Tiling onto an artex wall

11 Jan 2010
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

This is a bit of a novel, so you might want to grab a cuppa!!!

I am thinking about tiling and renewing my dated bathroom. However, I have several issues that I would appreciate some advice / guidance on.

Around the bath I have walls that are partially tiled and partially artexed. The tiled part forms the lower section of the wall. It is 4ft high from the floor and has a sand cement rendered background, which creates a small ledge that protrudes the above artexed section by 12-15mm. The artexed section of wall (which is in the form of a fine textured paint), runs from above the tiled part up to the ceiling. This wall is significantly out of plumb and level.

Due to the artex on the walls, I do not want to drill into them to batten them out, this in turn means I can’t use cement boards, tilebacker boards or any substrate that requires mechanical fixing. In addition to this, I am also quite limited on space.

However, what I was thinking of doing was to render over the artexed section of wall to a thickness of approx 15mm with plastering sand. Once that had dried, I would dot and dab moisture resistant plasterboard onto the wall to get it plumb and level. Then, use the Homelux tanking membrane to achieve a waterproof background, onto which I could tile.

At the moment this seems to be my only option but I would appreciate any assistance or alternatives you can offer.
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Are you concerned about asbestos? Older Artex does contain a small amount but so small it’s considered low risk & does not need a license to remove. You can drill into it providing you take a few simple precautions like not sanding it & damping down; you can even remove it entirely (probably the best option) using a steamer. I use to remove Artex from ceilings but now skim over with Bonding plaster & then Multifinish. Problem in your case is that;
a) you can’t tile over Bonding plaster &
b) you want a good bond strength to accept either plaster board or tiles & neither Artex or glazed tile will provide that.

Personally I would bite the bullet & strip the lot off, tiles & Artex, see what you have underneath & go from there; you will get the best possible tile base on a nice flat wall. I would use a decent tile backer board in wet areas over MR plasterboard any day & you won’t have to tank them unless you’re building a full blown wet room.
Hi Richard,

Thank you for your reply.

You’re right, I am concerned about the possibility of asbestos in the artex, and that does worry me. Judging by the décor in the bathroom, I’d have to say that the artex must be dating back to at least the 80’s.

I won’t be building a wet room, but I will be installing a thermostatic shower over the bath, would that require tanking?

The other reason that I am considering rendering on top of the artex (rather than dabbing the PB to get the wall level) is because I really don’t have that much space to batten it out. Incidentally, what size of battening should be used for tile backer boards / cement boards, I’m assuming 2x1 minimum?

Lastly, what do you think about rendering on top of the artex, can it be done or is it a definite no-no?

Thanks again.
Don’t worry about the Artex its low risk; just be sensible when you remove it. I’ve already advised that I would remove the lot & start again; you don’t mess about with battening to fix pb or tile backer boards & I wouldn’t render over Artex because of possible problems with bonding; also consider that if you’ve not even plastered before, rendering is going to be a very real challenge for you anyway.

With regard to you question about wet areas, plaster board, tile backer board & tanking, take a little time to read the Tiling forum archive posts. You won’t have to go back too far to answer your initial questions, come back with specific questions after you’ve had a read up.
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