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Unread 10-15-2019, 06:59 AM   #1
riccobo4
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What is the BEST substrate for a kitchen backspash

I am redoing my kitchen and it is currently gutted down to studs. I ultimately plan to have a backsplash along the whole counter and where the range and vent hood will be the tile will go all the way to the ceiling

I understand that drywall is the typical and acceptable kitchen backsplash material.

Is it any better or worth the effort to use cement board in these areas or will it just be extra effort and cost with no discernable benefit?

In either case does it make sense to coat the substrate in Mapei Aqua defence?

Thanks
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Unread 10-15-2019, 07:37 AM   #2
Radas
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Morning James,

Your best bet is to stick with drywall and make sure it is both flat and the walls are plumb so that wall corners and wall to ceiling transitions are easier to set. Also plan cabinet and outlet heights (if you have the flexibility) to minimize cuts or adjust your tile layout accordingly.

You can coat the drywall with a waterproofing membrane if you want but in my opinion it is overkill for a kitchen as the backsplash will not be exposed to moisture like a shower receptor will.

Make sure you leave adequate spacing 1/8"-3/16" for expansion at all changes of plane (backsplash to ceiling, backsplash to counter, and backsplash to backsplash in corners) and use 100% silicone caulk.

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Unread 10-15-2019, 07:37 AM   #3
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From one who has scary tendencies to over think and build, I suggest avoiding that.

A backsplash isn't walked on, leaned against, or sprayed with water. IMO, you have nothing to gain by installing any tile backer product or waterproofing the wall board. Plain 1/2" drywall is just fine, put a coat or two of drywall primer on it and cover as much of it as you with tile.

I used stone tile on my backsplash, and the section behind the cook top extends to the ceiling behind the hood vent, and grouted it with a regular cement based grout about 7 years ago. Still looks as good as the day I installed it.
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Unread 10-15-2019, 08:34 AM   #4
cx
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The "best" substrate for you kitchen backsplash would be fat mud, James. Second best would be a CBU. Third, but perfectly acceptable for the application, would be drywall.

I would not bother with a waterproofing membrane in that application, but if you want to treat it as a wet area you'll need to use something other than drywall as your tile backing material.

Bottom line? Just tile over what you've got. That's a very forgiving application. You can even use organic adhesive to bond your ceramic tiles if you want and if you like that nasty, messy, expensive stuff.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-15-2019, 08:54 AM   #5
riccobo4
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Sounds good thanks! Drywall it is.

I like to always research and use best practices but if there will be no noticeable benefit I think I'll save my time so I can waste it over-engineering something else.
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Unread 10-15-2019, 01:03 PM   #6
Kman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
You can even use organic adhesive to bond your ceramic tiles if you want....
Unless you're installing some kind of natural stone, in which case you'll want to use a modified thinset mortar.
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Unread 10-15-2019, 01:33 PM   #7
cx
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Indeed. Perhaps is why CX specified ceramic tile, eh?
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Unread 10-15-2019, 02:26 PM   #8
Davy
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I agree, thinset or mastic straight on sheetrock sticks like crazy. No need for anything else on it first. Mastic will set slower, buying you a little more time while installing and adjusting your tiles.
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