Can You Tile Over Old Plaster?

If you want to tile over old plaster that can only mean that you want to re-tile your old kitchen or washroom. If that is the case, you can rest assured that such an act is indeed possible. Yet that does not mean that you allow the old plaster to be used a second time around. That would cause it to crumble. It is a better option to employ cement board for the purpose. In the case of old plaster, dampness and mold may settle on it. Such is hardly so with cement board sometimes though you may want to re-tile the whole thing and get the job done and over with as quickly as possible. 

If that is so, detach the aged tiles and place the novel tiles on top. You will have to make sure that the surface is flat. If the body is uneven, you will have to resort to other measures. These include putting a layer of mortar over it. There are other times when there is a wire gridwork beneath the tiles. In such a situation, you will have to employ other methods. The dimensions of the tiles are crucial. Also, the tiles’ setting on the old plaster wall should be according to certain practical principles if you want things to turn out well. There are occasions when bullnose tiles are the better option since the wire mesh that sticks out from behind the old tiles has such a structure. All this is not exactly rocket science, but neither is it as easy as walking in the park. 

If you want to have new tilework surrounding a tub-with-a-shower combination, you will have to ascertain that no splashing water gets into the tiles or what lies beneath them. A waterproof brush or roll would come in handy here. Some advise a mastic instead of a thin-set in this case. The choice is yours, which you should make after getting professional advice. Many say that mastic gets too soggy. 

Even if the plaster wall with the tiling on top happened to be as old as a hundred years and belonged to your grandfather, it could be repaired if such is your wish. The usage of a mixture of spackle and plaster of Paris is ideal in this scenario. Also, thinset glue would suit such a job. 

There is something to be said for extensive planning before putting some new tiles on the old ones. Is the top layer apt for the inner substratum? Gypsum has a limit as regards its bonding strength. It won’t hold an elephant-load of weight. If the place you want to renovate is your washroom, it is advisable to visit your nearest hardware store and purchase a shower waterproofing kit. Porcelain, ceramic and stone tiles require cement glue since that is the only one they properly adhere to in the long run. 

Some points are left, and they deal with the steps you need to take before re-tiling over old plaster:

  • You could sell your old tiles at the junkyard or give them to the recycling plant in return for some money.
  • Make sure you have all the tools ready to start doing the job. If any of them are missing, you may end up not doing the job well. Have them neatly placed in a set pattern ready for usage. 
  • Go about the task by following a YouTube tutorial or under a set of instructions written on a piece of paper. That way, you cannot go wrong, come hell or high water. 
  • Once you are done with the job, leave the newly attached tiles to set permanently. The time will vary depending on the particular case. As the saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine. So give them ample time to dry. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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