Replacing water damaged drywall behind tile


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Old 07-17-07, 08:10 AM
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Replacing water damaged drywall behind tile

Hello everyone,

I have a few questions. I am relatively new to bathroom repairs so please bear with me. I've recently discovered that the drywall behind the cermaic tile surrounding the bath faucet has started rotting. I believe this happened when the chaulk around the handle wore away and water started dripping in. The tile seems fairly easy to remove, due to the drywall crumbling apart.

I would like to keep the tiles and fix the drywall behind it. The area doesn't appear to big, at least I hope it isn't, probably about a 2'x3' area. What would be the best way of going about this? Or more in depth, what kind of material should I use to replace the drywall? Is there anything that would hold up to water a bit better in case there is another leak sometime down the road? I hope this is enough detail. Thanks!
 
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Old 07-17-07, 03:37 PM
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Drywall is the worst thing in the world on which to install tile. However, that was common practice in the past. My recommendation is to tear out all tile, install a better backer board such as hardibacker or duroc, then install new tile that reflects your tastes in decorating. Install a vapor barrier of 6 mil plastic under the backerboard. Tile decorating schemes are limited only by imagination and pocket book.
That said, since budgets are often tight, if you have to remove any tile, remove the whole wall involved, usually the wall where the faucet is located. if you DIY it is not expensive, to have it done can be. Then use as many salvageable tiles as you can, or buy tiles to compliment the existing and make a pattern that will decorate and keep out water.
Hope this helps.
 
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Old 07-17-07, 08:36 PM
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As previously stated, tile should never be installed over dry wall in a shower or any wet area. That said, done's done and you may as well get as much mileage out of it as you can before the inevitable redo takes place. Take as much tile off as it takes to get past the wet area. You may get a nasty surprise and discover it's all wet. Water tends to radiate out in a wicking action and if tiles are coming off, the moisture could be fairly extensive. You don't want to repair any thing and seal moisture into the back side of the wall. Once you get to dry sheet rock, take off enough tile to get to studs on each side of the effected area. Cut the sheet rock even with the studs so the wall remaining is still fastened securely to the stud. Scab on nailers so you have something to fasten the new material to, sides, top, and bottom. Cut a piece of concrete board to fit the hole from the missing sheet rock, cut the necessary holes to accommodate plumbing, and fasten it in place. Use an alkali resistant fiber glass mesh tape and thinset and tape and float the seams. Use a product called Red Gard and apply it per the instructions with one modification. This stuff is a waterproofing membrane. It is a pretty thick product and is troweled on. It tends to form a skin on the surface that isn't very well adhered so I always add a step to the installation. Mix some of it with water, about 50/50 water to Red Gard, and paint this on. It will soak into the pores of the concrete board and bond well. After this dries, apply the stuff per the instructions on the container. It will form a plastic feeling coat and keep out water. While all this is going on, have your tiles soaking in water. This should loosen any dry wall still stuck to the back so you can clean them off. When they're as clean as you can get them, re-install them. When you get to that stage, if you need help re-installing, holler.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 07:04 AM
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Thanks for the responses. The house is a little over 20 years old so things are definitely needing replacement. I am hesitant to change out all the tile because it matches the tile on the bathroom sink counter and also I don't quite have the money to do such a big move. I'll be taking the tile off later this week and I will try to ba as careful as possible, but it's just a simple black ceramic tile, which should be easy to replace. Then I'll check out the damage. Like I said, hopefully it is not that bad, but I'll replace the drywall with a good durable backer board. I might just replace the entire strip of walling between the studs where the shower head and faucet are. That would probably be my best bet to keep water from damaging anything more. I'm sure I will have plenty of questions once I get started so I hope people are on these boards often! Thanks again for the responses.
 
 

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