Shower wall - prep for tile

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by cdharmon, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. cdharmon

    cdharmon New Member

    Jul 27, 2009
    Hi Folks -

    I currently have a shower with cultured marble sides and pan. The cultured marble slab on the wall has cracked from the corner of the soap insert to the instead of replacing it, I want to tile the walls.

    I am planning on just leaving the shower pan in place. It is in good shape and I don't want the challenge of doing a tiled pan and getting the slope right and all that.

    So - -- what is the best way to do the wall prep for tiling? The house is 11 years old, so I assume there is just green board (at best) behind it. Also, one of the walls is an outside wall.

    What is the best and easiest way to proceed? Should I just take the green board (or whatever they may have up there) down and replace with a cement board or equivalent? Or do I still need to waterproof it somehow? Put up a moisture barrier? And if a membrane is needed, how do I tie that in with the existing pan that is already in place?

  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    There should already be a membrane under the floor, but if there is not, there is no way to install one without removing the floor. You cannot install a membrane and then attach it to your existing floor.
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  4. cdharmon

    cdharmon New Member

    Jul 27, 2009
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm assuming (which may not be a good thing!) that the floor/shower pan is all good and am planning on leaving that alone.

    My two concerns is making sure I have the proper wall surface to tile so far as material/waterproofing....and how to tie this in with the existing floor pan.

    Tile will be 12 x 12 travertine.

    I'm also concerned about the outside wall and any existing moisture barrier.
  5. susandoc

    susandoc New Member

    Jun 12, 2009
    Katy, TX
    We had cultured marble shower that we removed. When we started the tear out we found that the panels were just glued to the studs, there was no backing. Unless you take the panels out and see a membrane coming up from under the floor, you may have to redo the floor.
    The John Bridge forum has many shower and tile experts, suggest you post your question over there too.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Take the walls down. Install a vapor barrier (plastic or roofing felt) on the studs, lap it over the flange into the shower pan. Put up CBU. Trim the vapor barrier. With a large tile, you can stop the cbu just above the flange, just pack that gap with thinset when setting the tile...the large size means most of it will be properly supported, and is fine on a wall. Ensure you put the reinforcement tape on the seams. you can do this while you are tiling and will prevent 'speed bumps' if you do it first.
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