Mistake??? Drywall surrounding bathroom sink

gracy101July 30, 2013

I hope someone can heIp me. I am adding two bathrooms for my sons as part of an addition to our home. The tile work is almost completed and am vey happy with the quality of the install. I went in to check progress yesterday and noticed something strange.

Snce the wall tile is not quite completed, I noticed that in one bath, the walls behind the tile in the sink/vanity alcove are regular sheetrock, but in the second bathroom the walls behind the tile in the same area are durock. The vanities sit surrounded on 3 sides with 3x6 porcelain subway tile up to 52" high.

The vanities will be freestanding with granite countertops so only the back part of the granite top will touch up against the tile but it is a wet area after all. My question - is it ok to leave the sheetrock in the wall behind the bathroom sink, specifically where the countertop meets the wall? Its obviously a mistake but how big?

Meeting with contractor about this today at 4:30 pm. Any suggestions on how to handle it?
Do I need to rip out the tile and sheetrock and put durock?
All three sides or just the back wall?

Ugh.... Thank you all in advance.

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catbuilder

It's not a mistake. That is not considered a wet wall, and doesn't need waterproofing (beyond a bead of silicone at the wall/counter juncture). In addition, cement board by itself is not waterproof. What IS important, though, is that the tub or tub/shower area is properly waterproofed. Did you check on that?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 11:16AM
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gracy101

Catbuilder - thank you for your response. I looked back at previous pictures I took during the build and both baths have Durock in the shower on all three sides, the 2 full walls and the kneewall which separates the shower and the sink. The "problem" bath is the kneewall with Durock on the one side and sheetrock on the other side , definitely purposeful. I will ensure about the silicone.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 2:48PM
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gracy101

Catbuilder - thank you for your response. I looked back at previous pictures I took during the build and both baths have Durock in the shower on all three sides, the 2 full walls and the kneewall which separates the shower and the sink. The "problem" bath is the kneewall with Durock on the one side and sheetrock on the other side , definitely purposeful. I will ensure about the silicone.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 2:56PM
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catbuilder

Durock is not waterproof. Is there either a plastic membrane behind the Durock, or a liquid (or Kerdi) membrane on the front of the Durock? Durock is a cement-based product, just like a sidewalk. Did you ever wonder what happens to the water when it rains on your sidewalk? Some of it runs off, but most of it drains right through it. Durock is the same--water will penetrate it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 3:36PM
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pricklypearcactus

Exactly what catbuilder has said. Waterproofing is needed in wet areas only. Cement board can get wet and is (I believe) usually used correctly with a waterproofing behind it (such as plastic membrane) or can have waterproofing applied topically. (I believe some waterproofing is even approved for application over drywall, though I haven't used it myself.) So around a sink area, drywall is just fine (normal even). You don't even have to have a backsplash of any kind, though it's a good idea if anyone is washing faces or might splash a lot. Around a tub or especially a shower, you need waterproofing either in the form of a plastic membrane or topical membrane or topical liquid membrane.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 4:40PM
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