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Old 01-19-2008, 12:32 AM   #1
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I'm in the midst of redoing most of my flooring into tiles and have had various opinions on what to use, how to do it, the right way and the wrong way.
I see all ppl going on about using Kerdi in the bathtub surroundings (walls), and swear that this or any other vapor barrier is THE WAY TO DO IT, but almost every new house development have tile setters, tile directly over Greenboard. Would that not contradict all ppl swearing by all the different methods being used today (CB, vapor barrier, etc). I mean builders wouldn't be in business if their way was the wrong way?

How I know this?, my wife is a RE agent and has talked to builders and Almost all new sub divisions build nowadays are done this way. Yet, new home owners never have a problem with mold or tiles falling off.

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Old 01-19-2008, 12:45 AM   #2
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As with most things, there is a right way and a cheap way. Grout does not seal moisture. Therefore moisture can and will sep into the greenboard and cause problems down the road. Will the cheap way work? Usually. But would you want to be the one that it doesn't work for? IMNTBHO

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Old 01-19-2008, 12:58 AM   #3
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As with most things, there is a right way and a cheap way. Grout does not seal moisture. Therefore moisture can and will sep into the greenboard and cause problems down the road. Will the cheap way work? Usually. But would you want to be the one that it doesn't work for? IMNTBHO
Just useful info for ppl. I know my parents bought a house 9 years ago and they (builders) used greenboard in their shower. And their tiles look brand new!
The secret IMO, is making sure it's caulked correctly and that NO grout is missing. Even though like u said grout does not seal moisture and you're right, would water still not affect thin set that hold the tile to the Kerdi, potentially affecting the tiles?
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:17 AM   #4
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One question:
If I were to use Wonderboard (cement board) for a bathroom wall (shower area) and used RedGuard to seal, can I tile with thinset mortar immediately or do i have to let it sit?

How would you guys go about do this?
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:55 AM   #5
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Yugos will stay on the road for a while too. Would you buy one?

If EVERY manufacturor of thinset and tile recommend using a vapor barrier of some sort there is a reason for it.

I think years of practical application and research and development may trump the "my moms shower is that way and its fine" theory.

Folks come here to find out the correct way of doing stuff from people that do tile and floors every day. While alot of that info could be considered opinion, we should still try to stay away from conjectere based on the knowledge of only one particular instance
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Boca View Post
Just useful info for ppl. I know my parents bought a house 9 years ago and they (builders) used greenboard in their shower. And their tiles look brand new!
The secret IMO, is making sure it's caulked correctly and that NO grout is missing. Even though like u said grout does not seal moisture and you're right, would water still not affect thin set that hold the tile to the Kerdi, potentially affecting the tiles?
The tiles may look fine, but what about the drywall behind it?
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:16 AM   #7
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Even though like u said grout does not seal moisture and you're right, would water still not affect thin set that hold the tile to the Kerdi, potentially affecting the tiles?
No. Water won't affect the thin set holding the tile. It's a concrete product, so it's not really affected by water. Gypsum, on the other hand, will fall apart when wet, so it doesn't matter what you use to stick tile to it. The green board will be the weak link.

It's amazing to me that saving a couple bucks per tub surround could be worth installing green board instead of cement board in new construction.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:05 AM   #8
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I agree with boca's statement about builders using greenboard. I've work for waaaaaaaay too many builders and 90% of them don't use cement board.
I guess that adds way to much time and money for them, especially when upon closing it;s no longer their responsibility. However, I'm sure if you request it, they'll put it in, -but with a surcharge of coarse.

On another note, this whole discussion on green board is true it sucks, but as a tile setter 80% of customers whom call me in to do their shower, tub area, ARE NOT willing to pay extra for CB, DITRA, time, labor and bags of mortar. I'll always explain that, that's the RIGHT way to do it, but like i said 80% don't use it SIMPLY because they cannot afford it or are waaaaay to cheap to invest extra into it.
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Old 01-20-2008, 01:49 AM   #9
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Greenboard was NEVER intended to be used as a tile backer in wet areas such as a tub surround, and definitely not for showers. But through the years it was used for just that by people that were trying to do things the very cheapest way they thought thy could get away with. Often these installation failed much sooner than anyone expected. But, by that time it was too late to complain to anyone.

Finally the use of greenboard in wet areas was outlawed as of Jan, 1, 2006 by I believe the IBC? (International Building Code, I think). Anyway, it is now specifically declared that it is not to be used in wet areas. Well....it's still being used. I know here in Michigan the State and local code enforcers have to discuss and approve any changes by the code setting organizations that they subscribe to. This process can take several years since after all it's government.

Heck, they allow greenboard, mastic, unlicensed installers contrary to the law and they don't make anyone do a pre-slope for showers.

Boca, I had to LOL when you said; "I mean builders wouldn't be in business if their way was the wrong way?" You're kidding right?

Then you said; "How I know this?, my wife is a RE agent and has talked to builders and Almost all new sub divisions build nowadays are done this way. Yet, new home owners never have a problem with mold or tiles falling off." I'm still laughing about that statement.!


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Old 01-20-2008, 03:13 AM   #10
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Boca, I had to LOL when you said; "I mean builders wouldn't be in business if their way was the wrong way?" You're kidding right?
UM, no. Everything build here in Ontario requires permits and MUST pass code.
Maybe in the US, passing code really isn't that important, but new development homeowners here ALWAYS hire their own inspector to make sure the house us up to CODE. Not to mention what kind of lawsuit can be issued if houses -especially new ones- are not to code.

Then you said; "How I know this?, my wife is a RE agent and has talked to builders and Almost all new sub divisions build nowadays are done this way. Yet, new home owners never have a problem with mold or tiles falling off." I'm still laughing about that statement.!

Personally, I've seen tiles installed over greenboard last over 10-15 years.
How long are tiles supposed to last in a bath area "if" installed the way you would do it?

Last edited by Boca; 01-20-2008 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:22 AM   #11
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What i don't get is, way isn't there a simple solution to bath areas. 30-40 years ago ppl tiled over regular drywall. Now, NOT GOOD. Then they used Greenboard. NOW, not good. Then they use cement board + vapor barrier, GOOD......until when?
I would love to see ppl whom swear by using Kerdi or Ditra 20 years from now. We'll see how good this technology is then. I can already see ppl blasting DITRA and cement board.

Why not make a Waterproof cement board WITH a DITRA type (meaning also waterproof) material on it? Rather then having to install ON IT? Or is there something out there like this?

Jaz, you seem like you know 99% of the answers, are you saying you have not installed tile over greenboard? What about nowadays and you go to a clients house that he/she has greenboard and wants tile on it. Do you tell them, "not gonna tile unless you spend $300 and up making it 100% waterproof"?
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
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"not gonna tile unless you spend $300 and up making it 100% waterproof"?
Tiling is not my business, but in the work I do, if I've got a customer who wants me to do it the WRONG way to save them $300 on a $5000 job, I'm definitely wallking. You've got to have standards for your own work, and respect for what you know to be the right way to do your work.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boca View Post
Just useful info for ppl. I know my parents bought a house 9 years ago and they (builders) used greenboard in their shower. And their tiles look brand new!
The secret IMO, is making sure it's caulked correctly and that NO grout is missing. Even though like u said grout does not seal moisture and you're right, would water still not affect thin set that hold the tile to the Kerdi, potentially affecting the tiles?
like they say.. "it is not a matter of if, only when" it fails Green rock is not under any circumstances acceptable as a substrate in a wet area like a shower. Maybe the TILES look brand new, but It is not a pretty sight behind them after nine years.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boca View Post
What i don't get is, way isn't there a simple solution to bath areas. 30-40 years ago ppl tiled over regular drywall. Now, NOT GOOD. Then they used Greenboard. NOW, not good. Then they use cement board + vapor barrier, GOOD......until when?
I would love to see ppl whom swear by using Kerdi or Ditra 20 years from now. We'll see how good this technology is then. I can already see ppl blasting DITRA and cement board.

Why not make a Waterproof cement board WITH a DITRA type (meaning also waterproof) material on it? Rather then having to install ON IT? Or is there something out there like this?

Jaz, you seem like you know 99% of the answers, are you saying you have not installed tile over greenboard? What about nowadays and you go to a clients house that he/she has greenboard and wants tile on it. Do you tell them, "not gonna tile unless you spend $300 and up making it 100% waterproof"?

30 to 40 years ago all tile was still being set in full morter beds, I promise you won't find old showere with tile on sheetrock.

Greenboard was never approved for use as a substrate in a wet area like a shower.

Vapor barrier with cement board is still good, just that many installers like the security of the Kerdi, and can install it faster than the separate vapor barrier and cement board w/ taped seams. Also, using the pre-sloped Kerdi floor pan and drain is quicker than sloping a mud bed, installing a membrane,
and installing the second sloped bud bed to receive the tiles.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:46 PM   #15
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I had a friend who's bathroom tile was installed over greenboard. He bought the house new. His tile started coming loose after about 6 years. When I started pulling off the tile, most of the greenboard was wet and moldy. He had no idea how bad it was. I ended up removing everything and having tile installed over cb.

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