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Unread 03-06-2008, 02:22 PM   #1
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SHower Building 101??? what wall material

I am a newbie at tile work. I used to help my step father as a child, but now i must embark on this task my self.
I am building a shower that was left undone by an incompetent contractor. i have all the plumbing done. now i just need to build the shower.
i have read the forums on how to build the pan, and to have proper slopes.
but my main concern was; What wall material may i use? "Waterproof-drywall" or must i use cement board.
my tile medium will be Mosaics, 12 x 12 sheets.
i had a tiler guy come out to my house, and he told me that i may use the drywall, to give a better contour to the mosaic tile. so there wont be any bumps. he also said the job would be $2,500.
please help me out.
i have bought the books and have read the forums, but no one officially has addressed this question.
Drywall vs cement board.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 02:31 PM   #2
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Location: Tampa, Florida
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Hi Alex,

don't use drywall in your shower unless you are installing Schluter - Kerdi !!

Hardibacker is very smooth and you can mesh tape the joints with thin set as you set the sheets. tap them in with a float the get a nice flat finish.
you can do a liquid applied waterproofing membrane like Redgard or HydroBan is you want.

I wouldn't use a tile guy telling you to use drywall in the shower with 2x2 sheets.
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Unread 03-06-2008, 02:36 PM   #3
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Location: SE Tennessee
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Hi Alex, and welcome to the forum.

You should not use drywall, unless you plan on using the Kerdi shower system.

There are other shower systems (such as Wedi), but most commonly, cement board is used. Even when cement board is used, you must do something to stop water from entering the wall cavity. Cement board is not harmed by water, but it is not a water barrier.

You can put something behind the cement board like plastic sheeting, or roofing felt. Or, you can use a surface-applied membrane like RedGard.

EDIT: Well, Brian types faster than me, but at least we're singing the same song.
Dan - a DIYer in SE Tennessee
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Unread 03-08-2008, 03:21 PM   #4
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Thanks you Guys

I will take your advice
my follow up questions are as follows.
do i use hardiback/cement board for the first 4 feet and continue with waterproof drywall?
or do i need hardiback all the way to the celling?
if i did use the kerdi, how does the it stick to the drywall, and let the tile fall off?

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Unread 03-08-2008, 05:41 PM   #5
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Alex, you use hardibacker up to the shower head or higher.

Kerdi sticks to drywall with thinset. Tiles stick to Kerdi with thinset. It works good, and is completely waterproof. It's a lot lighter than backerboard, too.
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