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Unread 03-27-2010, 09:57 AM   #1
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Tile of Plaster Walls

Hello All. This is my first post. I did try to search for it but couldn't find any info on other previous posts so I'm sorry if one does already exist about this topic.

Anyway, i'm a novice DIY and I'm in the process of remodeling a bathroom on a 1924 bungalow home. I have it down to the original subfloor with the plaster walls in tact. Two of the walls by the bathtub surround are a mixture of greenboard and plaster. Green board on the top and plaster above. Looks like they did a patch job when they cut into the walls for the bathtub. The other wall is plaster on brick. My main question is can you tile over plaster if it's in good shape? When I took off the ceramic tile on the plaster on brick wall I took huge chunks of plaster out with it. I took out about a 5' W 3' H section of plaster and exposed the brick. The top part of the plaster is totally solid and is in great shape. It looks like a great surface to tile right over but i wanted to find out if this is acceptable. I plan on hanging cement board for that bottom 3'. Secure the board to furring strips and then use a plaster filling agent like plaster of paris to fill in the gaps between the cement board and the plaster walls. What do you all think? The reason I don't want to teat them down is b/c it's a total when I was removing the good plaster from the brick it was very time consuming and was taking out pits of the brick wall which i want to minimize. For the other walls I plan on tearing down and using cement board unless I can just path them again with cement board and tile over the plaster? The rest of the bathroom going to try to salvage the walls even though it's tempting to tear them all down to the studs. Thanks to anyone who replies and mega props to this forum. What a great place to get some valuable info.

Cheers, Tim
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Unread 03-27-2010, 10:51 AM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome to the forum, Tim.

While I'm having a bit of a hard time reading your paragraph, I'll get right to this. Tile and grout are the finished wall surface, but they are not waterproof and moisture will enter the walls to varying degrees. With plaster, drywall, and greenboard all deteriorating in the presense of moisture, none of them are acceptible to tile over in a wet area like this.

You could:
1) Waterproof the surface with Kerdi membrane and tile over it.
2) Or you could remove the plaster & greenboard to the point where you could install cement board on the three walls of the tub. You'd also need a moisture barrier behind the cement board. It's tacked directly to the studs before the cement board is installed. Or you could forgo the moisture barrier and install some waterproofing on the front of the cement board in the form of a sheet membrane or a paint-on waterproofing (like Hydroban from Laticrete).

There's probably a bunch to talk about and you may have more questions, so ask away.
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