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babaganoosh 12-28-2010 07:01 PM

Need to replace 4 3x3 ceramic tiles around shower.
Hi! Hope you can help me! 4 tiles (3x3" squares) came off from around the tub in our kid's bathroom - the lowest row of tiles. What was visible is something like a paper that wasn't connected to the hard surface behind it - something along the lines of sheetrock - white / chalky, but much more dense than sheetrock I am used to these days. The house is 40 - 50 years old.

The papery material has the glue / mastic / thin-set adhered to it - the tiles are pretty clean of any materials on the back (there's some grout on the edges). Again, this papery material came off clean from the 'sheet rock' behind it. The sheetrock is pretty smooth (a poor bond between the paper and sheetrock type material, along with a poor bond between the adhesive and tiles?). The front of the papery material still has the grooves from when they put it down with the trowel.

Home Depot sold me AcrylPro to mount the tiles (rather than thin set, that is mentioned here alot). sound correct for this situation?

And the grout they said to get is "PolyBlend non-sanded grout for under 1/8".

I tried getting under the other tiles near this opening to see if any are loose, but they seem secure - at least because of the grout holding them all into 1 big sheet?

The grout will go between the tiles, but the gap at the bottom between the tiles and metal tub - that gets filled with caulk rather than grout?

Any tips on what to be aware of with doing this? I had tiles fall off in our shower a while ago and 'cause my wife says we'll redo that bathroom, she let me just slather caulk in the opening, press the tiles into the caulk and that area is covered by a sheet of plastic. Can't do that in this case : )


DrHicks 12-28-2010 08:40 PM

Those tiles came off because moisture got behind them. My guess is that it got in between the bottom of the tile and the tub itself. You probably have other moisture damage behind other tiles. Time will tell.

What they told you about materials, at Home Depot, is fine. It's going to be tricky to get the tiles to adhere to the backer board (or whatever it is), regardless of the adhesive. The grout they recommended should work fine, but unless the existing grout is bright white, you're not apt to get a very good color match.

And you're right about caulking the gap between the tile and the tub. Get a good quality caulk that is designed specifically for that application.

Honestly, I think that the best you're going to get is a temporary fix. But if it gets you a year or two down the road, and you're in a position to tear the whole thing out and do the job right, you've won.

Good luck.

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