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For a shower, can I tile directly on normal drywall above 3 feet

For a shower, can I tile directly on normal drywall above 3 feet

Old 01-01-16, 10:39 PM
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Question For a shower, can I tile directly on normal drywall above 3 feet

I pulled out my bathtub and I'm replacing it with a fully custom tiled shower. Someone suggested I rip out the first 3 feet of drywall from the floor then install concrete board. Above 3 feet, they suggested to leave the existing drywall and tile directly on it. Their statement was anything above 3 feet would have minimal water contact so I would be fine.

Is this crazy? Would this be OK? If I were to tile on the drywall, would I need to seal it with RedGard (I would prefer to go with that than Schluter membrane due to cost)?

I have looked around and have not found anything indicating this would be good or bad. I get the logic, but I want to be sure my tile base is done correctly.
Old 01-02-16, 04:44 AM
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I would not do that. Replace all with concrete board. What your friend says may be OK, but consider the cost and time your taking to do this remodel. Is it worth the chance to have it go bad?

Also, the shower/tub area is totally in a wet area. You don't need water directly on the tile to have damage. In many cases people will have the shower hit directly against the wall. Any possible pin holes can introduce water behind the tile. It's not worth the few dollars you'll save.

On the other hand the other areas of the bathroom, such as walls outside the tub or shower, Over the sink and linen closet area will be OK. In fact that is exactly how I did my remodel. The tub area was totally wall boarded with concrete board and tiled.
Old 01-02-16, 05:58 AM
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No sheetrock in the wet area of the shower. Who ever suggested that doesn't do tile work for a living or he would have seen enough water damage to the drywall during remodels. There are multiple companies that make cement backer board so I won't recommend one over the other, by it needs to be cement board at least up to the normal height of what the tub walls used to be. Taking the tile all the way to the ceiling is another option that works well in a stand along shower.

Couple of other points in case you were talking more to the other guys. A shower needs a 2" drain line, your tub will most likely be 1 1/2" so you need to plan a upgrade there. All joints of the cement board need to be taped with mesh tape and skimmed with thinset. Use only thinset from a bag in powder form and do not use anything from a bucket (mastic) as it is not rated for a wet location.

What is your general game plan on the construction of the shower pan and curb system? Will you be incorporating any benches into the mix? Upgrades to the plumbing supply? Multiple shower heads?

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