Tiling, apparently, isn’t a skill I have

One day, the shower walls had tile. The next day, the bathtub was filled with tile that had fallen from the wall. What caused such a thing? Good question. Thanks for asking. Moisture and gravity likely took its toll, leaving a large open space through which you could see how decades of neglect and water damage wreak havoc on a home.

When you are a man, and something has broken, it’s natural to believe that you can fix it. Tiling? Piece of cake. I bleed grout, people. Bring it, stupid shower tiles.

Normally, when repairing tiles, you would remove the damaged pieces and prepare a surface for putting them back on. This is The Right Way. Get some wonderboard, attach it to the studs, apply the tiles, etc.

What needed to happen was that the entire wall needed to come down because whoever put the tiles up just put them directly on the plaster. But since I didn’t want to take down the entire wall (and I’m pretty sure the landlord wouldn’t want me to take down the entire wall), I opted for doing things The Wrong Way.

Behold. Like the proverb says: With spray foam, all things are possible.

  • Step 1: Clean out offending hole.
  • Step 2: Fill hole with spray foam.
  • Step 3: Cut away excessive spray foam.
  • Step 4: With tile cement, adhere tiles to the spray foam.
  • Step 5: Grout. If it looks uneven and wrong, it’s not an illusion. Keep trying.
  • Step 6: Caulk.
  • Step 7: Admire your handiwork and pretend that it looks better than it did before. Congratulate yourself with a beer or four.
  • Step 8: Try to never look at the place in the shower where the tile’s been replaced.

You can see the original lath and plaster behind this tile. The entire wall needs to be taken down and retiled. That won't happen.

Spray foam is a miracle tool.

Instead of doing things The Right Way, I've decided that spray foam is probably the best tool for this job.

Spray foam dries pretty quickly and expands.

When the spray foam expands and dries, it's ready for cutting. I used a small saw, a Dremel tool, and a small sander.

Grout.

It's not an optical illusion. The grout is uneven and spotty. It'll clean up OK, though.

Tiling job is complete.

The finished product. Yes it looks bad, yes, the tiles are uneven, yes. Your point?

And there you have it. Home improvement (except for the improvement part).