TUB TILE AROUND TUB SPOUT ARE COMING OFF AND
THE WALL IS SOFT.
Your tile behind your tub spout is loose and starting to fall off or the area behind the tub spout is very soft and ready to cave in.
This fix is not as bad as you may think, just take your time. The good news is your tile can be saved, maybe. If not you will more than likely not find a match.
The first thing, before you start, is to put some tape over the drain hole to prevent any debris from going down the drain and plugging it up. Also a good idea to lay a tarp, large towel or plastic on the tub bottom, this will help prevent damage to the tub.
Start by removing the tub spout. It will be attached two ways. If it is a newer home, built in the last 15 years, the pipe coming out of the wall might be copper and is just a pipe. Need to check under the tub spout to see some type of set screw holding the tub spout in. Use either an Allen wrench or Phillips screw driver to loosen.
Just slide it off.
The other way the Tub Spout is installed, is that it is “screwed on”. Remove by unscrewing. Sometimes you can just use your hands, but you may need a little friendly persuasion. Use either a large crescent wrench or channel locks (large pliers). To prevent damage to the Tub spout, protect it with a rag. They do make special pliers for this purpose either at Home Depot, Lowe’s or a Plumbing store.
Mark the bottom tile in sequential numbers, if any are cut, so you can install back in the same place.
Very gently remove the loose tile, if they start getting hard use a heat gun
and gently pry under the tile. If the drywall comes completely off with the tile that’s OK. Remove the tile and the drywall, It is probably drywall and not cement backboard to get soft. When you get to the area where the drywall is no longer soft,
Pull off one more row of tile.
Check to make sure there are no leaking pipes. Attach a threaded cap over the threaded pipe or attach the tub spout back on and turn on the water, Divert the water to the shower head. If you don’t see any leaks you can proceed.
You need to replace the area of the wall you just took out. Would suggest cement
Backboard, Looks Tan and not the Dark Gray for the novice, for long life but you could get by with Water resistant Drywall, sometimes referred to as “Green Board”.
Cement Backer board can be cut with a circular saw or use a knife and score the line many times and snap just like drywall.
Would be a good idea, after installing the backer board, to tape the seam. To save money use the fiber tape you find in the drywall section of your local store.
Lay the Fiber Tape over the seam and apply with a 4” putty knife a thin layer over the Fiberglass mesh. This process on the patch can be done when install the tile.
If you want to save the tile and reuse, Use a round wire wheel in a drill and start removing the glue on the back of the tile. To save time, make a jig. Get a piece of wood, lay the tile face down and nail some smaller nails on two of the sides to keep the tile from moving. Heating the glue and using a putty knife is also another way of removing most of the glue, just follow by a wire wheel, as you will not remove all of the glue. Use a knife to remove any grout on the edges of the tile.
You are now ready to install the tile. Check to see if the tiles are self spacing. Look at the edges of the tile and see if there little bumps, should be 2 per side.
If the tiles are not self spacing, you will need to get the right size grout spacers.
Apply the tile, working from bottom to top. Keep the first row at the same height as the existing first row. Using a level, draw lines from a vertical row down and the top of the first row of the existing tile. Start at the vertical line and bring up to the horizontal line. Apply the tile glue over the area you are working, using tile adhesive or thin set in a can.
Check on the side of the container as to what size notched trowel to use. Apply as much tile adhesive that will not sit on the wall over 10 minutes, apply beyond the tile you are setting.
We are now ready to grout the tile. Before starting, remove any glue left on the tile using plastic or wood and down in the grooves of the grout line using a knife.
If you do this before the glue sets up use water to help the process.
Mix the grout to the consistently of mashed potatoes, let sit for 5 minutes then mix again. Mix enough grout to do the entire patched area. If the grout gets a little stiff add a little water and remix. Apply the grout using a rubber float, purchased in the tile section of the store. Push the grout into the grout lines, set the float at 45 Degrees and push hard moving it from 2 o’clock to 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock to 4 o’clock. Scrape off excess with the rubber float.
After the grout starts to form a haze over the tile, remove the excess grout with a grout sponge. Might be a good idea to get a big bucket, and fill with water, so as not to have the grout plug up the drain.
Take your wet sponge, ring out before using, but not too dry and start going in a circular motion over the tiled area. Keep it clean during this process. Remove the excess by cleaning the sponge and wiping the tile. You might need to change the water several times. Starting at the top row, go down one row of tile tile and do the same thing until the tile is fairly clean. Come back later and finish after the tile starts hazing again, Using either paper towels or a rag, wipe off the haze. You will need to caulk the opening where the pipe comes out from the wall. Fill the hole until it is sealed. Install the tub spout and caulk around the tub where it touches the tile and caulk where the tile is next to the tub.
If at all possible use Silicone 2, that is made for Bathrooms, will say on the side of the tube. It is a little tricky to use but will last the longest. Use the edge of your index finger, touch a wet rag to get it moist and finish the Caulk so that the caulk is smooth. Wipe the excess caulk with a newspaper. Do small amounts of caulk at a time, following the same process. Silicone 1 is OK to use but might be beyond the abilities of most novices.
Should be able to use the Tub, the next day