I want to replace my mosaic tile shower floor. The shower pan is hot mopped. The wall tiles are set on a 3/4 inch mortar bed.

I imagine replacing the floor tile means replacing the hot mop, which means removing the bottom rows of tile and mortar bed. Is it possible to do any of this without gutting the whole bathroom? Is there a way to replace the tiles without damaging the hot mop at all?

enter image description here

  • Here is a photo of the floor.

enter image description here - Here is what's under the floor.

If possible, I would also like to replace the drain with a square one.


  • what is under the shower? You won't know what you need to do until after the demo. If you don't damage the waterproofing you can retile. But you have to test things before making any assumptions. This isn't a yes or no type of answer.
    – DMoore
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 20:42
  • Thanks. I added a photo of the subfloor.
    – Peter
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 20:55
  • I take the second picture is not really your shower, just what you figure is under it, since you have not demoed it yet? Is there anything wrong with the original floor? You may be able to go over it with some prep.
    – Jack
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 22:13
  • Hi Jack, Thanks for the reply. That is an actual photo of the shower during construction. It's fairly new. The problems with the floor are cosmetic: the tilers messed up a few of the penny tiles and they drive me crazy. And the grout stains easily. After this photo was taken, the floor was hot mopped and then tiled.
    – Peter
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 22:42
  • You can dig out and replace individual tiles, if you have spares and can match the grout colouring fairly closely. THEN you need to seal the grout, which sounds like it was not done. There are commercial grout sealers you can get at any home-improvement store. That will stop the grout discolouration. Commented May 10, 2020 at 23:54

1 Answer 1


What you are asking, I think is not advisable. To remove the tile without damaging the mud base that is over the hot mopped pan is really asking for trouble. To crack it only in just one spot, will require a repair at least, but it would be better to replace the whole pan. But that itself is its own issue. Removing the whole pan would surely pop a hole in the pan. Then you will be into removing the wall tile trying to get to a good place for a waterproofing tie in. That in itself again is tedious at best and doing that while not chipping the neighboring tile??

To me, the only possible solution would be to remove the drain cover, roughen up the existing tile, (right angle grinder and a lot of dust comes to mind), set an extension on the existing drain, lay new tile and reset the existing drain or a new one like the old one that will fit and look new.

To replace the drain with a totally new one will not be possible, since the hot mopped pan is tied to the existing drain. To mess with that to replace it would be disastrous.

Sorry for the doom and gloom, but shower pans and tile are usually, when done right, are a once and done type of thing.

  • I figured this might be the case. Thanks for the reply. Maybe we'll go for a big overhaul in a few years.
    – Peter
    Commented May 16, 2020 at 6:29

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