redoing loose wall tile

bigfootlabradorJune 30, 2013

We bought a house with several failed remodeling projects in it. The prior owners hired people who had no idea what they were doing. They (contractor would be an exaggeration) put 12x12 inch ceramic tile onto regular dry wall with blobs of something that looks like regular plaster. No notched trowel, undoubtedly the wrong adhesive, and I suspect applying this to drywall wasn't a good idea either. The blobs are about 5/8" inch thick. Many of the tiles are loose and we have removed them so they don't fall. More loosen up each month.

Surprisingly, the shower and tub appear hold water and drain without leaks. Their sinks are amazingly ugly, but do work.

I am trying to figure out a reasonable way to take off about 50 square feet of this wall tile and put it back on safely.

We are likely to redo the whole bathroom in a few years. Thus, I am hoping for a process which isn't terribly expensive or difficult. The current tiles have a ribbed texture on the back. They are in areas that wouldn't normally get wet, but it does get humid/steamy. They are not inside the shower stall.

Suggestions? I can put thin hardi or fiber cement board over the current drywall. Or I can cut out the current drywall and put in a thicker hardi/ fiber cement board. Any particular tile adhesive (e.g., premixed TEC)? Any traps for the unwary?

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No, to premixed mastic in wet areas. It is ok for dry areas, such as an area of backsplash where there's no water or sink. I would not want it in my bathroom under any circumstances because of the characteristics of mastic and the damp conditions bathrooms need to tolerate.

Do you need to replace the tile in the area you are referring to? I wonder if you can just replace the drywall and paint with a good quality bathroom paint. If this wall is in the shower, of course that is not a recommendation. But bathroom walls don't need tile in the non wet walls. It is an esthetic thing.

Bathrooms are humid, so install a fan if there isn't one, and if there is, make sure it is venting the moisture properly to an outside vent.

I would be concerned that if the dry areas of the room have this type of tile installation, that the shower area may be incorrectly installed.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 7:59AM
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Thanks. These tiles go about 3 feet above the bathtub and around to where the sinks are. The tub is separate from the shower area.

The tub has similar tile on the platform around it. That tile is horizontal. Some of it is loose, but being horizontal it isn't going to fall.

I could probably take the wall tile off and have a plasterer redo the drywall. We have redone drywall in other rooms with good results. Probably a short 2 inch tile at the bottom for minor splashes.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 11:52AM
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