Tile over tile? (wall)


Old 06-12-09, 10:57 AM
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Tile over tile? (wall)

I have a tiled shower stall, house was built in 1963 and the tile was "wet laid" in cement (NOT thinset -- metal lath over wall studs, then about 1" of cement, then ceramic tiles). The tile is in excellent condition but we hate the color and it looks very dated.

House has three bathrooms, all with tile wainscoting done this way, and I ripped out the smallest one a few years ago (sledge-hammered the tile & cement back to the studs). I;d rather not repeat that tough job on the large master bath.

So I am thinking of laying new tile over the existing wall tile. Probably not "best practice", but it sure would save a ton of work. Thinking of sanding the surface of the existing tile with coarse grit, then using thin-set mortar to attach the new tile.

I realize this will build out the walls roughly 1/2" but that's not a problem.

Will this method work? Will the thin-set adhere well enough to the old tiles? Am I crazy for thinking of doing it this way?

(P.S. on the small bathroom, I tried to chisel off just the ceramic tile and leave the cement in place, but that proved impossible -- the old tiles are very well adhered to the cement, so I can't remove the tiles without removing the cement.)
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Old 06-18-09, 09:16 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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do it right

sanding tile is probablly not going to work, the glaze is very hard...thats why is lasts so long. Also soap residues and such may limit the bonding of the thinset. It might be possible to lay some hardibacker over the existing tile with a multitude of mechanical fastners being installed through the tile and concrete...but this would be a much work as the demo, and add an extra 1/2" the the wall thickness...

its time to bite the bullet and do it right...

it will look nice and in another 30 years or so when the next home owner or contractor updates again they ...they would not have to say "What were they thinking when they put this in"

I have used an air chisel for tile demo...I got mine at HD for about $40 ...might be the better route than a sledge hammer. Its like a baby jackhammer...you can remove pretty good sizes areas with the pull of a finger...You will need a pretty powerfull compressor to handle the air load...but you could rent a big one for a couple days, I have hooked my two compressors in parallel to share the load, and had good luck

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Old 06-19-09, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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You should be able to rough up the glaze of the tile enough so that a good modified thinset will bond the old tile. How will you deal with the curved mudcap where the tile meets the drywall or plaster? You may also have issues around doors, window and fixtures. The walls need to be clean of any soap scum, dirt etc, and the glaze of the tile roughed up. The walls also should be sound, no cracked or loose tile or grout.

I'd not consider cement board over the old tile, as I think this will add considerable weight to the walls (cement board and tile) and that the cement board could be subject to movement over time as screws would have to penetrate the old tile and mud to reach the studs. I'd not rely on wall anchors in the mud either.

The best way to do this is the one you dont want to hear. Tear out.

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