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Old 06-30-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


I have a 30 year old bathroom with a cast iron tub and shower with ceramic tiled walls. The tile is coming loose in spots (10-15%, maybe more?) and I'd like to install a 3 or 5 piece tub surround over the tile but wondered if I have to remove the tile first. (Will Liquid Nails--or similar--stick to ceramic tile?)

If I have no choice but to remove the tile/drywall first, what method produces the least dust and mess? (I was thinking one of those oscillating cutting tools--which I don't currently have.)

Please reply asap. I need to complete this weekend. Thank you very much!

P.S. Any tips on triming out the perimeter of the new installed surround would be much appreciated. (It's one of the details that most manufacturers leave out.) How do you trim out the perimeter to make it look professional?

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Old 06-30-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


If removing the tile must be done ( I'd need to see the instructions for the surround,but most are attached to the studs)

First--protect the tub with plastic and tape or carpet protector--

Next--using a reciprocating saw with the blade in upside down--make a skim cut just above the tile

Peal off a course of tile on the sides and make a skim cut there also--Just deep enough to cot the drywall and not any pipes--studs or wires--

Knock a couple of hand holds into the tile--and pull---most times the whole wall section will pull out in one or two sections---

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Old 06-30-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


If the tiles are falling off then I'd be 99.9% sure there going to be damage, mold ECT. behind that wall.
I would not do it unless the customer let me remove all of it.
I also would never install one of those paper thing glue up surrounds, I only use the ones you nail up directly to the studs.
There about three times as thick and less likly to crack later on.
Water resistant drywall goes over the lip at the top and sides of the enclosure.
It's best to shim out the studs with strips of lattis so the sheetrock comes out even with the lip so there's no hump.

There is no non messy way to do this job, some 5 gal. buckets, hammer and a brick chisle will get the tile off and a flat bar and a hammer will get the sheetrock and nails out.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


What Joe and Mike said.
If you disregard their advice it may not work as you anticipate. You may not get the shower controls back on over the extra thickness of the surround.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


Sorry Mike, but never use stick on carpet protector on a hard surface.
Reason being the sticky stuff on the back side stays stuck to the surface.
I hard to find this out the hard way. I laid it over tile to protect the tile.
I spent two days with mineral spirts on my hands and knees trying to get it all off.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:18 AM   #6
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
If removing the tile must be done ( I'd need to see the instructions for the surround,but most are attached to the studs)
Thanks, Mike! Do you know if it's possible for Liquid Nails (or similar construction adhesive) to stick to ceramic tile (assuming it's sound and in good condition)? I do understand your point that the manufacturer's instructions will dictate which method to use, but do you know if const. adhesive will adhere to ceramic tile? Thanks so much!
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:26 AM   #7
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


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...so the sheetrock comes out even with the lip...
Thanks, Joe! I'd wondered about shimming the drywall so there's no 'bump,' as you said. But what about finishing the butt joint formed by the sheetrock butting up against the lip/flange/side of the surround? Is caulking the only way to go? Do you think it would be possible to trim out the perimeter of the surround with 1" x 4" ceramic tile edging (the ones with a bullnose on one of the 4" edges)? It's what they finished off my existing installation of ceramic tile with. It gives it a professional-looking finished edge. Thank you!
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


Some good advice up above.

It tile is falling off, very good chance there is deterioration of the greenboard or whatever is underneath. Any time I've taken apart a surround in that condition there has been rotten drywall underneath.

If it was my place I would take all the tile out, nail to studs or re-board depending on the installation instructions for the unit.

Remember, if tiles are falling off there is a good chance of mold in there. Do you really want to cover that up for twenty years? It's less than a days work to demo and throw on some new board, can have a look at the plumbing underneath at the same time.

I've seen them done with tile for trim, can look sharp.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:56 PM   #9
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


Sure would be nice if you posted a few pictures.
Most tubs are set so there two walls on the ends, the whole wall gets shimed so the whole wall is level.
An encloshure will have rounded edges so a bull nose may not work.
A bead of latex caulking is all you need, you just have to know how to cut the sheetrock right so it's nice and tight and an even line.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
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Tub Surround (Install over existing tile?)


PL premium will stick to tole---but like the others said--if the tile is falling off the wall--your effort will be wasted--

Best to strip the old stuff out--change the exposed plumbing--mixer valve--and call the job well done.

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