Waterproofing wallpapered 1970's shower??

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-20-19, 07:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Waterproofing wallpapered 1970's shower??

I'm trying to replace an old and worn glue-up tub surround in a 1978 house. I was thinking about taking out the tub surround and putting up tile, but don't know how to properly waterproof whatever is under the tub surround and prep it for tiling so i don't have issues down the road.

The bathroom in general has 2 layers of wallpaper, a rainbow stripe bottom layer with a grey checked version on top (just saying this so you know what you're looking at in the photos). I pulled back some of the tub surround on the back shower wall and was shocked to see the base layer of the rainbow wallpaper all the way up and down the wall. Wallpaper isn't waterproof and i figured maybe this was just on the back wall, so i pulled back the top of the front wall (with the shower fixtures) and saw more of that rainbow wallpaper. Is it possible that they were showering with just wallpaper on the walls??? Was it waterproofed in some wat that i've never heard of, which actually makes it a good starting point for my tile project? The bathroom is small and its the only bathroom in the house and the tub alcove is perfectly sized for a tub so i can't imagine that the plumbing was moved at any point.

I was also able to access the shower/tub plumbing from the next room, and saw that i have wood studs (not surprising) and a plywood board was used as the first layer "wall" on the shower fixture side of the wall. So, it looks like i have studs, with a plywood layer, some white stuff (drywall over the plywood? some other compound layered over the plywood? maybe its just white wallpaper glue directly on the plywood? who knows), then a layer of peeling wallpaper, and a glue-up tub surround.

I would like to avoid ripping out the walls, which are straight and seemingly in good shape. What steps should i take to appropriately waterproof the walls before starting my tiling job? And is it maybe already waterproofed somehow because of this baffling wallpaper situation?

Thanks!
 
Attached Images   
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-21-19, 02:11 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
It's hard to say what someone else has previously done, there are all types of horror stories out there

IMO tile is the way to go! There are too methods to waterproof the tiled walls, paint RedGard over the cement board or install a vapor barrier behind it which is usually visqueen/plastic [I used tar paper on mine] I'd remove the drywall and put tar paper over the plywood and then put up the cement board.
 
  #3  
Old 09-21-19, 11:30 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 52,699
Received 344 Votes on 322 Posts
Are you removing the shower surround too and wanting to replacing it with tile ?

It sounds like the walls have a thin sheet of sheetrock over plywood. That is ok for the wall paper especially in an area that doesn't get directly wet but if you remove the shower surround..... you'll need to start from the beginning.
 
  #4  
Old 09-23-19, 06:24 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,308
Received 47 Votes on 44 Posts
Take it down to the studs and install the proper CBU for tile.
 
  #5  
Old 09-23-19, 09:02 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
You'd want to see how the existing plywood interacts with the tub. If the plywood goes behind the tub it should allow the cement board to set over the tub's lip and I'd leave it, otherwise you' might have to fur the studs out unless the plywood rests on top of the tub's lip.
 
  #6  
Old 09-26-19, 05:41 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
marksr can you clarify? The plywood goes all the way down to the floor, behind the tub. Are you saying i can remove the top layer of drywall and put the cement board on top of the drywall, and rest it on "top" of the tub edge? What do you mean by "fur the studs out"? Thank you!
 
  #7  
Old 09-27-19, 03:29 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,079
Received 120 Votes on 107 Posts
Since the plywood goes to the floor I would leave it in place. I'd install tar paper over the plywood and have it slightly overlap the lip of the tub. I'd then hang the cement board where it would either rest of the top lip or overhang it slightly.

You want the front of the cement board to be set out enough for any water to run into the tub and not behind it. Sometimes you need to add furring strips [narrow pieces of wood] to bring the cement board out far enough. You do not want drywall behind the shower surround!
 
  #8  
Old 09-27-19, 11:04 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Right. Got it! Thanks for the clarification!!
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: