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Shower tiles falling after grout is removed

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2023 1:57 pm
by Epic_Fail
I thought I will have a "weekend" project and regrout the shower as grout was patchy, discoloured and there was a leak somewhere.
Long story short - started removing the old grout. Roughly midway the first tile - it started moving. Later it fell off, but it had only about 20% of the surface contact to the wall, so I wasn't too worried. I started removing grout around other tile and that fell off as well, but this time with the plaster.
The plaster doesn't feel solid, if you swipe it with your finger, small particles (sand size) keep falling. I'm in a panic mode, that I won't be able to efficiently attach tiles to the existing plaster. I understand my weekend project is turning into a saga, however at this point I'm thinking how to properly fix "the issue". I have attached some pictures and happy to provide more details if required, but the questions I got:
1. How I can determine if existing plaster is fit for purpose?
2. If existing surface is not fit for purpose, what options do I have to replace it?
3. Last but not least - how do I explain to my better half this is no longer a weekend project :)