Protecting plaster walls around shower surround?

eldwynDecember 20, 2013

Hi all,

My husband and I are young, first-time homeowners, and we just moved into a home that was built in 1928. The walls are plaster, and the bathroom has a standard shower surround with unprotected walls between the top of the surround and the ceiling. There is no existing water damage that we know of, but I assume plaster walls need to be protected from shower-related moisture just like drywall? If so, what is the best thing for us to do before we start taking showers in there? A waterproof membrane plus tile, or would something less extensive do the job?

I have researched similar topics in other threads, but the most common concern is existing damage. We just want to make sure the walls are protected against water, if they need to be. Thanks so much for any advice you can give!

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It is not always necessary to protect the wall above the shower head. Water doesn't typically spray up there.

Use a good bathroom paint and be sure you have an exhaust fan with adiquate makeup air so that it can evacuate the moist air when you shower. Then be sure to let it run another 30 minutes after the shower to fully get the moisture out of the air. Many people put the timers in for the fan and set it accordingly when they shower. To get makeup air in the room while the door is closed you need to be sure there is enough clearance under the door for this to draw air, otherwise you will need to keep the door ajar. The room has to replace the air that is drawn out by the fan or it wont work.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Thank you, enduring!

Technically there is a gap between the shower head and the top of the surround. We do have an exhaust fan that runs whenever the light is on, and a good gap under the door.

Maybe I should be looking at paint.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 5:18PM
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