Bathtub surround wall tiling?


We have a bathub/shower that needs a new surround- The walls are currently a cheap-o surround kit, and ~suprisingly~ water is getting in behind the walls causing mildew. We want to take this out, and replace it with tile. My only question is regarding the joint between tile and bathtub. Currently, there is a small 1" lip on the tub, the surround is overlapping this lip. When removed, how do we make the joint between tile and the lip? It is a steel tob, and the lip is just a thin piece. Should I tile ove rit? Or is there some option I don't know about.
I am a HOME REPAIR newbie!
Thanks! snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That lip is no big deal as far as tile is concerned ... it's that mildew wall behind. I've used 3/4 plywood as a base for tile in a bathroom refurbish with ceramic tile ... cement board being the norm. Now, if you have standard drywall, or that old plaster on cement, you'll have to either cover it, or replace it ... is what I'd do. I've used those surround kits with no problem ... have one in a bathroom now that's been there for ... 13 years ... geez time flys ... with no problems at all. I suggest just take out the old one surround, clean up the wall, and put in a new surround ... is what I think (know) I'd do.
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How old is the house? Any chance there is old tile under the surround kit?
I say this in the kindest possible fashion- hire it done the first time, watch, and learn. To do the job properly, you will need to go deeper than just pulling off the surround kit- you will also need to strip the (probably greenboard) sheetrock behind it, dry out, stabilize and otherwise patch the studs, replace (or probably add) suitable insulation, shim the studs to match the lip, install cement board (screws, not nails), tape and seal the joints, and in general make sure everything is square and solid. THEN, you are ready for tile. Tiling is a lot harder than it looks, to get it all square and pretty, and an amateur job will piss you off every time you get in the tub. And yes, the cement board and tile does go down over the lip, almost but not quite touching the horizontal surface. Don't forget to check behind and under the tub for water damage as well- are there any water stains in the ceiling or joist spaces below? If you can seen the bottom of the subfloor, poke it with an ice pick, especially any dark spots, looking for mushy areas.
If you have never done this work before, content yourself with doing the demolition, and hire somebody for the rebuild. The bright spot is- this is a great opportunity to install a modern faucet and shower riser, since the wall is open anyway. I'd also look real hard at the stamped-steel tub, and consider how it will look next to a nice fresh tile job. Of course, if you change the tub, then the floor has to be replaced, and then the rest of the bathroom looks tired, and where do you stop? (Guys usually won't notice or care, but women always do- trust me.)
aem sends...
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EXCELLENT information- The house is not old, in fact there is access to the plumbing where I can see that the wallboard is plain old drywall. So that will have to come out. Your answer is exactly the information I needed, especially the clarification on the tub/wall joint. I think the realization that I will have to stare at my less than perfect job every morning is enough to hire someone-
Thank you so much!
~Ron
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