How hard is it to tile a tub surround?

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Old 06-22-15, 07:01 PM
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How hard is it to tile a tub surround?

I was originally going to replace the existing old tile with a 3 piece tub surround, but there aren't any options for this old cast iron tub. It is in pretty good shape, so I'm going to replace the galvanized plumbing and have the tub refinished. I am considering doing tile...it is so expensive to have someone come and do it though. Can anyone tell me how complicated this job would be for a DIY?

I have watched a few videos and it doesn't look that complicated. I figured I'd ask you all. I would be doing 6x6 tiles and I have a friend who is gonna help me set up the backing. It seems like you measure a vertical center line and work from there on the back wall towards the sides, working up row by row. I will probably screw in a 1x2" board at the base to get a nice flush line to start my tile row that is second from the bottom. Any suggestions on spacer size?

And again, I am just looking to get some people opinion on how tough this job is. Seems a little more tedious and time consuming than it is difficult, but I could be wrong.
 
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Old 06-22-15, 07:20 PM
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I find the prep work harder to do than the tiling. Tile guys will need to know more about shape of walls. what they are made of, Pictures will help.
 
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Old 06-22-15, 07:24 PM
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I'd say medium+. There are lots of folks for DIY it because it is labor intensive and so the savings from sweat equity can be big.

If you are handy, can follow instructions, and are familiar with things like square and plumb and level, you are likely to be fine. Good thing with tile is you can do a little at a time and you have some time to make adjustments as you go.

Take your time to get the backer board up as square as possible. Probably the most common newbie mistake is not to work out the tile layout ahead of time to make sure you don't end up with little pieces on one end and whole pieces on the other....stuff like that. You may end up not starting exactly in the center, but an inch or two one way or the other to get even pieces at the edges.

And of course there are some special tools you will need. Most are not expensive, but a good tub saw really comes in handy. You can rent that.

If you're worried...buy a piece or two of backer board, some cheap tile, and practice on that.
 
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Old 06-23-15, 03:10 AM
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I wholeheartedly agree with your decision regarding the walls. I was reluctant in the other thread to tell you go for the panels. I don't like them in the first place. Tiling the walls will be rewarding, but intense work. We can walk you through all the ins and outs of the job, so just ask questions. The basics are getting the backer up first and the seams sealed with proper mesh tape and thinset. I like to Redgard all the seams as well as any cubbies you build in as an added protection. The cbu will be stopped at the top of the rim of the tub, since it pokes out a little. Your tile will cover the gap between the cbu and the edge of the tub and that gap will help keep wicking of water on the cbu.

We can get into it further with you if you decide to go that route. Let us know.
 
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Old 06-23-15, 05:39 AM
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I'm going to replace the galvanized plumbing
That tells us a little about the age of the house. Are the walls plaster and do the tiles sit proud of the wall and have a mudcap to finish them off relative to the wall? Do you know if the wall behind the tile is cement or drywall?

As mentioned earlier on, pictures help us help you - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...rt-images.html
 
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Old 06-28-15, 03:00 PM
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What is the best mortar to use to connect the tiles to the wall? I was told by a friend you can be a pre mixed white solution that doesn't require any mixing? You just apply it to the back of the tiles and stick them onto wall? Thanks!
 
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Old 06-28-15, 03:03 PM
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The wall has cement board currently behind it. the tiles taper off on the border of the tub surround, where they meet the wall. I will be replacing the plumbing, converting it to a single handle system and then hanging new moisture barrier and backer board.
 
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Old 06-28-15, 04:02 PM
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Don't use anything premixed. Mix it yourself to the consistency you need. Still would like to see pictures.
 
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