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Old 08-25-2006, 03:27 PM   #1
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Plaster bathroom


I am working on replacing the walls around the entire tub area of my bathroom. The walls have gotten wet over the years and the plaster has let go in many areas.

The existing wall is drywall with plaster over it. So I do not have to worry about lath.

I am going to tile in the shower so I am going to be installing durarock inside the shower area, but I am hoping that I do not have to remove all of the walls in the bathroom to make things line up. Can anyone offer any insite on how this can be done without tearing out all the walls, or am I better of replacing everything?

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Old 08-25-2006, 04:33 PM   #2
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Plaster bathroom


If I am understanding you correctly, I'd imagine you would be able to shim whatever new walls you have to to get a match. I too have plaster over drywall in my bathroom and the thickness varied immensely - up to .5 inch in places, and I was able to match up drywall for a completely invisible seem. I just used furring strips to shim and in a few places, If I remember, I doubled up on drywall to match the thickness.

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Old 08-25-2006, 04:58 PM   #3
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Yeah, I am planning on using 1/4" drywall on studs to make up the majority of difference. It appears that Hardibacker could the best choice for transition in areas not covered in tile.

How did you go about cutting the existing wall to get a clean edge for taping? Just curious, because I have a couple different thoughts on this.

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Old 08-27-2006, 08:16 PM   #4
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Plaster bathroom


A straight edge I either held or screwed to the wall - depending- and a utility knife. Just score away many times. The best practice I found for plaster over drywall was to take it slow and score the layer of plaster off first. Then carefully pry it off the drywall. Then go back and score the drywall. I get great transition lines that way. When I match up the drywall, I make butt joints out of the plaster and drywall and v it out a bit. The results for me have been 100% perfect transitions.


Oh, best practice I found w./ the utility knife was to use regular blades and change em' damn often. Use a blade fully, flip it, use the other side and change it.
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Old 09-05-2006, 12:10 AM   #5
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Plaster bathroom


OK, I started putting up the hardibacker in the tub surround and I have one area that is looking to be a much bigger problem than I anticipated. I have a section of wall that is roughly 48" x 48" that is being replaced, there is quite a difference in the thickenss (just over 1/2") of the existing plaster wall from one end of this section to the other. It looks like I am going to put some time in to making that wall as clean as I can.

Also, what do you suggest for building up where the existing wall and the new wall meet? should I use plaster?

Thanks to all the can shed a little light on this.
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:39 AM   #6
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Plaster bathroom


Oh boy I sure hope you get some ideas for this as I have exactly the same issue. I tore out my bathtub and tile surround and there is a variance of .5" from one side of one end (short end of the tub) to the other. So a span of about 33".

You didn't say where the variance would show, but on mine it would basically show at the top where the original plaster wall still remains. What someone suggested was to use the shims (as mentioned here) to bring out the hardibacker (I assume that is similar to cement board) as much as possible. Also to replace the wall up past the shower head level (which should be above most people's eye level) and use a chair rail type tile on top. That way, the space can go unseen and filled with caulk and no one should be the wiser. Cheating basically, but it sounds like it just might work.

Also, I just saw a tip last night that takes scoring the plaster one more step to get a clean edge. After scoring a few times with a blade they said to take a piece of something like a 2X4, place it just below/beside the score (on the side you are cutting away) and give the board a bit of a whack with your fist or hammer. That should cause the wall to snap cleanly along the score.

Anyway, I wish you luck and hope you post what you find out. Hopefully you can share what you learn with those of us still living in lath and too timid to just give it a go.
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:57 AM   #7
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Plaster bathroom


A straight edge and a 4 inch cut of wheel works also it is just more dusty.
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:56 PM   #8
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OK, I have gotten the hardibacker all installed and I went to a local drywall supply and talked to the guys there about what I should do with the uneven thickness in the wall. They have suggested that I apply a section of lath on the wall and apply a sharp sand and concrete mix in that area. I will be doing that this weekend.

I have another question on the rest of the walls in the room. I removed all the old tile, this was not very hard, most of them popped free of the thinset with little or no prying. There are a few areas where the tile stuck a little stronger and pulled away a bit of the surface area. So my question is, can I sand down the existing thinset to eliminate all of the high spots and then apply a skimcoat of thinset on entire wall to make everything even prior to tiling?

Thanks again for the input

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