Sand & cement, plaster, or tiling render before tiling?

14 Oct 2019
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United Kingdom
I've removed a small area of tiles and plaster from a brick wall in order to fit recessed pipes for a shower. The pipes are now fitted so I need to re-tile over them. I have to match up the level with the existing tiles, so that means I'll need to build the wall out to a depth of 30mm before tiling. The area is around 300mm x 600mm, the tiles are basic 150mm ceramic. What would be the best option for this? It looks like plaster or cement render will do the job but will take a long time to dry (weeks?). After googling, I can see 'Ardex AM100' looks like the right thing ('rapid set, no slump, 2-30mm depth') but I have no experience with it. Thoughts?
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Another option - bonding plaster and then a few layers of 6mm backerboard to build it up to 30mm. That way I won't have a long drying time and I'll have a flat surface for tiling.
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I decided to go for building it up in layers of 6mm backerboard and flexible tile adhesive, and then fixed through with hammer fixings with plaster washers. I didn't want to deal with the drying times of plaster or render. SBR on the brickwork before starting. Flexible tile adhesive was recommended for the backerboard I bought. I wondered about putting scrim tape in the initial, thick layer of tile adhesive?

I think expanding foam adhesive with only one layer of backerboard would have worked well but I only use foam if I have to.

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