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Old 10-31-2010, 09:53 PM   #1
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Need help with bathtub walls


We bought our home 5 years ago and have run into alot of problems with an owner "built" home. There are many problems we have fixed, but I am not sure how to fix this one! The bathtub walls were built with drywall, I know this is a no-no. The walls are covered with vinyl floooring. Yuck! The bathtub space is too big for the tub so they put in a shelf tiled with ceramic tile along the long, inside edge. On each end they installed pieces of thin, ceramic edging and caulked in the gaps which are too wide and the caulk keeps cracking. I know I need to take down the vinyl walls, install cement board and install tile, but how do I fix all the extra spaces? I am also thinking of installing a plastic membrane, but can I tile over it? Thanks for all the help anyone can give me. Debi
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:32 PM   #2
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Bathtub wall trouble


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Originally Posted by debigill2 View Post
We bought our home 5 years ago and have run into alot of problems with an owner "built" home. There are many problems we have fixed, but I am not sure how to fix this one! The bathtub walls were built with drywall, I know this is a no-no. The walls are covered with vinyl floooring. Yuck! The bathtub space is too big for the tub so they put in a shelf tiled with ceramic tile along the long, inside edge. On each end they installed pieces of thin, ceramic edging and caulked in the gaps which are too wide and the caulk keeps cracking. I know I need to take down the vinyl walls, install cement board and install tile, but how do I fix all the extra spaces? I am also thinking of installing a plastic membrane, but can I tile over it? Thanks for all the help anyone can give me. Debi
Debi, I have a like problem, but the finger pointing goes to my late dad and my youngest son. No vinyl on the wall but tile over plain sheetrock. Your options: trash out the sheetrock (masks for mold, white polyester suits and gloves, safety glasses, and hair protector caps). Now is a good time to budget for a new tub and fixtures if you are not so fond of them.. The wall on the adjacent room may be molding too.. If it is, continue removing that wall until you have no mold. If you see mouse droppings make sure!! do do not cause dust to plume.. some species of huntavirus may be in the droppings. Tub removed- area and studs vacumed make a bleach/water spray 2cu bleach /1gallon water, spray floor and studs, let dry 24 hours. Next day spray studs with termite spray from powered termite insect spray from builders supply-follow mixing directions. Let dry 24 hours. If the tub wall is an interior wall, insulation will not be needed but for sound-proofing suggest using the spray stuff that foams up and just brush off overflow when dry.. just follow product directions. Two products I have used to close the wall around the tub is green-rock (a water resistant sheetrook) which has a green color exterior or concrete board (the heavest of the two). With todays bonding products both wall products will adhear well to tiles of your choice. If you decide to keep your tub, now is the time to move it back and reconnect your pipes, then tile-time! I recommend a tile professtional for the tile and GROUT application. My late husband hired a tile/grout guy years ago who did a nice tile job but left the dried and brittle grout unwashed or clean.. for me to remove after I returned home from work.. It was like trying to remove concrete from the grout and took weeks of scrubbing and cussing. I could have shot the man on the street if only I knew what he looked like. The other interior wall -- greenrock would be a good choice, too. It is less than $2 a sheet more than plain sheetrock and like I said is moisture resistant! Should the wall behind you tub be on an outside wall, the foam insulation products will not only make the room warmer in winter and fit snugly around any pipe placements and it will aid in keeping the pipes from bursting from freezing weather. Good luck on your bathroom project. Nancy Kosling [email protected]

Oh, the shelf has to go too, and frame in the tub (or new tub properly). The only way to get rid of the old molding sheetrock is to move the tub. That said, new framing to close in the tub to properly fit it is the only practical way to clean up a health hazzard.

Last edited by Nancy Kosling; 10-31-2010 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. It is news I didn't want to hear, but I know you are right. I hate giving up the extra room that the shelf creates I think I will also go for a new tub since water collects in a low spot in the tub. If weren't so afraid of aintalling a shower pan, I would remove it all and build a large tiled shower instead!
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