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-   -   Tile around the tub , Plaster walls (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=129747)

Ncali 09-06-2020 04:21 PM

Tile around the tub , Plaster walls
hi , I am a home owner that has always wanted tile around my tub. I finally spoke to a contractor about doing the work but I am not clear on a couple of things
The house was built in 1949, all of the interior walls are plaster. not sheetrock . I have had a tub surround on the walls for years (since 1975).
The plaster on the wall with the valves and shower has two bad areas, i under the valves and 1 on the side of the tub from the top to the floor
The contractor said he recommend changing the wall. he said he would waterproof the wall
he didnt elaborate and I didnt ask when I had the chance , but what is he talking about.
in my mind I am thinking he wants the plaster removed and replaced with something like cement board
The plaster is 1" thick so I will have to use some sort of spacer behind the cement board,
why not just tile over the plaster?

Davy 09-06-2020 08:07 PM

There are many different methods and systems so all we could do is guess. I would call him and see what he has planned. Ask him the same questions about thickness and waterproofing.

Ncali 09-08-2020 05:57 AM

Thank you Davy.
It sounds like he is planning on replacing the plaster with green wall board and I have read on this fourm that green wall board will only be good for 10 years or so

ss3964spd 09-08-2020 06:25 AM


If at all possible pause the work until you have a clear understanding of how he intends to water proof this installation.

Green board (drywall) by itself is not a good idea in a shower, not even if he covers it with a water proof membrane.

He should be using a CBU like product, with either a moisture barrier between it and the studs or a paint on water proofing layer over the CBU.

A properly built and water proofed shower should last until you can't stand the look of the tile anymore, which ought to be waaaaay more than 10 years.

HooKooDoo Ku 09-08-2020 08:25 AM

If this ONLY a tub and NOT a shower, then the walls do not need to be water proofed... in which case I too would ask why not just tile over plaster... unless the wall is not "FLAT".

As for the thickness of the plaster, if you going to tear everything out to the studs, it's always possible to do things like nail "sisters" to the existing studs, but have these sisters sitting proud of the wall by the amount of extra space needed to close the gap. Also a great way to create a "flat" wall if the existing studs were not flat enough.

As for green-board, now I'm just a DIY, but from what I've read and learned over the years in this forum...
1. Don't use it on ceilings.
2. DO NOT use it as "water-proofing" behind tile.
It sounds like "back in the day" when this stuff first came out, builders believed they could install it in a shower with no water-proof membrain and then tile directly over it. But over time, water that naturally soaks thru tile and grout gets the green board wet and it disintegrates. That's where you get your "good for [only] 10 years" and the reason why building codes specifically do not allow this type of installation anymore.

So THE ONLY REASON to use green board is if you want to add a little extra moisture resistance to a wall that shouldn't be getting wet (hence the statements above that green board would be fine to use under tile that surrounds a tub... that is ONLY a tub).

If you have a tub-shower combination, the walls need to be water proofed. If that is the case, based on what I've learned over the years from the pros in this forum is that green board has NO PLACE on a wall that needs to be water proofed. The reason?... the only legitimate way to waterproof over dry-wall is to use a product called Kerdie. It's a waterproof system that is designed to be applied to dry-wall... and if you're using Kerdie, you only need regular dry-wall, you don't need green board.

Because so many builders have improperly used green board in the past, that is raising a few red flags for use around a tub/shower.

Ncali 09-08-2020 09:38 AM

Thank you all once again. this morning after I got off of work I started to remove the plaster and found that the original builders have a layer of paper nailed to the studs
3/8 sheet rock and plaster over the sheet rock. This is in a tub with a shower and above the valves the wall is solid. Now I have a better understanding of what to ask him before he comes out
thank you all again

jadnashua 09-08-2020 12:16 PM

Depending on the installer, the plaster walls may not be very plumb. At my mother's house, there was about 3/4" difference out of plumb from the ceiling to the floor. It looked normal until you put a level up against it.

The studs may not all be in plane, so the idea of adding sisters to the sides with new that are all nice an plumb and flat across them could easily make the wall nice and precise. That makes tiling easier. Prep is everything.

It's unlikely that a valve that old will have the required anti-scald technology, so with the wall open, now is a good time to upgrade it. The least expensive versions are single handle, but there are at least two other types that have two handles, generally, one for volume and one for temperature where it could just be a mixing valve, but could be a thermostatically controlled one (my preference). With a thermostatically controlled valve, you set your idea temperature, and leave it...just turning the volume on/off each time you use it.

Ncali 09-09-2020 03:40 PM

I must say that until I decided to do this project I had no idea that there was so much involved in putting in tile. What had always stopped me was getting all the grout lines stratght, vertical and horiz and all the tiles flat
My plaster walls so far were plumb but had high and low spots so tile would have never been flat.
waterproofing, hell it has been like this for 50 years and the walls are dry (so far)
having an understanding of the prep work makes me feel better about the finished job

Ncali 09-11-2020 09:19 AM

I didnt feel so bad about this demo untill this morning when I hit the wire . This stuff is nailed to the studs with 16 penny horseshoe nails . it is tied together and when you cut it it is sharp.
This house had a unique feature when it was built.
it had a 110vac receptical and light switch in the tub area and a light above the shower head. It was all live when my grandfather lived here.
power has since been removed and the light has been moved

Ncali 10-23-2020 03:52 PM

bath tile in 1 day?
contractor started at 8 this morning doing a tub surround. the walls were bare
he put up the backer board, waterproof paint, tile and he is returning to do the grout this evening

isnt there a 24 hr drying period?

SpaceCadet 10-23-2020 04:10 PM

what's this waterproof paint?

mykcuz 10-23-2020 04:24 PM

Yes, did you discuss timeframes when you hired him?

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cx 10-23-2020 05:13 PM

It'll help if you'll keep all your project questions on one thread, Anthony, so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. A moderator can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

1. I'll echo Paul's question from Post #11. What is this "waterproof paint?" Be specific.

2. What bonding mortar did he use to set the tiles? Be specific.

3. What grout does he intend to use? Be specific.

jadnashua 10-23-2020 05:19 PM

There are some thinsets that can be grouted hours after the tile are set, but normally, you do need to wait a bit prior to grouting. As to the paint on waterproofing, once it has dried, you can tile over it...depends on what was used and the room temperature and humidity levels how quickly that can occur.

Ncali 10-23-2020 06:07 PM

the waterproof was painted on. he used a heater and lamps to bring up the temp in the room
I dont know what waterproof he used or thinset

he set the tile and showed me it did not move
the only thing I know aboutthe grout was it is supposed to have a sealer in it

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