We are having our basement finished and the contractor is doing the tiling
himself around the tub. He has installed regular sheetrock and I have a
problem with this. Will this suffice or does he need to tear it our and
put in green rock?
I seriously think he is trying to cut corners and I want to stop him before
he does this.
Fire the clown right now. He's not only cutting corners, he isn't
following your buiding codes unless you happen to live in some
backwater. You'll be responsible for all of his goof-ups long after he
takes off with your money. To be sure you're doing the right thing,
call your city hall and talk to the building inspector group. They'll
tell you, I'm sure, that cement board goes in the wet areas and
greenboard in the other walls. Some codes allow regular drywall in the
ceiling because there were brands of green board that used to be prone
to sagging. Above all, if your basement is typical you should be using
mold-resistant wall board; has that been the case?
Next, contact your attorney in case things get ugly. It's possible no
permit was pulled for the work...check on that, too. Read over the
contract you signed and compare the specs to what you see in place. You
may find other deviations that could be an unpleasant suprise. Good
luck, you'll need it.
Can you define "green rock"?
Did you think of talking with him before posting this?
If you know the differences between wallboard materials,
why didn't you think of settling this question before he
Sounds to me like you have no faith in the guy.
Stop him. It's been a long time since I had to redo mine but builder
used regular sheet rock and shower came apart in a couple of years.
I'm sure its same around my tub/shower in 2nd bath, but that one held
together. I'm not sure but I believe the green board is intermediate
between regular sheet rock and cement board, but before it gets
covered, I'd use the best.
I have no faith in him, because he has proven that he lied about his
abilities. We asked him about this and he said it was "to code". I
didn't know the difference before, but I sure do NOW!! You are supposed to
be able to trust your contractor. He sent the plumber to hang my cabinets
and the electrician to do carpentry, after days of not showing up himself.
It's obvious he expected us to believe everything he told us. Those
workers no longer work for him and we have fired him.
You _know_ now about what drywall is to code and you
fired him, all based on what you read here?
In SW Florida where I'm at, more than 90% of tub/shower
areas in new construction work are done with 'greenboard',
or 'MRDrywall' (MR standing for 'moisture resistant').
I agree with the post from "whomever" in this thread, that
MR board is only slightly better than regular drywall. It
has a "moisture resistant" paper on the tile side, so is
theoretically supposed to resist moisture. In the real world
though rot comes as moisture gets in through the base
of a shower or in the valve openings over the years, and
destroys the wallboard. I know because I've torn out and
redone hundreds of these crappy jobs.
Yes a true craftsman would use cementboard, but MR Drywall
is "the code" all over the place, maybe even where you are.
A quick call to your development dept. could have resolved
As far as you contractor, if he's as much of a loser as you
describe, it sounds like you didn't do your homework in
hiring him, so you have to accept some of the blame.
You didn't get a detailed written proposal of the work from
him so you're partly to blame.
My gut tells me you hired this guy because he was cheap,
and that's what you wanted. If I'm wrong, tell me how he
was recommended to you, and what references you checked.
Considering the labor in a tile job, how much difference is there
in the cost (including labor) of Hardibacker over sheetrock? It
seems to me there wouldn't be a *huge* difference. Tile is
expensive, why put it on crap?
In a tile job, the cost of all materials vs. labor is about 50-50.
That's generally how it works out.
In a tub/shower remodel, the cost of the 'wallboard' would
be less than 7% of the job, so to use drywall over cementboard
in a wet area doesn't save much money.
If someone really was broke and needed to save money on
a job, they could just use cementboard on the lower 36" of the
walls and be fine. Water damage in my experience is always
either under a window, under the faucet handles, or in the
lower 18" of the wall where water can wick up from the bottom.
Personally I use cementboard all over, all the time.
The issue is poor communication with the contractor. In this
bath remodel, one of the most fundamental questions that
should have been addressed early on would be what kind
of wallboard was being used in the wet area.
Although foolish, the contractor may have had the "right"
(going to code) to use MR drywall, otherwise known as
'greenboard'. At that point, the owner (OP) could have
offered to pay more for cementboard to resolve it, rather
than have a hissy-fit on this newsgroup over it.
He claims to have fired the guy because of information
in this thread, yet none of us know the code in this poster's
location. If the contractor was lying about what code was,
I agree he should be fired for lying.
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