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Thread: Tiling a shower ceiling. Tips?

  1. #1

    Default Tiling a shower ceiling. Tips?

    The shower area of our loft bathroom has a gabled ceiling. The gable (the angle of the roof, that is) starts at five feet from the bottom of the bathtub. I am doing the shower in ceramic tile.

    Is it enough to tile up to just five feet? My guess is that it isn't, not if I don't want to risk moisture problems. Given this, does anyone have any tips for tiling past vertical?

    A wrinkle: the previous owners tiled up to about 6.5 feet, about 1.5 feet up the gable. Unfortunately, although they put greenboard behind the shower up to five feet, they simply tiled over the plaster above the start of the gable. Needless to say, when I removed the old tile, the tiles on the plaster came off very easily.

    I'm assuming that I should remove the plaster and greenboard it, right? Again, any tips for ensuring that my shower won't be raining tiles?



  2. #2
    DIY Member CharlieM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006



    The best place to get answers on tiling and particularly tiling in shower areas is the John Bridge forum (www.johnbridge.com).

    Having said that, drywall (or greenboard) in a wet shower area is normally a recipe for disaster.


  3. #3
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold

    Default waterproof behind tiled wet wall

    As long as you waterproof behind the tiled walls where shower water will hit, you'll be fine. Some would call it overkill. That depends.

    If you wish, you can extend the waterproofing up higher too. No big extra expense, and no huge gain either.

    Use whatever waterproofing you can buy and get comfortable with. There are several different kinds; they all work, and none are bad. Some are liquid; they dry rubbery. Some are sheets that come in rolls. Some are foam boards coated with fiberglass threads and cement.

    Option 2: If you don't waterproof the walls, you might squeak by, if your walls are made of cement board ("CBU") and if it hangs inside the tub flange or the shower floor waterproofing pan membrane. And if you have a vapor barrier (plastic) behind the CBU.

    How to tile non-vertical surfaces: Just like vertical surfaces. Thinset (tile cement) does a good job of holding tiles in place after you place them. It'll work. Tiles do not fall off.

    Keith, how is the shower floor?


  4. #4

    Default Clarification


    I kinda messed up. I'm not tiling the shower. I'm creating a tile surround. The floor will be a regular old tub.

    BTW, thanks to the person who suggested the johnbridge.com site for tiling info. I didn't even have to ask a question. The several questions I did have were answered with a few searches of the site. Very informative. I would have likely mucked up the job bigtime if I'd gone ahead with the boneheaded assumptions I had. Phew!



  5. #5


    There are a couple ways to do this *right*:

    1) greenboard
    2) cement board + redgard
    3) drywall + kerdi membrane

    I believe gb has fallen out of favor in many places. Check that it's still to code.

    That being said, in a lot of places it's sufficient to just tile up to a little above the shower head. Rising steam should really just roll up a properly primed and painted gable and out into the bathroom. If you have sufficient ventilation, then you *might* never need more protection. To that end, the first thing I'd do is make sure yr fan is properly placed and sized. If it is, and you just want the additional peace-of-mind, you *could* just attach yr tiles directly to the "unprotected" wall and ceiling. The grout and tile will probably be enough protection against moving vapor on the surface.

    Of course, if you ever plan to convert your tiled tub/shower to a steam shower, you will need to water/vapor proof the ceiling then, so if that's in yr plans, you might as well do it the right way now.

    Use thinset - not mastic - to set your tiles. Stay away from premixed anything.
    Last edited by prashster; 11-29-2006 at 05:17 AM.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)


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