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Bathtub Wall Replacement. Continue to remove wall or use furring strips?

Bathtub Wall Replacement. Continue to remove wall or use furring strips?

Old 02-21-23, 08:43 AM
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Bathtub Wall Replacement. Continue to remove wall or use furring strips?


Water was getting behind this wall and I removed where there was damage. It was early 60's construction where tile wedges were also cemented to the tub. Getting those off and using a non-abrasive wheel attachment to remove the cement was awful, but I didn't damage the tub to the point where I'm going to still keep it.

The issue I'm running into now is HardieBacker comes in 1/4" and 1/2" slabs so the seams won't match. I'm no expert but the tub placement has me scratching my head. For example, if I were to remove the rear wall, I would still need 3/4" of some material or it won't be flush with the tub. I won't have that problem with the front or side using 1/4" material. Half inch protrudes just a bit whereas 1/4" barely touches the tub. I think 3/4" material against the front and side protrude a lot into the tub whereas it's more of a clean look in the back. I'm assuming what they did back when the house was built was correct but it sure took up a lot of the real estate to set soap or whatever on the ledges. Since water wasn't reaching the rear causing any damage I don't think I have to remove the rear wall as long as I can get a clean flat surface for the surround to stick.

Going back to how they don't build them like they used to...man there is a lot of wire mesh in the corners that was difficult to pull out. Knowing what I know now I can probably remove the wall up to the ceiling without too much trouble. I don't know how difficult it will be yet to get a clean seam in the corners if I go that route. I'm assuming I will have to use wire snips around the ceiling to prevent me from ripping down part of the ceiling.

Would I be better off removing the rest of the material up to the ceiling or using 1/4" furring strips with 1/2" HardieBacker? I was going to use a MirroFlex surround that should run up to the ceiling. If I keep the remaining wall IDK if the MirroFlex would adhere to the old wall/paint long term.

Any feedback is appreciated!

3/4'' Plaster

Old 02-21-23, 09:14 AM
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You can furr or space out the studs with shims. You can use anything that doesn't easily compress; strips of plywood, luan, tar paper, VCT...

Whether or not it's better to strip the wall all the way to the ceiling depends on how you are finishing the walls. If your surround material is only going part way you might want the painted wall visible above. Or, if running your surround to the ceiling I'd strip it all so you can get it flatter.
Old 02-21-23, 11:09 AM
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Above is good advice. You have a decision to make. IF YOU decide to remove the plaster all the way to the top you will find that metal lath reinforcement in the wall/ceiling angle as you suspect. If you want to cut that so you don't pull part of the ceiling down what will probably work well is an oscillating tool with an abrasive blade not a toothed blade. I have not done it this way because it has been so long since I removed cornerite (That is what it is called in the trade, or cornalath) That it was before I had even heard of an oscillating tool. Yes there will be dust but less dust, I think, than if you used a circular grinder with an abrasive blade. Now maybe you can carefully cut this with a sharp chisel and maybe if you damage a little of the plaster on the ceiling maybe whatever you do on the walls will cover that. You said any feedback.

Old 02-21-23, 04:22 PM
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Thank you both for the feedback!

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