what is best backing for backsplash?

springplanterOctober 17, 2013

We are renovating kitchen which includes a backsplash wall of 10' x 5' behind stove and counters. i had planned to install drywall to the 36" height and then 1/2 inch hardibacker above for the tile installation.

Contractor says that they use "green" drywall (same as in basements and bathrooms) and it will be as good as hardibacker

Any opinions?

Many thanks

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geoffrey_b

You can tile over regular dry wall - prime it first. No need for that green board.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 11:29AM
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rwiegand

I would always use cement board or some other waterproof material (like a full mud job) under tile. It's cheap insurance against having to re-do all the tile if the wall gets wet. Green board is not much better than plain drywall, I wouldn't use either under tile, I've seen way too much tile put on drywall that is now falling off. The difference in cost is trivial in the context of most kitchen or bathroom projects.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Socalpb

Drywall plus grout = best backsplash... Advice from licensed contractor

Here is a link that might be useful: Bathroom Remodeling in Los Angeles

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:47PM
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weedyacres

Just put the drywall all the way up and tile right over it with thinset or even mastic. It's not a wet area, so no further wall prep is needed. Hardibacker is only needed on floors or in wet areas like showers.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:52PM
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rwiegand

Ever wonder why they call it a backsplash? Cause it gets splashed, and therefore wet, at least if you use your kitchen very seriously. For perhaps $50 difference in doing a whole room you can have a solid substrate vs one that falls apart. Don't even get me started on mastic. I had a 20 year old house where every single tile fell off the wall in three bathrooms and the kitchen with the lightest touch because of the failed wonder adhesive.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:30PM
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renovator8

It takes very many years for a drywall backer board in a shower stall to deteriorate due to frequent soaking of the tile joints under poor drying conditions and even then it happens in the lower part of the wall not the upper part. In a kitchen gypsum backer board would not deteriorate unless you sealed the room and hosed it down several times a day.

Using the proper adhesive is another matter and often independent of the backer board choice.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 6:07PM
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renovator8

It takes very many years for a drywall backer board in a shower stall to deteriorate due to frequent soaking of the tile joints under poor drying conditions and even then it happens in the lower part of the wall not the upper part. In a kitchen gypsum backer board would not deteriorate unless you sealed the room and hosed it down several times a day.

Using the proper adhesive is another matter and often independent of the backer board choice.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 6:10PM
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pangionedevelopers

Hello
You will get many different responses BC there are many different ways to approach this scenario

Cement board of all types and or green and standard drywall can all be used.
If you are installing around an extremely wet area such as a shower or tub then you go with cement board. A Kitchen sink is not an area to worry about

Pangione Developers Inc

Here is a link that might be useful: Bergen County Contractors

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 9:27PM
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mag77

Your contractor is full of it. Green board is NOT equivelent to backer board. Tile should never be installed over sheetrock or greenboard unless in a completely dry area, and installers that take pride in their work will insist on backer board in all situations. Your own plan is good, but begin the backer board six inches or so below counter height to avoid a seam at that point. Beyond your question, I'd like to add one more thing - the penalty for using green board under tile in a shower should be death by hanging.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 11:29AM
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mag77

>

I just can't let this go - it's one of the most ridiculous, short-sighted things I've ever read. Years? A good tile job will last for DECADES, and isn't affected by "poor drying conditions." And, in five or six years, when the green board turns into moldy, stinking goo, what difference does it make if it's only the "lower part of the wall?" You still have to tear it all out and start over, plus replace rotten studs, rotten joists, the downstairs ceilings, and whatever else has been ruined by doing a cheapo job. It's stuff like this that gives everyone in the building trades a bad name, even those of us who try to do a good job and take pride in our work.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 7:44PM
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springplanter

Many thanks to all who responded. We have agreed to go with the hardibacker

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 6:59PM
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