Tile over paneling [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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09-23-2001, 02:57 PM
I currently have a bathtub with 4 feet of ceramic tile on all three walls. I want to add a shower without big expense. The plumbing I can do( all on the outside) but I need to cover the paneling at least another 2 feet. I looked at the plastic/fiberglass type boards that I could "liquid-nail" to the wall but was not impressed. I feel tile would look nicer and last longer! Can I tile directly over the paneling? I helped tile a kitchen floor a couple of years ago with 12 in tile but I have never worked with smaller tile on walls? I would like to try this project by myself but I am not sure I wouldn't get in over my head! Any ideas?

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John Bridge
09-23-2001, 03:01 PM
Welcome, Cindy,

I wouldn't tile directly over the paneling. It's not stable enough. Maybe you can put some backer board up over it?

What is behind the existing tile?

09-23-2001, 03:21 PM
It seems hollow when I tap the paneling. I think maybe there is just 2X4s behind there.

John Bridge
09-23-2001, 04:28 PM
Well, does the existing tile stick out from the wall about an inch or so? Or is it glued right against the wall?

09-23-2001, 09:04 PM
Yes, the tile extends out about an inch from the paneling. What does that mean?

John Bridge
09-24-2001, 05:49 AM
I means you have room for some cement backer board above the existing tile. You can install that right over the paneling and then the tile. Use plastic sheeting as a moisture barrier against the paneling. It's not really going to get we up there, is it?

09-24-2001, 05:55 AM
I don't think it will get that wet. With that in mind would it be feasible to just waterproof the paneling?

John Bridge
09-24-2001, 03:50 PM
Nope, the paneling is not a good base for the tiles. I suggest you use a 1/2 in. backer board over the paneling, and then attach the tiles to it with thin set. That thickness should bring your new tiles out flush with the old ones and make everything look nice.

We like to do the best possible job around here (within reason). We don't want your hard work to come undone.

If you need help with the backer board installation, just ask.

Bud Cline
09-24-2001, 06:42 PM
Why not remove the paneling? I doubt that the paneling is applied directly to the studs, there should be something else under the panelling. That stuff was never substantial enough to carry its own without a backer. In my opinion any moisture what-so-ever applied to the panelling will most likely cause it to delaminate if it is the inexpensive plywood panelling and look out then. If it is the fiberboard type (masonite) then moisture will warp the hell out of it too.

At any rate panelling is not a suitable foundation for anything.

Have I missed something here?

Dave Klein
01-06-2002, 07:32 PM

Just curious about how you approached the paneling in the bathroom and your desire to tile over it. Did you remove the paneling prior?

I'm about the tackle a similar job myself.



Bud Cline
01-06-2002, 10:15 PM
Dave Klein,

Welcome to our house.

Cindy's posts stopped back in September and she shows no email address to contact her so I suppose we'll all be left guessing about her paneling.

Dave feel free to start a new thread on your project if you care to.

We're glad your here.