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  1. #1

    Default wall tile over drywall to mud or not to mud???

    Hi,
    I need some expertise badly! I have a contractor that orginally said they were going to install hardibacker for the shower and tub area and instead installed the purple moisture/mold resistant drywall.

    Their tile subcontractor installs a shower by meshing the corners and then spraying the base and walls with redguard waterproofing. Once dry they start installing tile with thinset.

    I'm putting up 18X18 travertine in the shower. What came out of there was mudded with chicken wire originally.

    I have another tile contractor I've used before that does high-end showers a lot and they only do the mud version with chicken wire.

    I'm concerned about having leakage at a later time.

    What is the best way to go and have you ever heard of this method because no one else I've talked to so far has?

    thanks,
    bswartz3danes

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: wall tile over drywall to mud or not to mud???

    New materials & methods keep popping up. This redguard stuff is new to me, and meshing corners of hardibacker is another odd wrinkle, unless you mean fiberglas mesh tape, which is STP with CCBs like Wonderboard & Durock.

    A proper job does not need waterproofing because tile and sound grout is already waterproof. TCA standards mandate a vapor retarder such as tar paper overlapped inward so that any condensate would run down inside to the tub lip or shower pan liner. This was to preclude the insulation between studs from getting wet, although the insulation tends to preclude forming condensation, i.e. working together as a system to stay warm & dry. Done correctly it works just fine & has for a long time.

    The old-fashioned "mud job" as done by your guy is "high end" because it's more labor-intensive than using CBB, and desirable mainly because it is almost soundproof by comparison. I believe it can be approximated by using two layers of CBB mortared together but have never tried it. And it would still require "mud" trim due to its double thickness. What I don't care for about metal lath is that it could rust away if it did somehow get wet repeatedly. This almost never happens, however.

    I only used Hardibacker (supplied by the customer) on one job ; normally I use Wonderboard (single layer) over tar paper over R-13 (poly-wrapped when I can get it). (I also wrap the tub with insulation to help keep bathwater warm.) Latex-modified thinset, grout mixed with latex additive, 100% silicone caulk in all corners. Works & lasts, no problems or call-backs EVER.

    It's not so much the materials but the workmanship, the USE of the chosen materials, that matters most in the end. Leakage not from mechanical damage is always the result of poor workmanship but under no circumstances would I recomment ANY drywall type for tub or shower substrate, no matter how it is "waterproofed."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: wall tile over drywall to mud or not to mud???

    Personally I ALWAYS use the best "waterproofing" method possible. While some tile itself is water proof not all of it is and even after you use a sealer on certain tiles the sealer isn't always forever. And the grout? Who knows what'll happen with the grout down the line.
    To me...why chance anything..especially with all the great new products out there.
    I will "never" do a shower area without using the Kerdi System. To me thats the very best job you can do. While Kerdi fabric can be used right over regular sheetrock...for the few extra bucks I go with Hardi as my backer.
    If you're going to to the job do the best possible job you can.
    http://www.schluter.com/5381.aspx
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: wall tile over drywall to mud or not to mud???

    I have a contractor that orginally said they were going to install hardibacker for the shower and tub area and instead installed the purple moisture/mold resistant drywall.

    Evidently, you don't have a written contract specifying materials and procedures. If you did,then they wouldn't be trying to do ye olde switcheroo now, using this cheapo shortcut which will almost inevitably lead to future problems and redo.

    I'm concerned about having leakage at a later time.

    As well you should be.

    What is the best way to go

    Toward the door. Hold it open for them and tell them to leave. Immediately......would be my advice. Then hire someone who both knows what they're doing/does it right and won't try taking cheapo shortcuts with inferior/inappropriate products. Don't let these folks bully you either. If they first promise/propose the appropriate products/procedures and then do a switcheroo.......something is seriously wrong..........with their character and ethics. Unfortunately, the construction world is replete with hacks, scammers and novices. Sounds like you found some.

    Did they quote you a price? If so, I'm betting they intend to stick with that while giving you an inferior end result...knowingly or unknowingly. Get what you want and should have, not just what these folks are willingly to give you.

    PS- Using Red-Guard as extra insurance is a good/fine idea. Use it over the CBB before the tiles are set.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 11-10-2007 at 02:15 PM.

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