What Is Under This Tile? - Tiling, ceramics, marble - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 06-27-2012, 08:21 AM   #1
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What is under this tile?

Doing some research ahead of time as to what I'll be up against in trying to do a bathroom facelift. This will be at least a year down the road.

1912-20 built home with (I think) lath and plaster walls. The bathroom has white subway tile around the shower area and tile wainscoting. I don't know when the tile was installed but it's pretty old -- perhaps original to the house? I'd like to get rid of it if possible -- it's old, discolored, cracked in places, and had holes drilled into it by an overzealous towel rack hanger.

I've been watching a lot of youtube videos and reading up on tile removal, but none of the things I've looked at seem to deal with old tile on plaster. So my question is, what is involved in removing this tile, and is it possible to remove it without having to do (as in, hire an expert to do) extensive repairs to the wall? Ideally I'd like to have a lovely smooth plaster wall from top to bottom, but if it seems like that's not a possibility I could put up some wood paneling over the damaged portion. I've pasted some pictures below (sorry, they're turned on the side).

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

On edit: sorry, can't get the pictures to work. I will keep trying.


Emthestrange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2012, 08:56 AM   #2
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Unless you have xray vision or do some digging around there's not good whay to know what your getting into.
Most often if it is tile just stuck to plaster the plasters going to be damaged.
Until it's removed there no way to know just how bad.
Not that big a deal to just remove it all and install new green of purple dry wall instead of plaster.
I use a 4-1/2" right angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut along the inside corners and along the ceiling to wall joints so it will not damage them when removing. I use a brick chisle to break the very top corners where the blade can not reach.
May have to shim out the studs so the new materials will come out even with the plaster left on the walls and ceiling.
When the plasters removed pull a string along the studs, really old houses seldom had studs all the same thickness so sistering a few new studs to bring it out even or some shims may be needed.


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Old 06-27-2012, 09:15 AM   #3
Bill Kearney
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It's probably not tile on plaster... it's worse. It's likely tile on concrete. Be prepared for a lot of sledgehammer swinging. Either way it would require being removed to the studs and new surface added.

It's possible to use drywall and then have coats of plaster added to it. But you'd need to find a very good plaster contractor for it. Otherwise you'd probably have to use some sort of border material to avoid the transition looking too obvious.

An way to add pictures is to upload them to a service like photobucket.com and post the [img] text links here, or just a link to the whole picture gallery.

And when you redo the surface give some thought to putting up some wood to support the towel racks. You probably already know where you'd want to put them. So add 2x4s in-between the existing studs in those locations. This will provide solid points for the towel rack fasteners to attach.
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