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Unread 03-11-2014, 03:00 PM   #1
Roy Sams
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Vapor Barrier or not Vapor Barrier behind Backer Board

I just watched a YouTube video. The video I think was well done by an experience person. However he stated that placing a vapor barrier behind a shower with a backer board installation was a no no. The location of his installation was in GA. He stated that the vapor barrier would lead to mold between the barrier and backer board. He also was using a board that already had a vapor barrier incorporated into the board. He stated the vapor barrier was old school from the 80's and 90's

I on the other hand already purchased the USG 1/2" thick backer board. I am also installing the shower in the basement in WI. The shower stall walls are not against the basement's exterior walls.

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Unread 03-11-2014, 03:13 PM   #2
Richard Tunison
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Homosassa Springs, Fl
Posts: 2,689
Hi Roy and welcome.

Have you decided to build a traditional shower with a rubber liner and poly behind the backer boards that drapes into the inside of the pan?

Let us know and we will advise.
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Unread 03-11-2014, 03:41 PM   #3
Roy Sams
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Yes this will be a tradition shower stall installation; thick mortar bed install with the PVC linear. The shower wall will be Durlock USG backer board. Instead of poly I was thinking of using Tar Paper. Which brings me to my question: Should the backerboard have a vapor barrier behind it?
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Unread 03-11-2014, 03:46 PM   #4
Richard Tunison
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Yes, a MOISTURE barrier is used behind the wall board and tar paper is fine. In lieu of that a surface applied membrane can be used but never both as it creates a "moisture sandwich".

A few diagrams for you to get well acquainted with.
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