Shower ceiling tile or plaster advice needed

BrianKKNovember 30, 2013

We are in the midst of redoing a 1953 bathroom. The walls and ceiling are plaster with a ?mortar? backing over metal netting. We gutted the bottom four feet of the walls and entire tiled shower/bath area. We put up vapor barrier (.6 mil black plastic) with half inch durock over the barrier.

We have only one bath - so its a conversion and working bath simultaneously.

My dilemma is to (a) strip and repaint the shower ceiling or (b) to durock and tile it. While I prefer the tile option, My question is about vapor barrier protection on the ceiling. Is it needed considering that there has not been a vapor barrier there for 50+ years (the bath was original) when placing tile on the ceiling?

If the answer is yes, any advice if the vapor barrier can go between the existing plaster and durock?

The attached picture shows how the ceiling is exposed. The plastic in the picture is temporary - so that we can take quick showers while we wait to tile. There is durock under the temporary plastic with the actual vapor barrier below the durock. (Please don't think we put the vapor barrier ABOVE the durock!)


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Fabricate and install a piece of solid surface material for a ceiling. It can be a solid color that matches your tile or grout, no additional vapor barrier is required, and no grout lines to clean - ever.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Trebuchet - thanks, I had not considered that idea. What do you mean by "solid surface"? Do you mean Corian type of materials or like an acrylic type of thing like shower walls are made of?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 2:11PM
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I would probably just repaint the ceiling. Unless the plaster is falling down or loose.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 7:44PM
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It's not necessary to tile the ceiling (it's an aesthetic choice). If you do tile, it's not necessary to use a moisture barrier, or even cement board. Is the ceiling plaster? Is it in good shape? If it were me, and I were going to tile the ceiling, I'd either pull down the plaster and put up drywall, or put a sheet of drywall over the plaster.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 8:23PM
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Yes. Some Corain and other solid surfaces are available in 1/4" thickness, but you could use 1/2". After fitting, clean the substrate and the back of the sheet and apply half-dollar size dabs of silicone every 12" or so. Jam some pre-measured props in place (use blocking on the ends to distribute the load) and leave them for a day then tile up to the solid surface.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 6:58AM
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Thanks, Trebruchet! Will do some research and pricing. Thanks for the tip!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 6:20AM
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