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Old 06-30-2009, 11:13 AM   #1
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


Bathroom built in 1959. Tile around tub and up 5' or so has 4x4 tile, adhered quite well onto regular wall board (maybe green if they even had it back then), its in very good condition, but the color is pink and the tub is peach, looks crappy. Is it realistic to believe I can pry these off and re-tile? The walls are sound all around. I'd end up with either mastic on the walls or tearing off the paper, can either of these be dealt with? The complete tearout, of course, is an option, but I think the non tearout option would be less traumatic for the wife...

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Old 06-30-2009, 01:52 PM   #2
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


You don't know the condition of the wall behind the tiles until you actually get the tiles off. I'd say don't plan on being able to reuse the existing substrate, because more likely than not, its integrity will be questionable (possibly a little water damage here or there, likely the old adhesive will tear off some paper, or worse, in the demo process, etc). But theoretically, yes, it is possible to reuse the drywall. But definitely not the best way to plan it.

You should seriously consider replacing the old tub surround drywall with concrete board. It will only had an extra day to your job and less than $100. But it will guarantee you a perfect substrate that will never have its integrity compromised by water down the road. The last thing you want to worry about is a little ways down the road having a tile get loose and pop off and you regret not putting in the extra effort to put in a new proper substrate when you had the chance.

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Old 06-30-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


I doubt this is the original 1959 bath. You should gut the bath to the studs and apply new wall material. You should also evaluate the plumbing and upgrade it.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


I'm pretty sure now that I'm going to gut the walls and install cementious board. I already did this to about a 3'x4' section around the valves some 15 years ago. You are right about the plumbing, the supplies are copper which are ok, but the line from the tub drain to the stack is galvanized 1 1/4" or so, but I'm not going to be getting at it from here, but from the room below. That may very well be a job for the professional...

Will the DeWalt rotozip be a good way to cut out the tiled wall sections into manageable pieces?
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:40 PM   #5
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


I generally use a crowbar and a sledge hammer. Well I used to use those, now I just call in a demo company and they use the tools. I just write the check.
This is not a rotozip tool scenario. Sledge a horizontal line around the tub space every 2 feet or so from the tub up the wall and use the crowbar to pull it off the wall. Try to identify the studs and not hit those as it will transmit vibration to the wall behind the bath.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:29 AM   #6
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


About how much would resurfacing the tile in place cost when done by a professional? I'd need it to be a custom color. I had someone in trying to sell me a custom liner system for $6,500. Very nice, probably the best one out there with lifetime warranty. But that's more than I spent on my last car.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:55 AM   #7
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


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About how much would resurfacing the tile in place cost when done by a professional? I'd need it to be a custom color. I had someone in trying to sell me a custom liner system for $6,500. Very nice, probably the best one out there with lifetime warranty. But that's more than I spent on my last car.
Resurfacing will last about 3 years if you're lucky. Good if you want to sell your house and leave in a few months.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:11 AM   #8
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


I'd never resurface, as Ron said will not last long term
My current house I gutted & redid the bath w/cement board & 6x10 tiles
I didn't spend $6500 on my entire bath including jacuzzi tub, radiant floor heat, new window, vanity, lights, medicine cabinet, fan & toilet etc
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:20 AM   #9
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


Why is that the easy way isn't always the best? I will go for the tearout. I will trim around the tile and bring it to the next stud on the vertical. One concern of mine is that I will have cement board mating to wallboard. This would be on the outside of the tiles and would need to end up being perfect as I will paint there to cover. I have had trouble ending up satisfied with previous seams I have done and here would be compounded by the dissimilar materials. Am I right to be concerned?
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:02 AM   #10
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


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One concern of mine is that I will have cement board mating to wallboard. This would be on the outside of the tiles and would need to end up being perfect as I will paint there to cover. I have had trouble ending up satisfied with previous seams I have done and here would be compounded by the dissimilar materials. Am I right to be concerned?
You can plan it so the joint where the drywall meets the cement board is underneath a row of tiles, so that that row of tiles is half on cementboard, and half on drywall.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:42 AM   #11
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


I found some tile that might work with my peach tub, which I'm keeping. It is 10"x13". Few questions: If I go to the ceiling, do I still need the bullnose or do I just go all the way up and caulk at the ceiling? I know to center the tile vertically, but do I also center it horizontally so that the tiles on the bottom row along the tub are the same size as the tiles along the ceiling?
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:45 PM   #12
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Bathtub Tile Removal vs. Tear Out


According to one of the tile salespersons, you go all the way up with no bullnose when doing a full tile job for a shower/tub area. That's what I will do.

So I hit 3 or 4 different tile places around town (Alexandria, VA) and found a place called Morris Tile on General Washington Drive. I found some tile I liked and matching floor tile also. The tile size options were 6x6 and 8x10, probably will use the larger, are there any advantages of one size over another?

This particular tile place was so much cheaper than all the others, should I be concerned about that? The tile was made in the USA and goes for $2.29/sf. They even had some tile at $1.29/sf on clearance. Most other tile I had been considering goes for $5-$7 and made in Italy. Is there any difference or did I just discover that most tile places are grossly overpriced?

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