We're going in circles. You want an answer that you want. Fine.
Your house, your money. You asked for advice, and you've gotten
some. The tile sticking is not the problem - water getting past the
tile is the problem.
Yeah, I got it - you're in the desert so things dry out quickly. How
quickly do they dry out when they're covered by impermeable
materials? Mold spores are everywhere. They're on the wood and
drywall when you install it. Termites, which do indeed live in hot,
arid climates, do eat wood and prefer wet wood.
There are _lots_ of reasons that you should be totally anal about in a
shower installation no matter where you live. But you've started
winging it, and want advice on how to keep flying. I'm worried about
your landing - you don't seem to be. Your house, your money. I've
already told you about waterproofing the whole flipping thing so you
wouldn't have to worry about the water, and you wouldn't have to worry
about the adhesive.
If you're not worried about it, why are you asking for advice? Are
you advice shopping like Limbaugh shops doctors for Vicodin?
No, you should be looking for a more appropriate surface to apply the tile
to in a difficult environment.
Taking off the sheetrock and putting up cement board really isn't that big a
deal. Very easy, in fact. Here's what I would do...
1. Remove the drywall
2. Staple 30# building paper all around on the walls in a shingle fashion;
i.e., start at the bottom, wrap around all walls with ONE piece, keep going
with additional pieces until you reach the ceiling, lapping each piece 3-4"
over the one below it, covering the nails/staples. You wind up with one
vertical seam so take another piece of 30# and apply it vertically lapping
the seam by 6" or so on each side of the seam.
3. Put on the cement board. Where two walls meet, leave enough separation
between the pieces of cement board to pack in a bead of silicone caulk. You
want the caulk in just the seam, not on the board.
4. Apply the tile with thinset.
5. Grout the tile
6. Seal the grout
Do the above and your shower is going to last a long, long time. The grout
in the corners where two walls meet is going to crack; NP, there is caulk
back there too...and if that ever failed, the framing is protected by the
The drywall will fail because it will get wet. Wet drywall turns to
You can be flippant now about the failure mechanism, but I've never
seen anyone flippant when the wall gets opened up. They seem to be
more...what's the phrase I'm looking for? - right, pissed off.
A hint about the failure mechanism - when things flex, what fails
first? To get you started - houses move with temperature, humidity
and load. Show all your work. You have one hour.
Won't even take two minutes.
You need a shower pan liner under a I'm-sure-you-will-admit-superior-
tile-job mud shower base. If a good tile job was truly, automatically
and magically waterproof, you wouldn't.
Houses move. QED.
I think we're talking at cross purposes. I'm saying houses move no
matter what. Are you saying they don't? I'm saying that when a wall
flexes the most rigid thing, and/or the weakest bond, fails. In this
particular case, that's the tile/grout bond.
I'd also like a little clarification about what you're saying about
the tile substrate. A properly done mud job (aka thickset) is far
superior in most every way to a tile on drywall job. If a mud job
shower absolutely requires a shower pan liner, then I'm of the opinion
that it's clear that water can get by the tile and grout. If water
can get by a superior tile installation, why wouldn't it get by an
Putting this another way - if someone is starting from scratch, do you
advise them to use drywall for a tiled shower installation? Or do you
suggest a backerboard of one flavor or another?
I'd recommend one of the rock boards.
But Uno came here looking for advice on alternate adhesives for a tile
job because he can't conveniently get real mastic.
I doubt he's got anything other than a ration of shit for using
The substrate of shower walls is not the cause of leaks, or structure
movement, or settling, or a preventative measure against same.
So, gps, let me see if I understand your position, because I suspect
there is nuance that I haven't found yet.
Assumption 1) You understand that there is no way that I'm gonna rip
out my drywall, because NO ONE rips out my drywall, and I make my own
decisions as a journeyman carpenter with 2 decades of experience in many
If somebody wants to come in and borrow the pain in my hands when I work
with durock, I'm waiting for that stuntman.
Meanwhile, I'll be using sheetrock as my substrate when I think I can
get away with it and not screw myself as a person who offers lifetime
maintenance on things I design, sometimes. I usually do it with people
I want to see again. If a tile falls off or cracks, I'll get a phone
call. We joke about "job security," but for me, it is a joke; I'm
mortified when I make mistakes.
Let me ask you a simple question: have I screwed myself by using treated
drywall in a surround 1/2 shower with no door, and with the first foot
of it being durocked, and with the transitions covered with tape and
thinset on the bottom and with exposed tape over joint compound in the
detail portions up higher?
You've got rock in the most critical area. A good tile/grout/caulk/
paint job ought to hold you there for 20 years, anyway.
The next weakest area, IMO, would be the drywall above the tile, due
to splashing and/or condensation. I think it's important to use a
good paint down to 6-12" below the tile line first, then tile over the
You probably won't live to see any warranty issues...
I appreciate all comments, but there is no drywall in this install that
is going to turn mushy. If you haven't built in the high desert, then
you just don't know. If you took any of the houses on my street and
teleported them to Chicago, they'd be junk in 5 years. As they are down
here, they stand for centuries as mud huts.
uno as a friend used to say its your back.
your tile install as is will have a bump where the two types of
wallboard meet, this joint may cause lekage.
but who cares if you must redo the job in a few years, its your work
and cost, so enjoy yourself
What do you with a tub surround that only goes up 70 inches? Do you use
durock all the way? If there is 0.00 chance of drywall with no tile
moldin, mushing or losing it's strength as a building component, why
would one be pessimistic about drywall that has protection, that is the
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