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Old 04-24-2014, 03:51 AM   #1
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How can I repair drywall over shower?




Well this picture came out a lot worse than I hoped for various reasons, but basically where the top of my shower (the plastic part) meets the drywall, that "junky area" has formed due to getting wet.

What happened is a little bit of water is bouncing off the showeree's head from the shower head when they stand under it (it's a pretty high pressure shower head I suppose), and getting the wall wet there I guess, lol. Weird design flaw kind of. Over a long time that area has gotten water damaged as per the pic.

That area is only maybe some 5.5 feet height, I'm not that tall only 5'8", yet I see the area clearly wet after I shower.

So did it just happen because the caulking failed? Or is the drywall type stuff itself not water proof? My first idea is to simply put a thick strip of caulk in there, before it gets much worse, and hope that more or less stops any further damage, and hopefully I would just leave it be. There is caulk along that line of course, but it was a thin stripe originally.

But it does appear the only real fix would be to replace that drywall, major pain I think.

Thoughts?

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Old 04-24-2014, 06:19 AM   #2
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


For the moment,caulk the seam and repaint---water is wrecking the drywall--if the wall board is not to far gone--you could add ceramic tile above the surround---

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Old 04-24-2014, 08:13 AM   #3
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


Ahh...mildew stains. Like Mike says, let's hope the drywall has not been wrecked. When you catch this stuff early, the old trick of spraying it with bleach and scrubbing with a toothbrush can help remove or at least minimize it. But when it has gone on for a long time the most effective solution is to remove the old caulk and simply re-caulk again. Then going forward always wipe that area down after each shower use to get rid of the water. I would go with Mike's suggestion to add tile above the surround. Good Luck!
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:51 AM   #4
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


Sorry, my smartphone camera is scratched and takes blurry pics, also the flash was off. Here's a couple hopefully better ones. There is damage along the caulk line, it's not mildew.



Here's why the issue exists, water bounces off the person taking a shower's head abnd gets on the wall to the right there. I've owned this house 4.5 years (and dont recall if there was preexisting damage) so obviously it's a slow process, which is good.



The tile fix sounds nice and easy. Can I just cover up the damaged area with tile (assuming it fits ok)? Can I just do one row of tile on that side of the shower, or do I have to go all the way to the ceiling? The tile will be 'glued" on to the wall securely, right?

Edit: To be clear, I can tile OVER the drywall? That sounds easy. Removing the drywall then doing tiling OTOH, sounds like a big chore.

As you can see, one row of tiles over the shower plastic on that side looks like it would protect the area from the water. And hopefully not look ugly.

I'm really not very handy nor have done stuff like this before, so treat me like a total noob.

Last edited by shark974; 04-25-2014 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:39 AM   #5
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


Yes, if the drywall is still solid you can tile over it---

You can tile as little or as much as you wish---
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:57 AM   #6
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


Do I need to remove the paint on the drywall first? At least I guess that's paint...

I was thinking is there supposed to be some kind of lacquer on the drywall there to prevent this happening, and with the house 14 years old it finally just wore off/down? I think I read something about that...

Also I'm guessing an even cheaper/easier fix might be some vinyl there instead of tile? And just caulk the top, bottom, and sides? I assume I'd run it along that whole side so it doesn't just look stupid.

Edit: It looks like something like this would be absolutely perfect! Peel and stick vinyl http://www.homedepot.com/p/Smart-Til...1?N=5yc1vZbvhd

A little expensive, but I'm definitely going for that if anything! The only other thing I might do is just put a thick stripe of caulk in there and nothing else, but most likely the vinyl.

Last edited by shark974; 04-26-2014 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:08 AM   #7
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


You can tile over the existing paint---lightly sand it to remove the shine--

Mix up some powdered thinset to stick the tiles--if you are not tiling to the ceiling, look for tiles with a bull nose edge---
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:33 AM   #8
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


Huh. I've been doing more reading/googling about shower drywall issues tonight, and a couple times I've read "do not tile over drywall, moisture will eventually turn it to mush" and "drywall is the absolute worst surface to tile over" or the like. So now I'm a little scared of the vinyl tile idea. Wont the vinyl perhaps trap heat/moisture/humidity under it?

Another thing I'm unclear on, the drywall above the shower bed or whatever it's called, isn't this "special" water resistant drywall? Again from reading it seems so.

Another thing I'm worried about with the tiling idea is the area that is damaged is little warped, slightly bubbled out. It's not entirely flat which I fear will cause problems. It's like a thin layer of...paint or something is actually slightly coming off the drywall I guess. I'm afraid to peel it back or do anything that may tear it or anything.

I took a couple more pics of the damage, this time they're much clearer as I used my phone's non damaged front facing cam, even with no flash and only 1.3MP or whatever it is they still come out mountains clearer.








You can better tell here how there is some actual damage, although the first two shots actually make it look a little worse than it actually is because they're so close up imo. The third shot provides some perspective.


So if I can tile it, maybe I'd need to somehow replace that section first to get a full flat surface? And what should I use? There's some kind of moisture concrete board recommended around shower, could I use that to replace the section with still the old drywall around it??

To be clear, I'd want to just replace a small area, not the whole wall above the shower or anything, as I think that's above my skill level. But I've seen how small sections of damaged drywall can be cut out and replaced before...

As you can see from the pics, I'm tempted to just liberally apply caulk to the whole thing. Would be by far the easiest solution. However, some area of the drywall surrounding it would still be "brown" in a way that wont wash off, and slightly "bubbled up", so it wouldn't be a perfect repair.

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Old 04-26-2014, 07:44 AM   #9
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


The area above the tub surround is considered a 'dry' area---and should not be subject to water---

You may have a short surround or a tall bather---

"Wet' areas need a concrete backer board --but 'dry' areas can be covered with drywall----some drywall has a water resistant surface--However, the cut edges are still susseptable to water soaking in.(like you are experiencing)

Tile is installed over drywall in may 'dry areas' of the house---kitchen back splashes, tiled walls in the sink area of a bath---

You seem to have a 'dry area' that is getting 'wet'---I believe that tiling that ,as is, will be sufficient to prevent further damage---But, If you think that further precautions are needed, remove the drywall above the surround and add a 1/2" cement board.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:44 AM   #10
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


So, the tile-over-drywall will be ok in the extremely warm/humid/steamy environment of the shower? It wont "trap" moisture underneath the tile?

I would say the area gets wet, but not much. Each shower just gets a few drops in the area and kind of misty/humid etc. But over time it has done this damage. It's the only area around the shower surround that gets wet like that.

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Old 04-26-2014, 10:58 AM   #11
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


Thanks for sharing such nice information about it. I also faced the same problem which is now fix it out.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:24 PM   #12
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


I've never seen a tiled splash above a fiberglass surround go bad---

If you wanted to spend $50 on insurance ,you could paint the area with Red Guard--a good waterproofing---but I doubt if it is really required
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:34 PM   #13
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How can I repair drywall over shower?


I have seen and recommended customers install Fiberglass Reinforced Panels (FRP) above the tub surround to solve issues such as yours. Repair the drywall as much as possible then cut the 4'x8' panels to fit with a circular saw and install with FRP specific trim. Use a good silicone caulk on edges and seams. They turn out nice but are always slightly off color to aged fiberglass surround.

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