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Old 11.09.2015, 14:32
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Help: Shower backer boards

Hi,

I wonder if someone can help.

I had decided I would try and retile our bathrooms and started on the one in the basement. However, when I took the tiles off behind the shower I was expecting backer board of some sort. But it looks to be like the rest of the walls. Just plaster. When I put my screwdriver into a hole there does not seem to be a cavity. So now I am not sure what to do. I thought you shouldn't tile directly onto plaster. And even if I could, the old tile adhesive is like grey cement and I can't get it off, so I had planned to get someone to plaster the rest of the room and just replace the backer boards. Any ideas?

Thanks
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Old 11.09.2015, 14:35
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

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Hi,

I wonder if someone can help.

I had decided I would try and retile our bathrooms and started on the one in the basement. However, when I took the tiles off behind the shower I was expecting backer board of some sort. But it looks to be like the rest of the walls. Just plaster. When I put my screwdriver into a hole there does not seem to be a cavity. So now I am not sure what to do. I thought you shouldn't tile directly onto plaster. And even if I could, the old tile adhesive is like grey cement and I can't get it off, so I had planned to get someone to plaster the rest of the room and just replace the backer boards. Any ideas?

Thanks
Did you not try google???? This was the first result!

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Old 11.09.2015, 14:46
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

Thanks for that. I have googled. Extensively. But it's the actual shower enclosure that I am concerned about, not just the wall in the bathroom. From what I have read you really need something waterproof behind the tiles there, and that's normally backer board.
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Old 11.09.2015, 14:57
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

tile on top of the existing tiles
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Old 11.09.2015, 14:57
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

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Thanks for that. I have googled. Extensively. But it's the actual shower enclosure that I am concerned about, not just the wall in the bathroom. From what I have read you really need something waterproof behind the tiles there, and that's normally backer board.
Why would you need something waterproof beind the waterproof covering?

Edit: Depending on the age of the house and the wall construction may dictate whether a backer board is required. In stud wall construction once the plaster has been permeated with water the wall is compromised. With a classic Swiss brick construction this is not the case. Internal walls are built using hollow bricks and then plastered. The plaster on the brick should take a fair soaking before being compromised.

(Having had a burst pipe this year I can confirm the above)
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Old 11.09.2015, 15:04
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

I thought someone might suggest tiling on top of the tiles, but as I have started to remove them that's no longer an option.

As for why I am looking to put a waterproof layer under another water proof layer, if you are referring to the tile and grout, this is not waterproof.
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Old 11.09.2015, 15:53
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

I have not seen the boards you are talking about here. There is usually waterproofing behind the tiles, if the walls are waterproof plasterboard (gipskartonplatten normally green) or cement sheet (fermacell) then this is normally a painted on membrane before tiling. With cement or hard plaster I believe tillers use a waterproof cement based adhesive which forms the secondary waterproof barrier Ken was talking about. HUG Baustoffe is one place where you will get better products (tile glue, plaster) than punters at DIY stores here, I believe they sell to the public.
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Old 11.09.2015, 16:01
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

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HUG Baustoffe is one place where you will get better products (tile glue, plaster) than punters at DIY stores here, I believe they sell to the public.
They do
They do work "trade hours" though - which means 0630-1200 1300-1700 (IIRC) for the Volketswil one anyway.

I sent the wife to pick up a tamper and they asked "Would you like a hand with that to the car love?" To which she said "No" and proceeded to pick it up and walk back to the car doing here "this isn't heavy guv" walk.
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Old 11.09.2015, 16:18
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

thanks again or your comments.

i had read about a product called bundle aquatic, which can be applied to the wall prior to tiling, and i think can actually be mixed with plaster (I was going to have whole shower room replastered) and even in with the tile adhesive.

this is not available here, so I was searching for something similar. unfortunately I am in Vaud so can't get to the store you recommend.

Maybe the old tile adhesive was a waterproof cement based adhesive. It certainly looks cement based. Its a nightmare to remove.
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Old 11.09.2015, 16:22
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

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Hi,

I wonder if someone can help.

I had decided I would try and retile our bathrooms and started on the one in the basement. However, when I took the tiles off behind the shower I was expecting backer board of some sort. But it looks to be like the rest of the walls. Just plaster. When I put my screwdriver into a hole there does not seem to be a cavity. So now I am not sure what to do. I thought you shouldn't tile directly onto plaster. And even if I could, the old tile adhesive is like grey cement and I can't get it off, so I had planned to get someone to plaster the rest of the room and just replace the backer boards. Any ideas?

Thanks

Oh dear......
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Old 11.09.2015, 16:28
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

oh dear to what?
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Old 11.09.2015, 17:05
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

I have just seen the edit Ken added, and I assume that my walls are brick and plaster. So should I just try and use the waterproof adhesive on top of the new plaster, or should I just paint on a liquid waterproofing membrane, or should I do both?
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Old 11.09.2015, 17:26
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

Here goes:

Pick up some thin backerboard, 7mm or so. And your new epdm or pvc shower pan/liner.

Figure out where your finished floor tile height will be and mark that on the walls. Now chop out the existing old adhesive/plaster in a 5-6 inch band from that point up, 7mm or more depth clearance all around(maybe less or more on the height off the finished floor, depends on local plumbing code). This will give place for the liner edges to go without screwing up your wall thickness...

Figure out your floor drain height - they're all adjustable but you need to be in the ball park or you'll screw yourself. Remember you'll need room for the initial sloped cement, then the pan, then the setting bed, then the thinset, then the tile...

Lay a bed of thinset, cement, what have you - sloping from the walls to your drain and in compliance with code (1/4 inch per foot or CH equivalent slope)

Install your new liner/pan.

Put up the backer board with some heavy duty construction adhesive - pl1 glue - liquid nails type stuff. Run it down over the edges of the liner/pan. Create a nice smooth surface and check your angles and measurements or you'll be creating some nightmares when it comes to set tile.

Tape your joints and corners like you would drywall - use thinset and fiberglass tape.

Trowel on a thin coat of rubberized liquid waterproofing membrane (Hydroment or some DE/CH equivalent, over everything (well, at least down to the bottom edge where the backer board meets the pan).

Follow all manufacturer's directions!

Now you're ready to tile (after laying/trowling down a sloped setting bed of min 25 mm thickness on the floor. You'll be laying your tile with thinset onto the setting bed...)

Make sure your floor perimeter is perfectly level, and the first row too...! Many pros will run the first row down to a point lower than the finished floor tile height (before doing the floor) This leaves you a nearly full tile width to hide joint lines that will inevitably want to converge on you because nothing is ever perfectly square. However, also calculate from the floor up to the ceiling and make sure you wont be left with a converging joint at the ceiling intersect point, adjusting accordingly.

Anothr trick is to start with the 2nd row of tile, set onto a thin ledger secured to your membrane coated backer board. This gives you something to hold the weight of the tile as it goes in, and prevent sagging. Lay the floor tile, then pull off the ledger and pop in the last (1st) row, cutting to fit... this saves tons of work on your floor tile cutting ('cause they're so tiny or are a pain in the ass to cut when glued together onto a mesh backing) and gives you a perfect joint..

Use a good quality grout - its worth the extra couple chuffs.

Anyway, plan it out well because you don't want to do all this twice!

Have fun!
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Old 11.09.2015, 17:30
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

If you use search.ch phone directory to find building materials and services it is easier than google. Use the first 3 digits of your postcode to find something local. Here is one I prepared earlier baustoffe Vaud http://tel.search.ch/?was=baustoff&wo=vaud use their keywords to add to or narrow your search.
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Old 11.09.2015, 17:39
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

I have used Fermocell boards (waterproof and fireproof) in a bathroom.
They will need to be 'painted' with a grounding (right word?) first, prior to fixing the tiles.
Fermocell can be screwed onto a plaster wall using rawl plugs in the plaster wall and joints must be sealed with a flexible sealant/silicon/filler. 1,5 cm is a good thickness. Board size is usually 1x2m.

Both boards and ground liquid, should be available from building supplies/large DIY store (Bauhaus).
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Old 11.09.2015, 18:02
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

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I have just seen the edit Ken added, and I assume that my walls are brick and plaster. So should I just try and use the waterproof adhesive on top of the new plaster, or should I just paint on a liquid waterproofing membrane, or should I do both?
What kind of tile?

I don't know about the product you mentioned, but be careful if you decide to tile over the plaster... if the tiles are either large or heavy (dense) , the plaster may peel under the weight. Plaster can only hold somthing like 20-25 kg/m2, max.

You'll have a much more even surface with the backer board than a skim coat of plaster, even from a skilled plasterer, which makes for easier tiling.

And you'd have to wait for the new plaster to cure/dry completely before getting on with the tiling...

just my two cents.

good luck.
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Old 11.09.2015, 18:35
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

OP, they have backerboard at Hornbach. We've renovated 3 bathrooms with it and it's the exact same stuff you are used to. It's green and it's in the second to last aisle with the other sheetrock and plywood panels.

We were screwing into wood, so we used regular sheetrock screws. If you are screwing into plaster you are going to have to pre-drill your holes which is going to be a pain. You cut it with a boxcutter just like you do backerboard in the US.

If you can't find it, ask for panneaux étanchés or plaques de plâtre étanchés. If they try to sell you something called "hydrofuge", that is just sheetrock for high humidity and it's not enough. What you are looking for is light green, not white.
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Old 11.09.2015, 19:40
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

Ok, OP, my husband has just come in from work and he tells me to tell you that it is light GREY, not light green, with a waffle pattern on it. The inside is light pink and it is on the end cap of the second to last aisle in Hornbach. (But he is colorblind so look for something greyish-greenish).
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Old 11.09.2015, 21:06
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

Wow, thanks for everyone's input. You have all been great.

I do have a couple of questions. I must admit I didn't fancy chopping in so I could put the backer board on as it sounds quite tricky. How would I go about doing that? What tool would I use? Also, do I have to use glue for the backer board? Could I not use screws? Or even some sort of cement adhesive?

And even if I used backer board on the shower enclosure, what about the rest of the room I.e. I was going to get it replastered as I can't get the cement adhesive off, and one comment said new plaster probably wouldn't be strong enough.

I take it when you say new plaster can only take the weight of 20 - 25kg this is for weight of all the tiles on one wall?
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Old 12.09.2015, 08:51
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Re: Help: Shower backer boards

Actually, if I remove the old cement adhesive with a mini jack hammer, would I then be able to just apply a waterproof membrane behind the shower and then tile on top of that (rather than get the room re skimmed).

Or is it better to install backer board like Pilates said?
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