Published on July 28th, 2015 | by Henri


Replacing damaged tile surrounding tub/shower

Q.    The 4-inch square tiles on the back wall of my tub/shower in my 65-year-old house are about to fall off the plaster and lath wall, which you have probably guessed is also in bad shape.

Which way should I go to repair this problem? Tear everything out to the studs, install plaster board or plywood (which kind?), apply a sealer (which kind?), and re-tile? Or should I go back to the original way–clean the area down to the lath, re-plaster (base and top coats), apply a sealer and re-tile? Sincere thanks for your help.

A.    The best way to go would be to remove everything to the studs and start over by applying backer board to them. Then install the tiles after cleaning them up or buying new tiles.

If this is an exterior wall, make sure that the insulation is in good shape, staple a 6-mil plastic vapor retarder to the studs, and fasten the backer board to them.

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