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Install & Replace

replacing a section of tile+around bathtub

I found 2 lose tiles just beneath the bath tub spout. These were the first two rows at the bottom. On further inspection I found the backing board where the tile meets the tub severely damaged---it crumbled to pieces just from my finger and the damage ran along the whole side of the tub. At first my intention was to replace the whole backerboard and tile wall, but as I started removing the tiles, I found that the tiles and backer board halfway up are in really good condition. In fact just 4 tiles from the bottom were showing excellent condition. 


I would like to replace just this small section of backerboard and tile at the bottom of the wall by the tub spout .  Please give me suggestions as how I can go about doing this properly.  Since I am going to fit a new section of backer board into the space I create, how can I properly seal the seam to protect for moisture? 

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Posted 2011-02-10T23:30:49+0000  by hammerfix hammerfix

Hey there hammerfix!


Sorry to hear about the tile situation...hopefully we can get your bathroom back to running order in no time :D


If you have ever repaired holes in drywall, it's actually a pretty similar process, so you'll have the advantage in this one. Plus, if you have already pulled off the tiles and exposed some of the decent backerboard, then you've done the hard part already!


First off, you're going to want to get yourself a new board of either greenboard or backerboard, depending on what you have up there currently. Most backerboards that we sell come in 3x5 sheets, so you'll definitely have to do a bit of cutting on them. They're pretty easy to cut though, if you invest in a scoring tool like this BRUTUS 7-1/2 in. Backerboard Scoring Knife:



You'll want to trim your backerboard down to the same size as the area that you have removed. If want you have open in the wall isn't quite square, see about getting it as smoothed out as possible and have enough room on the exposed backerboard for when we attach this new piece. Also, if this runs right into the spout, make sure to make a hole for the pipe to go through as well.




Once we have everything lining up nicely, we're going to want to check for the studs that should be running behind the wall, that everything is currently attached to. We're going to take our new piece and set it right into the nicely fitted spot that we should have open now, and we're going to want to mark off where we need to drill into the stud. When you do, make sure you use the appropriate screws. We have screws that we specifically make for the different types of cement-boards that we carry (Durock, Wonderboard, Hardi, etc..) such as Rock-On;be sure to use those to avoid future rust. Once their fixed onto the stud, we're good to go.


Next step is sealing around the edges. In my oh so artistic picture, you can see the red outline. This is where we're going to tape and mud. Using a non-alkali tape (important. we sell these in our tile sections), use some of the same adhesive that you're going to use to fix the new tiles onto the wall later, to lightly mud over the joint between the new section and the existing board. Then place your tape over that so that it grips evenly over the seam. Once on there, go over it once more with the thinset and let it set for about an hour or two.


After that, your board should be firmly in place and you're ready to re-tile the area. Try and match up the grout color as best as you can with the existing, use our color card for reference. Then give it a fresh seam of caulking when you're done, and be sure to seal the grout regularly. :D


Here's a quick shopping list of the stuff to look for:

Let us know how it works out, or if you have any other questions~

Posted 2011-02-11T15:24:46+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

Thanks for the detailed response. I will proceed as you suggest. I just wanted confirmation that a backing board on a bathtub tiled wall can be installed safely in sections containing seams instead of it being a whole board.

Posted 2011-02-11T23:30:09+0000  by hammerfix
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