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


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02-06-2009, 11:52 AM
Am going to tile shower surround.
Should I remove plaster AND lath and put backer board on studs? Or just backerboard over plaster?

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02-06-2009, 02:44 PM
Depends, Brin. Are you going to keep the plaster in the rest of the bathroom? Is it flat, and in good condition? Do you have plan dealing with the exposed edges of the backerboard if you put it on top of the plaster?

If you plan to keep the plaster elsewhere, you can install 1/2" backerboard over some 15 lb tar paper or plastic sheeting directly on the plaster. You would use ""mud caps" to cover the edge. This gives the look of an old time mud shower that fits in with an older home.

Tool Guy - Kg
02-07-2009, 12:46 AM
If you do decide to remove the lath & plaster where you're installing the cement board, be prepared for a challenging time of neatly cutting the plaster. If you're using something like a sawzall, the saw is likely to vibrate the wooden lath enough to break some of the good plaster off. And with the lath & plaster being thicker than the cement board, you'll need to fur it out...typically with approximately 1/4" thick material. And.......because the plaster walls are not usually consistent in thickness, don't expect your cement board to be consistently flush with the remaining plaster surface. :)

02-07-2009, 05:19 AM
Think about what you want to do with the room long term.

Are there exterior walls which need to be insulated? Does the electrical need updating? I reckon you'll be adding some plumbing in that wall because I doubt you had a shower on plaster walls before.

Maybe you want to gut the plaster out of that bathroom and update everything which needs updating, then install backerboard and tile everything.

You may have some trouble at the doorway. You'll remove the door casing and set it aside. I'll bet that the backerboard plus mortar and tile will be close to being flush with the existing door jamb. If so, just re-attach the door casing to the door jamb (you won't be able to nail through the tile). If you re-use the old casing and it was mitered, you may have to cut all three pieces a bit smaller for the adjustment. If it wasn't mitered, then you'll just have to adjust it. If you use new casing, then you can just do what is necessary.

It's nice to have a first class bathroom and kitchen in a house, even if the rest of the house is dated.

Good luck.