It's designed as a tile backer, so no, unless you're tiling onto it in which case go for it!
With regards to the wall:
Ok, thanks - not planning to tile it but to paint it. Though could I use that stuff as a 'damp-ish'proof protective layer, than plasterboard on top which would be protected by the backer, then paint on top?
House is around 1900. I can't see any hairs in the plaster (is that an anthrax /asbestos concern?) That section appears much more recent - (going back to my earlier posts about half the floor being concrete, half being boards). It seems that they extended the kitchen maybe in the 50s though that's a guess based on nothing in particular. Pushing it the whole surface flexed (to the extent I thought it could have been wallpaper). Most of that wall feels solid to knock but that patch that fell off feels more hollow and the bottom right section of the photo (you can see a deeper whole with grey powdery stuff - failed lime?) feels like the next surface may come off again revealing more of the powdery stuff. I'd say this is an area about the size of a small microwave. The rest to the left and right feels very solid. I've stopped excavating for now.
Re. signs of dampness. If you look at the first photo you can see marks on the wall, these appear to be puffing around old rawlplugs. Then at the bottom of the first photo is a more puffy/bubbly area(right around where the worst of the powdery crap is). There is a door to the right which leads up concrete steps into a utility room that has further damp issues (those walls are newer still - maybe 80s or 90s) and appear to be built into a hillside.
The unit in question (one on the floor, then one hung on the wall) is being delivered in 10 days but doesn't technically need to be in place until the 26th Jan when the stone guy is coming to template. I'm thinking at this stage if I can't fix the wall by then I could at least fix the ground unit in place, get it templated and then a week later get the worktop installed but ask him not to fix it to the wall (assuming that's what they even do) so that I can move that single unit away while the wall issue is resolved.
But equally, I'd be happy to quickly solve it and leave it even if it's only a fix that will last a few years rather than forever. We'll be out of here by 2025 I reckon, so as long as it's saleable etc... happy to pass it down the road to the next owners which is seemingly what people have done for decades. Why break the winning streak?
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