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How to tile over existing tiles in shower area?

Having an Impact

How to tile over existing tiles in shower area?



Hi all, 

as you can see the tiles in my shower look plain ugly. 
1) Rip off existing tiles . This will mean breaking the gyprock and bring in complexity.

2)Tile over existing tiles. This reduces the shower space by few millimeters. I plan to use the following process

A) Use a primer like gripset-betta-1l-super-primer 

B) Use a waterproofing membrane like gripset-betta-under-tile-membrane and put 2 coats.

C) Put an adhesive and put some decent tiles. 

There is a third plan (Non-Tiling)

3) Use a wet panel like wall-art-2400-x-1200-x-3mm-white-marble-wet-area-wall-shower-panel_p0095593 . While easiest, wife prefers the darker shades of tiles. Any arguments fail over her preference. 

Need some guidance what I should be doing. 


Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Re: Tile over existing tiles in shower area

Hi @abhayks,


Have you also considered painting the tiles? Check out these projects where members have had great success painting their bathroom tiles:





Our resident D.I.Y. expert @EricL will be happy to help further when he's back on the site on Friday. Let me tag @tom_builds and @Joe3333 who may be able to offer suggestions to kick off this discussion.


As we've seen with your laundry renovation, I'm sure you're going to do a fantastic job whatever you decide and we look forward to seeing your progress along the way.




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Making a Splash

Re: How to tile over existing tiles in shower area?

Hi @abhayks and thanks for the tag @StevieB 


In my experience I have stripped back a bath room's worth of tiles and it was neither a fun nor an easy job. However the tiles were set into a thick mortar on top of brick. I imagine tiles over gyprock would be a bit easier to remove, and while re-gyprocking adds another layer to the job it would be achievable if you are looking to keep the same dimensions inside the shower.


One concern I would have for tiling over the top of your current tiles is whether the plumbing fixtures will end up too far recessed and therefore unable to be removed/fixed if need be. Otherwise that seems like the quicker, more straightforward option of your options if the wet panel isn't a legitimate choice.


As @StevieB mentioned, painting over your existing tiles is an option, and I have actually recently painted over the tiles in my own bathroom to a pretty good effect. I wouldn't go as far as to say that it is a substitute for retailing, but if you follow the directions carefully - especially regarding preparation - you can achieve a pretty impressive transformation for a fraction of the cost and effort.


Let us know which route you choose to go down and keep us updated with progress pics, good luck 😃


Re: Tile over existing tiles in shower area

Thanks. I’ll take the painting option with wife. She’s the final deciding factor 😀

Re: How to tile over existing tiles in shower area?

Thanks @tom_builds. This is a very big concern, I mean the plumbing fixtures should fit back properly after tiling. This is why we should consult pro like @StevieB and you while still in design phase. 

I’ll do a dry run and check. At this moment I really like @StevieB idea of painting. That will result in least hassle. I’ll wait till stay at home restrictions are lifted.

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to tile over existing tiles in shower area?

Hello @abhayks


It's great that you've received fantastic advice from @StevieB and @tom_builds. I'm throwing my recommendation towards removing the tiles and replastering the bathroom. I suggest removing the tiles including the plasterboard that it is glued onto. This will make for a quick demolition and totally avoid having to repair any plasterboards. 


Here are some advantages of removing the tiles with the plasterboard:


  • It's the perfect chance to inspect your inwall plumbing fittings for leaks.
  • Now is the perfect time to update your shower set while the plasterboard is off.
  • There's no need to move any of your plumbing fittings.
  • It would be a good time to place in extra noggins for the shower slide assembly.
  • You can install DTA 420 x 360 x 100mm CFlex Shower Wall Recess. No more rusty shower caddies.
  • You are secure in the knowledge that your waterproofing is new and your tiles are on fresh tile glue.

We look forward to your decision and seeing the start of your bathroom renovation.




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