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1972 called, and they want their wall tile back!

1972 called, and they want their wall tile back!

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Old 02-27-13, 08:29 PM
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1972 called, and they want their wall tile back!

Our home was built in 1972, and the bathrooms are all still as they were built, as far as I know. The main 1/2 bath, used by company as well as the family, sits right off the kitchen. It is (was until demo started...) still wearing the baby blue ceramic wall tiles with royal blue edge tiles. They were from shoulder-height to the floor, then textured walls above that to the ceiling. The wife recently decided it was time for a project! We removed all the tile, and want to install drywall and make smooth painted walls in there. The walls are plaster now. Can I simply glue the new thin drywall to the existing wall, or what is the best plan for this? I hope to be able to do it without having to relocate the light switches and outlets due to the thickness of the new walls, not to mention the fact that the door frame barely fits between the walls now at the entrance...if we added much more than a quarter inch to each wall it would make the frame not fit anymore.

Basically, I'm a metal fabrication guy...I can weld it, beat it, heat it, hammer it and make it fit, then pretty it up. Drywall and tile ain't my thing, but I want to learn (in case she wants to do the full bath next!).

HELP!
 
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Old 02-27-13, 08:59 PM
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Step 1 is to figure out where you want to go with the 1/2 bath. My suggestion is to take the walls down to the studs, add new drywall and pick a nice tile to suit your tastes. You can tile right over the drywall or you can add cement board in place of drywall for the areas that will get tile.

For a typical 8' ceiling, my idea for wall tile is to go as high as chair rail or wainscoating. Neither height is engraved in stone, but I like somewhere between 3'-4'. If you are using cement board 36" plus a little tile overlap works.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 09:20 PM
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We don't want to retile it, just smooth walls floor-to-ceiling. What is involved in taking a plaster wall down to the studs? I've done drywall walls, and simple paneled garage walls before, but never messed with plaster.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 09:59 PM
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Why not just use joint compound to skim-coat the walls? No demo and no need to re-work the electrical boxes.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 10:23 PM
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Hadn't heard of that option before. Though, I would still have to recess the electrical more, since it was all in the tile...so I'd have to move it back in some.
 
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Old 02-28-13, 05:32 AM
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Were the electrical boxes flush with the tile? You could also overlay the plaster with drywall although that would require removal and some modification of the woodwork.

btw - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 02-28-13, 05:40 AM
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I would tear the whole wall out up to the ceiling and go back in with new drywall. I think it would be easier than trying to blend into a textured plaster wall. I would assume that the plaster is a lightly brushed swirled type texture.

While the walls are open, you can reset your electrical boxes back to the correct depth.

The only challenge is going to be where the walls meet the ceiling. Most likely, there is metal lathe that helps form the corner. You will have to break off the plaster and cut the lathe. This will result in an odd transition to your new drywall. The gap can either be filled and taped or have crown molding installed to hide the transition.
 
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Old 02-28-13, 11:50 AM
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We removed all the tile, and want to install drywall and make smooth painted walls in there. The walls are plaster now. Can I simply glue the new thin drywall to the existing wall,
I would still have to recess the electrical more, since it was all in the tile...so I'd have to move it back in some.
I hadn't thought about the boxes being flush with the face of the tile you removed. Let's go back to your original plan for a minute.

You can add thin drywall over the plaster. It will need to be thick enough to come flush with, or in front of, the faces of the electrical boxes, so you might need to use 3/8" rock. If there a box in the wall above where the tile was, it's easy to add an extension to that box to bring it flush.

But here's the thing. The casing on your door and your window, if you have one, will be flush with the face of the plaster. To add drywall over those walls you will have to remove the trim, add 1/4" or 3/8" strips of wood to the casings and re-install the trim. That might not be a bog deal for a window, but you will also need to reset the hinges for the door, assuming it opens into the room. If it swings out then that's not a problem.

So here's a thought: If the electrical boxes are all on one wall, why not add new drywall on that wall and skim-coat the others? Or skim-coat any where you would have to re-work the trim to add new drywall?
 
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Old 03-02-13, 09:09 AM
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How do you ensure that the joint compound skim ends up flat? Again, an automotive background makes me wonder how you block sand this big flat wall to make it not look like the ocean waves when you are finished. Sounds messy, too...
 
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Old 03-02-13, 10:14 AM
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The better job you do applying the j/c, the less sanding you'll need to do and it is very dusty

One trick that might help you if you have trouble applying the j/c neatly over a large area is to break it up into multiple smaller areas that you fill confident getting even. Do it in a checkerboard pattern and when the 'white' squares are dry, go back and fill in the 'black'

A sanding pole holds a half sheet of sandpaper [or the precut ones] which helps to keep the paper [and the sanded wall] flat. They also sell a hand held version - exactly the same except a handle instead of the pole.
 
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Old 03-02-13, 10:22 AM
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Well...she just made it WAY easier for me. She was looking at beadboard paneling, and said she liked the look. Booyaa! It's close enough to the thickness of the tile that the switch covers still work fine, and the textured top half of the walls suit her above the beadboard paneling. How easy was that?
Thanks for the help, folks! No doubt, I will be back soon...
 
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Old 03-02-13, 10:27 AM
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Are you using the prefinished paneling or is it unfinished? If unfinished, if you stain and apply the first coat of poly [or primer/paint] before you install it - that should make it even easier/quicker for you.
 
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Old 03-02-13, 10:57 AM
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Prepainted white. Thanks, though!
 
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Old 03-02-13, 02:22 PM
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Well...she just made it WAY easier for me. She was looking at beadboard paneling, and said she liked the look. Booyaa! It's close enough to the thickness of the tile that the switch covers still work fine, and the textured top half of the walls suit her above the beadboard paneling. How easy was that?
It sounds like you've found a solution that will work for you. Great! Just make sure that the face of every electrical box winds up flush with or slightly behind the face of the paneling.

How do you ensure that the joint compound skim ends up flat? Again, an automotive background makes me wonder how you block sand this big flat wall to make it not look like the ocean waves when you are finished. Sounds messy, too...
In case you want to use it in the future, you can think of the technique as a combination of the techniques used with body fillers (Bondo) and lead wiping.

Thin the jc a little more than you would for standard mud work. Apply it as smoothly as you can using the widest knife that will work in the space. I've also used a finishing trowel and a hawk. That's the Bondo part.

Here's the lead wiping part: Have a large natural sponge and a bucket of water ready. Just before the jc completely sets up, use the wet sponge to smooth the surface. Have the sponge "medium wet" - just dry enough to not drip. Use as little pressure as possible. Tip: using the jc that goes on pink and dries white makes it easier to gauge when it's about to set up.

The great thing about jc, as opposed to body fillers, is that you can always wet the surface and work it some more, or apply a bit more mud, or whatever. You don't have to sand it if you don't want to!

Hey, enjoy the wainscoting!
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 03-02-13 at 02:37 PM.
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