).

Finally I can get out of the bathroom and back to my floor tile (18" porcelain on slab). I do have a quick question and possible concern:

There is a sawcut in the slab where the previous tile ended and carpet began. This looks like a normal sawcut for crack control in a slab (not an expansion joint), but it is not really where you would expect such a joint, since it is in a 3' wide short hallway between entryway and family room. Looks almost like the tract builder cut the slab there to mark the location of the tile/carpet line for the flooring contractor when the house was originally built. Is that typically done here in SoCal?

The house is 20 yrs old, and there is no displacement whatsoever (vertical or horizontal) at the sawcut. My question is, should I just tile over it like some of the other shrinkage cracks that are present in the slab? Or, since it is a sawcut does it need special treatment and/or isolation?

Thanks again for all your guidance. This forum is great! :bow:


John Bridge
01-30-2003, 06:57 PM
Hi Brad,

A saw cut is a control joint and should not be tiled over. Will it be possible to arrange a grout joint above it? You could then fill it with a matching sanded caulking.

01-31-2003, 12:32 PM
No chance to get a grout line over the sawcut. :(

But, on closer inspection, this doesn't seem to be a normal weakened plane joint...doesn't extend from one side of the slab to another. Don't they usually? Weird, it's just a 3' sawcut through the hallway right about at the old carpet/tile line (looks like the sawcut was under the carpet). I checked out the slab on the other side of the wall where the sawcut ends, and there are no continuation cracks in the slab there. The other end of the sawcut ends in a wall, so can't see that one. Also, looks like there is thinset from the previous tile still in part of the sawcut. No signs of the crack coming up through that mortar either.

I'm probably asking for trouble, but I guess I'll have to take my chances and put a tile over the damn thing. If it does crack I guess I'll put a flexible joint there. Not like there will be a lot of tiles affected.

John Bridge
01-31-2003, 07:20 PM
You're right, Brad. It's your house, and if there are problems, they won't be desperate or severe. :D

They might have turned the saw cut to go under the wall. When control joints are actually formed in, they do them so long partitions will cover them, and you'll sometimes see them running across doorways.