Can you tile over 1/2" of drywall mud?

mudwormNovember 25, 2012

Let me try to explain my situation. We have an L shaped run (93" x 228"). The walls meet at an angle smaller than 90 degrees because the first stud out from the corner along one wall apparently bowed outward prominently. If we lay a long level and an angle, the gap at the corner is as big as 1/2 an inch. The walls have been primed (over existing paint) around this area.

We plan to do tiles (e.g. 18" x 18") up to wall cabinets along both walls, so the tiles will meet at the corner. If we don't do anything, and just grout under the tiles, we will have very thick grout at the corner and the ledge above the tiles will vary in thickness a lot.

We could apply thick mud at this corner to straighten out the angle to the height of wall cabinet (54" off floor) and then feather upward. We will prime and seal the mud. My question is : when we put the tiles up, will the thick mud be strong enough to support the tiles?

I guess maybe I should step back and ask a basic question: How would you prepare a severely wavy wall with cabinets already in place for tiling (with large tiles)?

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Not clear on where the cabs are, but first choice would be cleanly cut out section of existing rock,replace with new rock shimmed to make up for what you need, tape seam (lightly, prime, then tile.
Would avoid tiling over large span of mud except for durock which is virtually unsandable.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Thanks Jakuvall. Would like not to mess with the drywall. (We've had our share with that --in other parts of the house -- and I had enough!) I think we'll just continue on installing the countertop and deal with the wavy wall when we get to the tiling part. With the tile goes up to upper cabinet height all around, maybe a varying substrate thickness will not be very noticeable.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:16PM
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I would worry about the strength of the drywall mud. It's not a strong material.

If you don't want to do the best fix, which is removing drywall, shimming the studs, then replacing drywall, at least use a strong patching compound for the leveling. Look for something with reinforcing fibers and extra adhesive.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Best would be to repair the drywall, but if it is a half inch stip vertically and you are in a corner, then the tile will only be backing that gap the one half inch minus the thickness of the tile. You are talking about 1/8 to 1/4 inch. For 1/2 inch mosaics, that may still be significant, but it you are doing 4x4, 3x6 or other common size larger tiles, I wouldn't be too concerned about it. That little strip isn't going to bear the load of the tile or have weight on it (like a floor would) to make it crack. The mud will be solid enough to keep the tile from moving and that might be the most important thing for such a small area.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:45AM
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