50's bathroom wall repair question


Old 09-04-09, 06:41 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Posts: 3
50's bathroom wall repair question

Hello, I recently removed some tile in bathroom built in the 50's that revealed some water damage (the reason for the removal) and led to some damage to the plaster material that now needs some repair/filling/smoothing. It is chicken wire and really coarse plaster (like stucco) behind the tile. There was also some really bad water damage beside the tub (about 2' by about 1'') where I had to remove the plaster all the way down to some brown drywall type material.

Now here's where the question comes in. I am inexperienced in repairing such things and began to replace the plaster with plaster of paris and was going to cover it with hardibacker board in the shower area. But I found out that plaster of paris doesn't do well in wet conditions.

Should I remove all plaster of paris and start over with stucco? Or can I coat the plaster of paris with about 1/8" - 1/4" of portland cement based stucco and move on? The plaster is really on there and will need to be chiseled off.

I was hoping to do the repairs this weekend ASAP, so quick replies from experienced people would be nice, but maybe you all are off doing your own repairs . . . .

Happy Labor day weekend!!
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Old 09-07-09, 09:14 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Posts: 3

I haven't gotten any answers so on Saturday morning I decided to try and strip the plaster material off. It didn't work as planned and made a HUGE MESS, so I opted for what I should have done in the first place.

I have taken an angle grinder with a masonry saw blade and am cutting the entire section out. Still messy, but it will be alot faster.

Then I will put in some hardie backer to the appropriate thickness and apply tile.

Question: Do I need to waterproof behind the hardiebacker? Everything I have read says nothing about waterproofing, but it's porous, so I would imagine waterprooffing is really important. Thoughts??
Old 09-07-09, 10:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Louis Missiouri
Posts: 16
Smile 50's Bathroom Answer

I have encountered this in several old bathrooms I have redone. Home Depot sells a gypsum type product in the drywall section. It is white with a coarse base. It dries very fast but is water proof once it sets. Maybe go over it with this and if not use a good oil base sealant.

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