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Unread 06-20-2019, 05:26 AM   #1
Kemal Gokturk
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Backer behind tile wall


We are working on a remodel and will have one wall covered in tile. The wall is fourteen feet long and vaults from 9 feet to roughly 20 feet. It is in the kitchen, but is not a wet wall. The studs are currently exposed and we are ready to resheath. The drywall guy says drywall will be fine for this area, but I'm wondering with all the weight of the tile if something more rigid would be more appropriate.

Drywall fellow says he can use cement board but I'm also wondering if there is not a more modern and easily available product to put here ... Or he is right and sheetrock is fine.

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Unread 06-20-2019, 05:40 AM   #2
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I'm sure an expert will drop by soon. But I read where they say raw drywall is a good surface to put tile on. Screws every 8". But it should not matter if 5' wall or 30' tsll. No tape and mud at seams or if you do then you need to prime that. Maybe even use some tile primer.
You need to wipe dust off and wet ( not to wet) the wall before putting tile on.
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Unread 06-20-2019, 07:56 AM   #3
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The load is in shear. If they actually use the industry fastening guidelines on drywall, it should be fine. Most installers end up short on the number and spacing of fasteners, or they end up punching through the surface paper, which makes that screw almost useless. They will want to apply the alkali resistant mesh tape as they tile for the seams to help tie the sheets together. While it can be installed prior (with thinset), it's often easy to end up with a speed bump.
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Unread 06-20-2019, 08:05 AM   #4
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The rigidity of the wall is primarily provided by framing. If it's lateral deflection you're concerned about you could either used wider framing lumber (2x6) or plate the wall with plywood.

Tile assemblies on walls concentrate most of the load in vertical shear, not the tipping force I think many imagine. Well attached (screwed) drywall should be adequate. Tile backer will just add to the weight of the whole assembly which may be a bigger concern. What supports the wall?

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Unread 06-21-2019, 05:07 AM   #5
Kemal Gokturk
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Thanks for the feedback. Drywall it is.

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Unread 06-21-2019, 06:09 AM   #6
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I'd ask that the installers use screws throughout that wall, and no nails. Sheetrock nails can loosen over time, which would be fatal to the tile covering. Screws every 8" won't back out like nails will.

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