Bathroom Remodel- Demo Job, older home w/ plaster walls

Hi.. I have a bathroom that will be remodeled.. House is 50 years old.. Bathroom has plaster walls.. The current tile goes up about 5 feet high.. Then from there to the ceiling its plaster....
Some people say we should demo the entire wall...Even the part where the tile stops... Completely remove all plaster walls to studs...
Other people say, you can save money... Just demo the tile..... Where the plaster goes to the ceiling, just feather it with sheetrock and you wont be able to tell the difference... What do you think? I'm thinking its better to demo all the walls to the studs... any advice
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I guess it depends on how you will be finishing the walls - and the wall/celing joint.
I can speak from exerience that in my 54 YO house, the painted plaster walls of the original structure look different than the painted walls in the drywalled addition. The finished surface is just not the same.
The plaster walls and ceilings have more "character" than the drywall, with a certain amount of wave and a glossier surface, even with the same paint.
In addition (assuming paint again) you'll be dealing with 2 different surface materials in an area where you need to be particularly concerned with a perfectly proper paint job due to moisture.
I don't know how thick your plaster walls are, but mine are 3/4" thick. There's 3/8" of a horizontal, tongue and groove, brown paper covered gypsum product and then 3/8" of plaster. I'd need to shim out (or double up) the drywall to get it line up at the edges. Even then I don't know if I could get it perfect based on the irregularities of the plaster.
So that makes you lean towards a complete tearoff, right? Well...
The downside of a complete tearout is the ceiling to wall joint. In my house, there's metal lath like this in the wall/ceiling joint:
http://www.cemcosteel.com/fv-560.aspx
Removing the wall without disturbing the ceiling is not an easy task. After 54 years, the plaster is brittle and the lath is pretty rusted. It's far from a joyful experience to remove that last 3 or 4 inches of wall - unless you're going to do the ceiling also.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/20/2010 3:24 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I totally agree. Just fixed the plaster walls in my kitchen and it is a delight. Sheetrock is so flat, plaster is more "vibrant".
If the rest of the house is plaster, I'd fix it. If it is all sheetrock then the plaster would look odd.
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Dealing with a contractor? Ask for a price either way. Doubt if there would be any savings. Doing it your self? You would save a few square feet of sheet rock and increase the hassle and work.
My choice in a bath is to gut everything.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If there are no cracks in the existing plaster and it's all in good shape, I'd be tempted to keep the plaster if price were the only consideration, but it rarely is. A complete demo won't cost much more than the partial demo, the additional drywall won't be all that much unless the bathroom is large and/or complicated, and a complete demo usually allows the insulation and wiring to be brought up to snuff. If there is a bathroom above, it will also allow you to inspect the framing for rot from (prior) leaks, sketchy plumbing, etc.
There is no issue with matching surfaces - simply skim coat the entire wall and it will be seamless in appearance.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

From the 60's it's probably rock lath plaster, which is really solid and a shame to demo, but it's only a bathroom and sheetrock is cheap. I'd demo the room and use green board all over and cement board in the tub/shower.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have done it both ways and may do it both ways again in the future depending on the situation, time and help I have for the job.
For the home you live in I suspect a complete demo will yield the best results for you. It is easier to finish new drywall than it is to marry drywall to plaster because the tapered edges make finishing far easier. If you have a slick finished ceiling that is in good shape the drywall wall can mate with that and finish out nicely. Often that is the easier way to go unless you have situation like DerbyDad03 mentions in his post. I personally have never encountered that.
Be sure to use hardibacker or crumble crap under the tile in the wet areas. Green board or that newer mold board are fine for the non-wet areas. The minor increase in cost is always worth it to do right the first and only time.
Also note that you may need to shim out the studs to be level with existing door and window frames depending on how thick the plaster is. Not a big deal but you must do it before the wallboard goes up.
--
Colbyt
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Bathroom-Remodel-Demo-Job-older-home-w-plaster-walls-591567-.htm Nestor Kelebay wrote:
KOS wrote:
I've read the other posts to this thread, and I've done this kind of work many times and never found that the expanded metal corner bead in the wall/ceiling corner to be that much of a problem.
What I did was use a plastic laminate knife (the kind with the single tungsten carbide tooth at the end of the "blade") to score deeply into the plaster along the wall/ceiling corner. I would make two such score lines; one along the wall/ceiling corner line and another about 3 inches below and parallel to the first score line. Then I'd use the laminate knife to widen the upper score line so that I could cut through the metal corner bead with a pair of tin snips. Since the metal corner bead is nailed on, and I had cut through the plaster below the corner bead, once I got one end of the corner bead exposed, I could just pull it off the wall. As long as you cut through the expanded metal right at the corner, the whole flange will pull off relatively easily up to each nail. Then you have to spend a few minutes removing the nail, and it pulls off easily until you get to the nail after that, etc.
If it were me, what I would do is remove the old tiling and see what the plaster under it looks like. If the plaster behind the tile is in good shape, I'd leave it and tile over it. If that plaster is very water damaged, I'd probably replace the water damaged plaster with 1 piece of 1/4 inch plywood covered with a 1/2 inch thick sheet of cement board (or Georgia Pacific's Denshield) and tile over that.
If the old tile was stuck on with mastic, you can remove that old hard mastic with a Nestor scraper, named after it's inventor. To make a Nestor scraper you simply grip the back edge of a single edge razor blade using the ends of the jaws of "needle nose style" locking pliers. You then use a heat gun to soften the old mastic and scrape it off the wall with the Nestor scraper. Wear a leather glove in your working hand because the Nestor scraper will get pretty hot.
Also, put a piece of scrap carpet pile side down in your tub before taking any tile off. That will protect the tub from getting all scratched up by the pieces of tile. Also, use a piece of cord and a hose clamp to fasten the cold chisel you use to remove the old tiling to your wrist. That way, if you drop the chisel, the cord will catch it before it hits the tub and causes a big chip.
I'd leave the good plaster up and tile over it. And, I'd tile right to the ceiling.
I've tiled well over 20 bathrooms, and you can see pictures of my work on my web site at:
http://users.usinternet.com/nkelebay ------------------------------------- ..in solidarity with the movement for change in Iran.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Oct 20, 9:22pm, nkelebay_at_ilos_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (Nestor Kelebay) wrote:

Homesnowersbub.com is a joke. Thought you should know.

I take it you don't own an angle grinder with a diamond wheel. It cuts through the plaster and metal lath without all of that scoring. Just put the blade in the wall/ceiling corner at 45 degrees and blaze away. It reaches to within a few inches of an inside corner and then you can break out the snips.

Denshield is basically greenboard. Tile pros don't really like the stuff. http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=577&highlight=denshield

I take it you don't own a painter's five-in-one tool...or any other scraper...or visegrips. What do you do exactly?

Hose clamp? Why not just have a loop in the end of the cord to slip over your wrist?

Me, too. Then I put in another twenty years.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Oct 20, 8:22pm, nkelebay_at_ilos_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (Nestor Kelebay) wrote:

Agree on keeping the old plaster (including that under the tile) if possible. You may be able to remove the old tile and put new tile on over the plaster. The plaster is probably thicker and more soundproof than its drywall replacement would be. Plaster is not suitable in a shower area, but elsewhere in the bath may be fine. If it's not crumbling and you can get the tile off of it, I would recommend keeping it. -- H
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Depends on how you plan to finish the walls.
I've always re-tiled, so I removed the wall a little above the tile, replaced it with green board (after sistering the studs to adjust for thickness difference) and then tiled above that joint.
If I were going to paint, I'd re-plaster. -----
- gpsman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

re: "after sistering the studs"
Do you typically sister or shim?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've typically been successful avoiding that type of work for 40 years, but I never tried to shim existing studs. -----
- gpsman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Unless there's a structural issue, I always shim out the studs. It's a great way to use up all of that scrap that's always laying about.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've read the other responses, and the term "insulation" was used rarely, but it was mentioned. My suggestion is that you insulate the outside wall. I replaced a window with glass block, and insulated with 3 layers of Styrofoam to accomplish coming exactly even with the inner edges of the 2x4's of the outer wall. That way, it was a very solid surface, and doesn't get so cold in the winter and serve as a condensate surface for hot showers, which afterwards encourages mold growth. But then, I also did my tile work in a BETTER fashion than you can get from the pros. Because it didn't include grout.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You're welcome.

What do you mean about the grout?
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The grout is the weak link in a tile job. It allows water to pass, it supports mold, etc. After doing the Styrofoam in the walls, I covered all the wall areas with Greenboard. Not because I needed it, but because it's what I had. After all, it wasn't going to get wet anyway. I found a tile style with some texture and random pattern that matched white silicone very well. Pure white that is unpaintable, so it also doesn't stain easily, and does not support mold or mildew. I put a bead of it at the respective tile sides, squiggled it on the back, put my tile a half inch from where it was going to be, wiggled it around to get there, and then used my finger to remove excess and put it on the back of the next one. Each tile edge and mating edge got a bead of silicone, so I used a fair amount of the stuff. Three tubes of it. And instead of putting the tiles 1/2" apart or whatever, they are butted up against each other, with the silicone the only transition.
That was over 15 years ago, and it still looks new. No trouble at the tub transition, no trouble elsewhere. No mold, no grout sealing, nothing.
And the job cost me the time, the silicone, the 35 or so tiles, at 72 cents each. And I got a far better job than the tile professional would have done, and just a little less expensive, too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.