I am tiling my shower/tub. The walls are plaster and are in good shape
except for a small area under the faucet where the wall meets the tub.
Is it OK to repair the damage area with backer board and then tile the
wall? I would rather not tear out the whole wall if it is ok to tile
over plaster. What was done before backer board? The previous covering
was a fake formica type. Anyone with experience doing this? Any help
would be appreciated.
Lemme guess, bathroom originally didn't have a shower, and a previous owner
added one on the cheap?
Before backer board, a <proper> wet-area tile job was done on a mud bed.
Basically like plastering, but with materials similar to outdoor stucco,
including the chicken wire. Tile was set in the final coat of mud, over the
chicken wire. Tile over plaster was rare, simply because tile was seldom
used in non-wet areas back then, other than by rich people.
As long as you have wall open and bathtub out of commission anyway, I'd
strip the entire surround and get it over with. Odds are the plaster isn't
quite flat, which will make the tile look funny, and a tile wall will be
more prone to leaks than the nasty sheet-good stuff you tore down. It'll
only be a few hours more work, and a few bucks more (Backer board and mud is
cheap), but it will look better, and you will never have to mess with it
again. And if this is an outside wall, stripping to studs will also allow
you to add/upgrade insulation behind/under the tub, which makes January
baths a lot more pleasant.
And another option would be to waterproof the walls to above the shower
head. As long as the plaster is sound and strait you'll be ok. You can get a
product called RedGuard from Home Depot or another product from Schluter.
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.