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bootpdx 12-22-2008 06:08 PM

Shower/tub tile repair advice
Hey all you DIYers!

If you have been watching the news, you know that the new Ice Age is upon us here in Portland, OR. And since our travel plans are canceled and we have been snowed in, it's time to combat cabin fever with some of those projects that have been festering. Like this one - PO had caulked wood molding into joint where tile wall meets tub and it took about the year that we have owned the house for the caulk to mold and the wood to bow away from the tile.

My wife had enough and finally ripped it all out the other day. My question is how to fix it. I have found nice black tiles at Lowes that would work Counterparts at Lowe's: 2" x 6" Bright Black Radius Cap Ceramic Tile- They are rectangular, have a radius cap and are tall enough to overlap the existing tile. But to secure them do I need to provide some sort of backing below the tile? You see in the pics that the tile ends approx. a inch above the surface of the tub and the tub liner recedes about a 1/2" behind the tile. Do I need to fill this gap with something or should I just adhere the new tile to the tub surface, grout, and call it good?

I have included pics to better illustrate what I am talking about. If any other Pacific Northwesterners are killing time inside, please lend your expertise.


travelover 12-22-2008 07:07 PM

Is the surface of the tub plastic? If you adhere tile to the liner, you'll want a flexible interface between the tile attached to the liner and the tile on the wall. Grout will crumble because there will be relative motion between the two surfaces.

Another option would be to pull off the lower tiles and replace with a tile large enough to overlap the tub rim so there is just a 1/16 " gap, then caulk this gap.

bootpdx 12-23-2008 09:43 AM


Thanks for the response. The tub liner is not plastic.....seems to be metal with porcelain over it. I understand that there could be motion, so the joint needs to flex - I wonder how my last tub/shower was able to be grouted all the way down to tub surface?

Thanks for the tip!

glennjanie 12-23-2008 01:02 PM

Hello BootPDX:
Your previous tub was probably cast iron which will not flex enough to disturb the tiles. However, that grout in contact with the tub will still pop out at times and a silicone caulk will solve the problem.

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