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Old 06-17-2008, 07:37 AM   #1
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Tiling half a bathroom


Hello - (I posted this same question as a followup to someone else's inquiry with no responses - so I think that was my first mistake. Hope this is the right topic to post this in.)

I have a small bathroom in my bedroom that was expanded, by the previous owner, to include a walk-in shower. The shower was tiled in standard square white tiles (3x3) while the other half of the bathroom (small sink and toilet) was left in the original pink and black (3x3.). The house is a 1950's split - everything original (and practically everything is broken).

Can I chisel off the old tile and put new tile in its place without replacing the wall board? After reading the other post regarding a bathroom tile job, I understand that you can't tile over wallboard that isn't concrete if there is a lot of water/moisture. But shouldn't the wallboard under the original tile be concrete? Can I simple put a waterproofing solution on the board before I re-tile?

The whole bathroom looks horrible. My husband and I invested in a celing fan that vents out to the roof. Other than that we are on a tight budget. My husband currently works two jobs so I can stay home with the kids (we have 3). So I want to do some of the DIY stuff while he's at work!

The light fixture and medicine cabinet were completely rusted, I have removed them. That's it so far.

Any advice on the tiling would be much appreciated. I did some sheetrocking in the family room and it came out great but that was just an empty semi-finished room. The bathroom, I think, would be far more complicated for me, with the sink and toilets taking up most of the wall.

Thanks so much,
Jeannie
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:53 AM   #2
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Tiling half a bathroom


The first thing I'd recommend to you is to spend a load of time over at the John Bridge tile forum...there's a lot of pro-tillers hanging out there, and the tenor of the community is much like this one, mostly friendly.

As far as the other tile installation, until you remove a tile(s) and reveal the condition of the backer, no one here can or should tell you to move ahead. In addition, there's no guarantee that the previous installer used cement board...you have to remember there's a lot of people that will take virtually any shortcut they can. Take a switch plate cover if there is one where the tile are located, and you may be able to get an idea of whats going on under the surface.

Most likely, you'll damage the existing backer if you chisel them off, so be mentally prepared to replace it. The backer is not the most expensive part of the project and not worth chancing a future tile installation failure.

Something to consider: browse the tile shops, and home centers frequently, some times you can stumble on a tile closeout that will be deeply discounted.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:04 AM   #3
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Tiling half a bathroom


Thanks Rippy,
OK - doesn't sound too promising. I just checked the area where I removed the medicine chest and the wallboard looks like regular wallboard - chalky and crumbly. I'm assuming that concrete wallboard would be hard as a rock. This is disppointing to me. I really don't have the money to replace everything and to gut the whole place. A question though. Why has the tile stayed on all these years if they did it incorrectly when it was built?
Jeannie
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:05 AM   #4
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Tiling half a bathroom


Oh and by the way - Hope you are OK with all those tornadoes, floods, etc.
Jeannie
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:42 PM   #5
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Tiling half a bathroom


Jeannie,

I did answer your question earlier today. I had been busy tracking down a customer of mine that bounced a check....twice.

Check the other thread.


Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:58 PM   #6
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Tiling half a bathroom


And now reading your question here, I think I missed some of the situation in the other thread. Now I'm not sure which tile you're asking about. All the tile, just the white tile in the shower or the pink/black old tile not in the shower? The answer will be different depending on which tiles you're removing.
Tile in a wet location (tub, shower) needs to be waterproofed underneath. Tile can be put over almost any type of wall board but there are special needs in certain places. If you could be more specific about which tile, you can get a better answer.

STILL, you're most likely never going to remove old wall tile without damaging the wall. Your cheap answer to the situation will be DensShield/DensGuard. It's the exact same thing. One is sold exclusively at Lowes and is blue. It is a 100% waterproof wallboard material that can be directly tiled over. In the shower area, you would need to take the further step of waterproofing the seams and screw holes with RedGard. All in all, it's not that expensive of a fix (cost of materials). You'd be saving cost by doing the labor yourself. As suggested, look for special tile deals. I know Lowes (in my area) occasionally has pretty nice tile on special ($1-$2 sq ft).

You need to read and follow the instructions for all materials used.
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:32 AM   #7
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Ok thanks again.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:03 AM   #8
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Hi Angus-
I just want to replace the pink tile which is NOT in the shower. When I pulled off a few to experiment, they came of easily but left the wallboard looking like a brown paper bag, but nice and smooth. I used tile epoxy to glue a few on and it worked fine. I am worried about the moisture from the shower, etc. Is denshield/densguard something you paint on the wall or is it actual wallboard.
Thanks for your help,
Jeannie
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:53 AM   #9
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Tiling half a bathroom


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannieB View Post
Hi Angus-
I just want to replace the pink tile which is NOT in the shower. When I pulled off a few to experiment, they came of easily but left the wallboard looking like a brown paper bag, but nice and smooth. I used tile epoxy to glue a few on and it worked fine. I am worried about the moisture from the shower, etc. Is denshield/densguard something you paint on the wall or is it actual wallboard.
Thanks for your help,
Jeannie
DensShield is a waterproof tile backer (wall board).
It would be a bit of overkill to waterproof your walls outside of the shower. In a perfect world, you'd always like to apply tile to a tile backer board. However, this is not always the case. I have many times been hired to add tile to bathroom walls directly over the existing wallboard. Unless your tile will be in direct contact with water (not moisture), you should be fine tiling directly over the wall board. Although, I'm not too hip with going over old adhesive of any kind.
You mention that you've added a ventilation fan so with proper usage, that will help eliminate the unwanted extra moisture from the room before it has a chance to seep under the tile and start damaging the wall.

Good luck
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:44 AM   #10
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Tiling half a bathroom


Thank you so much! I will write back when I am finished (or maybe before with more questions.
JeannieB.
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