Where backer and drywall meet...

refinishedNovember 8, 2006

I am about to begin a partial DIY bathroom remodel and have a question about how 3/8 drywall and hardibacker come together in harmony.

Consider tiled walls above a tub in a bathroom with painted walls. The tile comes up high enough to make the area functional as a shower with a curtain on a rod. How do the drywall, backer under the tile, and tile meet? Isn't most backer thinner than 3/8s? Does the rounded-over edge tile lay on the drywall by a very small amount? Can someone help me understand how that comes together, pls?

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Where Drywall and backer board come together: In most cases it's just a taped joint. If the backerboard isn't flush with the drywall, you can sometimes use felt strips on the studs to fur the backerboard out.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 10:33AM
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There are two thicknesses of CBU that are normally available-- 1/4" and 1/2". The 1/2" is what should be used for wall tile, and the sheetrock should also be 1/2". The two should meet under where the last tile will fall, and it should then be no problem whatsoever to transition the two.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 6:28PM
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What Bill describes is how I did mine, and both the drywall and backerboard (USG Dens-Shield in my case) were 1/2". I made the joint fall about 1 1/2" below the top of the tile, taped the joints with mesh tape, and covered the joint with thinset in the same manner one would use drywall compund on a drywall joint. I also did the same for backerboard-to-backerboard joints, and let the joints dry before doiing the actual tiling. One tip: don't let any thinset get on drywall that will remain exposed - it will be hard to sand/finish.

Another option - here (Canada) I've seen a fiber-based backerboard (Fiberock) also from USG that can be finished like drywall. Using this you could eliminate the joint. I believe the product documentation indicates you can use this in wet areas (i.e. showers) but of course you would need to confirm this.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 12:10PM
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Yes, it can be used in wet areas. It's basically hardi board made by another manufacturer.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 1:45PM
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