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Unread 10-31-2021, 03:03 PM   #1
Camplete Novice
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Greenboard under Backerboard?

Is there any reason to put greenboard under backerboard? The shower I just ripped out in my house had the backerboard nailed into the greenboard.

I'm debating between doing that or just putting the backerboard directly to the studs.

I don't see why that would have been done before, but I'm not sure if I'm wrong or overthinking it.
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Unread 10-31-2021, 03:32 PM   #2
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The "backerboard" (cement board?) can go directly on the studs. Only reason for greenboard, or drywall behind it would be for any necessary spacing out from the wall. Aside that, leave it out.

Certainly need waterproofing before the tile. This can be in the form of plastic or tarpaper on the studs before the cement board OR a "surface applied membrane" like Kerdi or Hydroban on the outer surface of the board...but NOT both...
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Unread 10-31-2021, 07:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for a quick response!

Thank you sir. I appreciate the feedback.
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Unread 10-31-2021, 07:52 PM   #4
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Welcome, Cameron.

Only reason I could think of for putting the CBU (I'm guessing that's what your "backerboard" was) over drywall was the way some folks have simulated using mortar for their shower walls and a radius bullnose tile over the exposed edges.

While I think it would be perfectly functional if properly waterproofed, it would not comply with any CBU manufacturer's installation instructions with which I'm familiar. Doesn't really violate such instructions, but only because such CBU manufacturers wouldn't even think to say "do not install drywall before fastening our product to your wall studs."

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-31-2021, 08:00 PM   #5
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Cement boards (cbu) are not waterproof and greenboard, once you poke a hole in it isn't really water resistant, either. Can't see a good reason to use it. I suppose it MIGHT help in sound suppression into the adjacent room, and might be useful to fur the wall out, but other things are less expensive and likely easier. It might allow you to use 1/4" stuff, where normally, you might use 1/2".
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Unread 10-31-2021, 08:55 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum, Cameron.

Only time I've seen what you've described done is when someone wanted to simulate an old fashioned "mud wall" with the big radius 1/4 round tiles at the perimeter. For me, I wouldn't waste a minute or a dollar trying to simulate that look...I'd attach the cement board to the studs.

(Little hint...prepping the studs before installing the cement board so that they are all in alignment with each other to create a flat plane will pay handsome dividends when it comes time to apply the tile and it is pretty easy to install tile with little to no lippage.)

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Unread 10-31-2021, 11:15 PM   #7
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It's likely that the green board was put up there when all the sheetrock was installed in the rest of the house. Some builders just use green board as a standard in wet areas.

The tile installers came in afterward, didn't want to bother taking it all down, and just started working over it.
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