I have a bathroom with 3 rows of tiles around the bath.
I want to tile up to the ceiling to take a show unit over the bath.
The walls are plasterboard and above the existing tiles is wallpaper that
emulsioned Is it best to try and take off the existing wallpaper - need
steam stripper, etc.
or just tile over the emulsioned wallpaper?
My last house had tiles which had been applied over emulsion.
One day we heard a bang. We found a tile embedded in the bottom of the
bath - it had landed on a corner, and punched clean through the plastic
I'm glad no-one was underneath.
I'm also glad that as a fairly new house the builder replaced the bath
and re-tiled it.
And that I realised the new tiles were coming of too - in time to remove
them in a controlled fashion, remove the paint, cut a key into the wall,
and replace them.
Take the paper off. BTDTGTTS.
tiles came off the bathroom walls in both of them. I think it was
because the tiles were really tight up against each other and over the
next couple of years the walls dried out and the tiles 'burst' off the
wall. So no surprises then that your tiles came off as well.
Once the top row was off you could see that rather than cut-in the paint
at the edge of the tiles they'd sploshed onto the wall, then tiled
afterwards. As only the top row came loose I blame the paint.
My advice would be to remove both the wallpaper and the emulsion and tile
onto the skimming on the plasterboard (or the board directly if there is no
skim) after first giving this a coat of PVA, and applying the tile cement
just as starts to get 'tacky' [1 and 2] - and follow any instructions on the
box about soaking the tiles before fixing them (if applicable to the tile).
Remember that all that's holding the paper on the emulsion is the wallpaper
paste, and this will certainly start to break down when you apply the wet
tile cement and tiles - with the obvious results.
With regards to the emulsion, the 'grip' on that will not be enough to
support the weight of the adhesive and the tiles will eventually pull off
 Cover an area that you can comfortably do before the PVA dries
 I did three complete walls in shower cubicle with 330 x 250mm tiles
using this method over twelve years ago - and they are still there now.
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