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Unread 03-31-2015, 02:52 PM   #1
Thomas901
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What to do with water damaged crumbling plaster shower wall.

I removed the water damaged parts of the wall that crumble away and just left the lath. What are my options on repairing this? Should I replaster? Can I fit backer board into the removed area without tearing out the entire wall? Can I plaster that area without tearing out the rest of the wall? If replacing with backer board, can i install directly to the lath or remove it and use the studs?
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Unread 03-31-2015, 03:17 PM   #2
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I had a similar situation when I redid my bathroom years ago and found the studs behind rotted as well. Ended up taking 3 walls down, installed new studs and even one section of rotted sill plate. I would pull the lathe and inspect what's behind it. I put my cement board directly on the studs after installing a vapor barrier.
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Unread 03-31-2015, 03:25 PM   #3
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Wise words from Eric.

You won't have another chance to make sure everything is sound.

It is more work, time and money but you'll sleep better at night knowing it'll outlast you because you did your due diligence.
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Unread 03-31-2015, 03:36 PM   #4
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That's another thing, the vapor barrier. I've read some say use the plastic liner attached to the studs up to about 6'. Other's say that will create mold and to use redguard (or something like it) or backer with a water barrier already built in. I've also heard not to do both. I removed the bottom row of lath to check the studs and they looked ok from where I could see which is where the worst water damage occured. Why not cover the studs in something like redguard?
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Unread 03-31-2015, 03:40 PM   #5
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So could I remove the lath from what I have removed and fit the backer board in that area if everything is good and level? Or is it mandatory that I need to remove all of that wall?
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Unread 03-31-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
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You do not want both as you can create a moisture sandwich. The cement board can be attached directly, just make sure the face is flush with your existing surface. You may have to do some shimming behind it to accomplish that.
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Unread 03-31-2015, 03:53 PM   #7
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Thomas, were that my project I'd wanna remove everything from the walls down to the studs and start over.

You could fur out the studs, or sister in some new studs to plumb the walls and allow the CBU to fall on the drain side of the tub's tiling flange. You could either install a moisture barrier behind the CBU (there is no need for a vapor barrier in any shower unless it is to be a steam shower) or you can use a direct bonded waterproofing membrane (RedGard is one) over the entire interior of the shower walls, but not both.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-31-2015, 03:58 PM   #8
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There are a few ways to handle the waterproofing, Thomas.

(1) Studs, furring strips possible, plastic sheet (6 mil), CBU, thinset, tile.

(2) Studs, furring strips possible, CBU, waterproofing liquid, thinset, tile.

(3) Studs, furring strips possible, drywall, Kerdi, thinset, tile.

Either way you approach this, I would clear that entire wall of lath and plaster and get down to the studs. This affords you the opportunity to fix studs out of plane or rotted and allows you to run electrical and plumbing if necessary and you can improve the insulation as well.

It looks like there is also a tub there? Freestanding or ? Is there a shower head? You may need to think about how you're going to waterproof over the tub flange (the tub flange to wallboard transition). The possibility of furring strips allows you the hang the CBU/drywall over/past the tub flange. For (1), you just hang that sheet over the flange and secure it with some Kerdi-Fix or Sikaflex. For (2), it is tougher to waterproof the flange with liquid. For (3), you use Kerdi or Kerdi-band and Kerdi-Fix or Sikaflex to secure it to the flange.
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Unread 03-31-2015, 04:39 PM   #9
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I'm thinking the furring strips would go behind the plastic, not on the wet side. If one went that way.
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Unread 03-31-2015, 04:47 PM   #10
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Good catch, Jeff. I fixed it.
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Unread 03-31-2015, 04:51 PM   #11
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I expected it was a slip of the fingers, Chris, but people read stuff, and even do what it says sometimes!
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Unread 03-31-2015, 05:04 PM   #12
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And we always appreciate factual corrections here, Jeff, even when we're the correctee. Thanks.
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Unread 04-28-2015, 09:16 PM   #13
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No stud for Durock at one end of shower wall.

Ok first off I'm borderline retarded and don't know anything about anything. Plus I'm extremely poor. I've torn down my bathtub wall and just about ready to put up durock. A few problems so far. One, the studs aren't all completely even. I was hoping I could staple roofing felt to make up for the space instead of sistering studs to the existing studs. Maybe I could go over the stud with the same modified thinset i would use for the joints to flatten them out? I don't think anything is greater than 1/8 of an inch.

The second problem is that the last stud on one end goes behind the other wall and I can't attach the durock to it as there's no way to screw it in. Just enough room to slide it in there. After I realized I was creating a problem I stopped tearing out the wood lath in this area. I was thinking I should leave that lath in and just attach the durock to the stud before and end it there( the showerhead side of the tub ends there and there will be a shower curtain surrounding it anyway so I'm not too worried about it), replastering the lath. If I did that I still don't know how to get new lath attached to the stud behind the wall as there's no room to nail it in. I don't suppose I could use liquid nails to attach the lath on one side. What are my options? I have no idea how to put a new stud in. Could I screw in boards horizontally between the last two studs every 6-8 inches to attach the end of the durock?

Also, one of the studs had a chunk taken out of it so that a recessed soap dish could be snugly nailed into it. What should I do about that? It's maybe 4 inches long and about 1/3 of the depth of the stud. Can the Durock just go right over it or what?

One more question....for now, My old tub doesn't have a flange. It's just a flat 2 inch lip that butts up against the studs. For the plastic vapor barrier, should I just caulk the plastic to the lip?
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Unread 04-28-2015, 09:21 PM   #14
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I'm not sure why the pics uploaded at that angle, they are fine before I upload them.
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Unread 04-28-2015, 10:24 PM   #15
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Thomas, it'll help if you'll keep all your project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. We can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

1. You cannot use thinset mortar on your studs for any purpose. Sistering is by far the best method of repairing or flattening studs.

2. In most remodeling situations, if you need a stud that isn't there, you add another where you need it. Or several if necessary. Exactly how you do that is application specific. Using construction adhesive is sometime acceptable in such repair work, but usually along with mechanical fasteners.

3. Sistering a stud or partial stud would be my preferred repair there.

4. You can try that, but don't expect really good results. The only real way to use a tub like that in a shower application is to add a tiling flange provided by the tub manufacturer for the purpose. Another problem there is that those tubs are frequently (always) not sloped at all to the drain, making it even more difficult to waterproof the connection to the wall waterproofing.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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