We have a 50s bathroom and everything was cemented to the wall and we removed it all. This is where the toilet paper holder was at. As shown, there is a large hole behind where the tiles would go.

How can I fill this hole and place the tiles where they need to go?

We initially tried just lathering up layers of tile adhesive, but it wouldn't set.

recess in wall where TP holder was

  • What's behind all the mastic that you slathered in there?
    – FreeMan
    May 10, 2022 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


The wall looks like block and there's steel mesh behind it. Clean all the adhesive out of there and fill in the hole with mortar. Level it to the edge of the block so the tile will be level with the rest of the wall. When the mortar has hardened, about 24 hours, use your adhesive to secure the tile, wait a day and then grout and seal.

  • Shouldn't you add some steel mesh or something similar?
    – Hot Licks
    May 10, 2022 at 19:52
  • @HotLicks Zoomed in and it looks like there is steel mesh already there. If not, then yes, some should be added and extra could be added if already there.
    – JACK
    May 10, 2022 at 19:58
  • It is hard to see, but yes, there is steel mesh already back there. Thank you for the answer @JACK. I did have someone mention putting cement board in there, like 1 to 2 pieces of cement board to layer it, and securing it with some liquid nail. Would that work as well? May 10, 2022 at 21:07
  • @KyleWilson That would work too but just make sure the cement board is really secure in the hole, especially in the center because you'll be pushing those tiles in there.
    – JACK
    May 10, 2022 at 21:32

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