I am replacing my tile back splash. When I removed the old tiles, about half of the surfaces were rocklath, while the other half was sheetrock. The sheetrock fell apart and had to be removed while for the most part the rocklath held up. I imagine I will need to skim coat it with either an extra layer of mortar or plaster first.

I replaced the sheetrock with 1/2" hardibacker. I used 1/2 plywood in a few places to even it out which fixed the majority of the unevenness but there is still a couple of places where a corner is a 1/16" high.

My question is this: Based on the two concerns pits in the plaster covering the rocklath and a few slightly uneven hardibacker tiles, can I just to a base coat of mortar and be done with it, or is this going to cause problems?

1 Answer 1


I have laid a mortar skim coat many times to even out an uneven surface. I would use mortar not plaster as you have seen what happens to sheetrock when it gets damp plaster is the same. Make sure to cover and check your tile width just to make sure the evened up area matches up with your tile I usually feather 2-3 times the tile width so there are no noticeable height differences.

  • Thanks! I'm two coats of mortar in now and even the roughest parts are starting to smooth out.
    – mreff555
    Dec 29, 2017 at 1:51

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