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Adding tile to a tub/shower

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Oct 15, 2013, 01:55 PM
Adding tile to a tub/shower
We are redoing a bathroom...we have taken the old down and replacing it with subway tile. We took it down to the studs. Do we need to put drywall up first then green wall or can we just add the green wall to the studs before added the tile?
Oct 15, 2013, 06:00 PM
Step #1 - Run down to your nearest home improvement store and buy a book on tiling and tub surrounds. It will be well worth your $10.

The quick story: Starting from the studs, first you need to install a waterproof liner. This can be a vinyl liner or more commonly 30# roofing felt. The felt must be overlapped from top to bottom so any moisture that gets through the tile and grout will flow down over the tub lip. Once you have a liner, then you add a cement board backer. Do not use greenboard, it is only for potentially damp areas and is not suitable as a tile underlayment. Finally, you can install your tile.

There are variations to this - the Kerdi system is one of the best out there (and one of the most expensive) but it is one of the few cases where you can use drywall as a backer. However, if starting from the studs as you are it's still better to use a concrete board.

Read up a little, then decide if you have the skills to do this. Making a surround is one of the more complex DIY projects you can tackle. If you are not up to it, it's money well spent to hire a pro.

Oct 18, 2013, 11:56 PM
Hi Meredith,

Jaybee has you pointed in the right direction. Use no wall board, either regular or green/blue board, it's no good for wet areas. There's several ways to build a good shower. I prefer the surface waterproofing method. I use Kerdi.

Do some research then come back for detailed answers when you think of questions. Books are fine, but some are written by handymen who may not know the best methods. So come back and verify.


Tile 4 You llc - Troy, MI
Kerdi shower specialist - Ditra installs - Product-Method suitability consultation. I have NEVER made a mistake, I thought I did once...........but I was wrong!