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Old 09-29-2007, 01:17 PM   #1
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bathroom remodel

The bathroom walls have that "lovely" green plastic tile up about 5 feet. Am I stuck with a tear out of the walls or is there a way to get the adhesive of the plaster wall. The tile comes off with very little effort, but the wall is very rough.

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Old 09-29-2007, 01:49 PM   #2
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bathroom remodel

The proper way to do it would be to tear out the wall. You'd hate to spend time and money putting up a beautiful tile surround, only to have old crumbly plaster or drywall behind the tile cause the new facade to break down.

If you can sacrifice 3/4" of space on all sides, you could peel off what you can, scrape the glue off the surface, and then hang 1/2 cement board. This will likely cause trouble with your fixtures, tub, and transitions to untiled wall areas. It'd be preferable to putting the tile directly on old drywall though.

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Old 09-29-2007, 05:52 PM   #3
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bathroom remodel

Originally Posted by anotheroldhouse View Post
The bathroom walls have that "lovely" green plastic tile up about 5 feet. Am I stuck with a tear out of the walls or is there a way to get the adhesive of the plaster wall. The tile comes off with very little effort, but the wall is very rough.
My tile wasn't plastic, but formica sheets. However, I had the same dilemma. I found that the only solution was tear out the walls. Trying to gently remove the sheets without tearing the paper on the sheetrock was impossible.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:48 PM   #4
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bathroom remodel

I've just been through something similar and my plaster ended up with too much damage to deal with (IMO). I blew it back to studs (which went fast although meant some cleanup) and put up fiberock which is a product like cement board but smoother and harder. I had to go that way because the tiling is around my tub/shower so water is a big issue.

On the other hand, where the walls of my bathroom are damaged but I'm too bored and lazy to do the same and there is no real water to worry about, I'm just covering them with tongue and groove beadboard. No wall fixing required.

If you aren't into that, in my kitchen, same issue from backsplash tile and me being bored with fixing plaster (there is a lot of it in this house so I am now picking my battles). Same idea as the t&g, I'm using tin panels but also looked at other options like stainless steel panels, glass, mirror, etc. Basically any product that could cover bumps and lumps. There are a lot of them when you start looking. If the walls aren't too bad but still not paintable, look at wallpaper or something like anaglypta or lincrusta which is embossed and paintable and covers a lot of sins.

One thing I will say is a previous owner here replaced wall half way up (I suspect to repair the same sort of thing) and a contractor I had in spotted it instantly. I hadn't noticed before but now it bothers me (I hate when that happens). He mentioned that ideally you take the whole wall out vs trying to patch one half drywall to one half plaster or you get what I have. There is no obvious seam per se, but the top (plaster) isn't as straight/flat as the drywall.

If you can, sand or fill the bad spots and find something you can cover the wall with. Otherwise take it right back and start fresh as paint really does look better on perfect walls.

Last edited by Dusty; 09-29-2007 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:50 PM   #5
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bathroom remodel

I too have the plastic green tile - but i am looking to replace some broken pieces....
if anyone has any ( I am looking for about 30 + peices) - I would love to buy it from you.

I am restoring my 1922 4 square.

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Old 11-15-2007, 06:16 PM   #6
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bathroom remodel

Julie, don't bother trying to match those old funky green tiles.
Even if you do find the same green tiles, made from the same era or day. they will unlikely match due to deterioration, smoke stains uv light etc.

Instead, I would encourage you to replace the missing tiles with some contrasting 4" tiles that have fish, flowers or whatever. This way you can add some interest to the old fashioned tiled walls and give the room a make-over.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:21 PM   #7
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bathroom remodel

Just a quick thought when tearing out a bathroom wall in an old house: the old built in medicine cabinets had a little slot in them for dropping used razor blades. A late 1940's house we had surprised us with the number of old blades we found in a cavity. Good luck. Cliff

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