add shower to tub - do i have to remove tile?

try-itFebruary 22, 2012

I have an old cast iron tub in almond color in good condition. I want to add a shower spout. The ceramic tile

extends about 20 inches above and surrounding the tub. Will I forever regret it if I add some kind of shower thing above the tile and don't remove the tile? I'm spending about 5 grand on new cabinets and granite and just have that sinking feeling that I'd better remove the old tile and make it all look new-how hard is it to remove ceramic tile? help...

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live_wire_oak

Yes, first of all you need to waterproof behind that wall. Tile just applied to drywall in a tub area isn't designed to be waterproof.

Although this is directed towards a shower only, this does show the proper layers on top of the raw studs. Don't forget the insulation in the cavity.

If it's been previously splashed by any tub bathing, I'm betting that you will find mush behind the wall. Also, not every tub is designed to serve as both tub and shower. It will need an integral tile flange to serve as a tub/shower.

The little turned up lip is the tile flange, and your tub needs to have one to serve as a tub/shower. If it doesn't have it, replace it. Tubs are really cheap.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 4:34PM
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weedyacres

Removing tile is very easy. 30 minutes with a hammer and a Wonderbar should make short work of it. The harder part is putting tile back in, up as high as needed for a shower, including the most important part: waterproofing. It's not rocket science, but it is important to do it right, as live wire oak has outlined.

You basically need to pull out the drywall, put up cement board, paint Red Guard over top of it, then tile on top of that. Alternatively to Red Guard, you can put plastic behind the cement board as the barrier. Just don't do both or you'll create a moisture sandwich.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 4:47PM
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try-it

Thank you very much. It's so tempting to do a half-way job but I know I will regret it. I know my wall is sound because I'm the only one using this bathroom and don't splash much. Will wait until I'm motivated to to it right!
Thank you again.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 2:59PM
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