To skim or not to skim?

23 Sep 2012
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Hi, I'm tiling 2 walls in the bathroom and fitting a shower, I have removed the old shower and tiles which has left me with horribly uneven walls and lots of old tile adhesive. I was going to take all the rough edges and loose bits of the adhesive off and then skim over the whole wall, pva it and then tile on top but after doing research on here is this advisable? The 2 walls I'm tiling are solid and have originally had a concrete render no plaster or plaster boarding. so firstly is having them skimmed ok (im fitting large tiles)? secondly i think i should tank walls and not use pva? and if i do need to tank them can i just tile straight on this? just wanting some general advise on prepping these walls to tile.

Thank you muchly
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If you are fitting large tiles you need the wall flat (to the millimetre) or they stick out all over the place.
Thanks for the replies, whats the best way to get the adhesive off i don't think a scrapers going to cut it, would i need to plane it off because at the moment the walls are all over the place?

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Cheers Andy i'll try that. Sounds like a winner to me. Also what primer would i need to stick the tiles on? Steve mentioned dubbing? but unsure what this means. no tanking for solid walls?

Cheers guys
We usually call it 'bodging'.

Skim it until it is as flat as plasterboard. Anything else is just a bodge.
if your thinking of skimming bare in mind you are using large tiles and skim will not hold as much weight as the render you will be skimming over can you upload some pics of your bathroom ?

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