What Type of Drywall Board Is Needed for a Shower?

Type of drywall board to use

Adding a tile wall to the shower is great way to breathe new life into a bathroom. Not only will a tile wall look great, but it also has durable and long-lasting qualities. However, adding the right kind of drywall board behind the tile can be challenging, especially considering all the moisture the wall will have to withstand over the course of its life. Luckily, there are a few types of drywall that are perfect matches for any shower, including blueboard, greenboard, and cement board.

Regular Drywall

Regular drywall can be used as a base for tiles in a shower, but only as an absolute last resort. Even in the best of scenarios, the tile and grout will eventually wear down, leaving behind a clear route for water to seep through and soak into the drywall. If you have to use regular drywall, then a water barrier must be inserted behind the drywall and the wall frames. This is done to help prevent water from damaging the structure of the wall. Additionally, using regular drywall can compromise the integrity of the tile as water will disintegrate the drywall.

Blueboard

Blueboard is a type of drywall that is frequently used for a tile wall in a shower. Not only is it water-resistant, but blueboard is easy to find and inexpensive, making it an ideal option for those on a budget. Furthermore, blueboard is not difficult to install. The process of installing blueboard is similar to that of regular drywall and can be done with little prior experience. Although it is water-resistant, you will need to make sure all seams are properly covered and place some kind of water barrier between the tile and blueboard. Fortunately, there are plenty of products for this purpose, including RedGard and Kerdi membranes.

Greenboard

Greenboard shares some of the same qualities as blueboard, with the main difference being how the material is made. Greenboard is created with recycled materials, which makes it ideal for an environmentally-conscience choice. The installation process of greenboard is the same as blueboard, and a water barrier will be needed to keep moisture away from the board. The same types of water membranes can be used with both blueboard and greenboard. The important thing to keep in mind is that without a water barrier the tiles will leak water, making a water barrier behind the tile a critical step in installing any type of drywall.

Cement Backerboard

Cement board is by far the heaviest type of drywall used in tile wall applications and the most resistant to water. While it may be heavy, installing cement board is just like installing drywall, with a few minor differences. For starters, the cement backerboard will need to be cut to the proper dimensions with a jigsaw. Next, properly secure the board to the wall’s structure via concrete screws. Unfortunately, drywall screws will not work. After applying some seam tape to cover joints, a waterproof membrane should be added to prevent any leaks. In addition to the water barrier, it’s a good idea to install a vapor barrier behind the cement board. This can be in the form of plastic sheets and will help minimize damage if water does make its way through the board.

Installation

No matter what type of drywall you choose, there are a few things to keep in mind before installation. First, tearing down old tile and drywall can be a messy process. Keep a window open to provide plenty of ventilation and wear the appropriate safety gear for the job. Second, the installation will likely take a few days to complete, which may or may not leave you without a shower for a day or two. Lastly, make sure to turn off any electrical outlets close by and turns off the water to avoid accidents.

Tips

While there are a number of different options when it comes to the type of board suitable for a shower wall, the one thing to keep in mind is moisture. Whatever type of board you use, there needs to be a waterproof barrier installed behind the tile. Not only will this keep water from ruining the backboard, but it will also ensure that the structure of the wall is not comprised. Furthermore, it is also a good idea to install another water barrier behind the drywall in order to keep water from damaging the structure of the wall. By following these simple steps, you can save both time and money knowing that your wall is properly sealed.

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Most Common Misconceptions About Home Improvement

Don’t Be Misled by Misconceptions About Home Remodeling

There are many stereotypes and misconceptions about home remodeling and indeed about contractors.

Isn’t Home Remodeling Always a Nightmare?

We’ve all heard the horror stories from friends about long remodeling projects that caused major inconvenience. It seems to be a common belief that this happens every time. Yes, there is some inconvenience with home remodeling, but a good and experienced contractor will do everything to minimize it rather than drawing the project out. Choose wisely.

Choosing the Right ContractorHow to choose the right contractor

You can’t tell how good a contractor is simply by the number of years he has been in business. You need to make sure that you’re dealing with a qualified professional.

A contractor of quality will be proud of his workmanship and will gladly provide you with a list of projects he has completed. Call his previous clients to get testimonials and check that he completed projects on time and within budget.

If possible, visit some of these clients to see the quality of work first-hand. Although it is true that registered contractors must adhere to building codes, this is no guarantee of the quality of their work.

Prices and Quotes

You often hear that it is best to get quotes from three contractors. This is fine, as long as you ensure that each contractor has quoted on an equal footing. They should all work from the same plans and have a detailed list of materials and finishes to use when preparing their quotations.

Check out each contractor’s track record. Don’t go on price alone. The old saying of “you get what you pay for” still holds very true.
Buying Materials Yourself

It is a common misconception that you will save money by buying your own materials. You could well end up paying more instead of less.

Many professional contractors do not make hefty profits by inflating the price of materials. They may very well make some profit, but that is because they are able to negotiate bulk discounts from suppliers. The price that they charge you may be similar to what you would pay when buying materials yourself.

Also, good contractors will have an efficient system for ordering and delivering materials to a site, which can save you much hassle and time.

Contractors State License Board

It is not a bad idea to check with the Contractors State License Board to make sure a company has a valid state license, has Workers’ Compensation Insurance and there aren’t any complaints lodged against it. Just remember, however, that the absence of complaints does not necessarily mean they do a good job. This should be a starting point, rather than the single benchmark.

You need to do further investigation into a company.

“Of Course We Have Contractor’s Insurance…”

Registered contractors are required to carry:

  • Worker’s Compensation insurance, which covers personal injuries on site
  • Contractor’s Liability insurance, which covers damage to your property by the contractor.

Beware of contractors who say they are fully insured when, in fact, they might not have Worker’s Compensation insurance. They justify this by saying that all other personnel on site are sub-contractors and so technically they have no employees. In this situation you are dangerously exposed and could be liable for any personal injuries to anyone working on your home.

You have every right to ask a contractor for policy details and certification.

Appointing a Reputable Contractor

A big misconception is how DIY shows on TV make projects look so easy. But reputable remodeling contractors are invaluable:

  • They will involve you in every step of the process, from design through construction.
  • They are up to date with the latest remodeling trends and can advise you on aspects that will increase the value of your home.
  • They bring their knowledge of pricing and timelines to the table.
  • It is in their interest to complete the project on time and within budget because your testimonial is all important to their reputation.
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