1/4" Drywall Requires 1/4" Backerboard? - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 09-21-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
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1/4" Drywall requires 1/4" backerboard?

I'm getting ready to redo our shower and floor in the master bath. I'm nearly 100% sure that my walls are 1/4" drywall. The house was built in the 50s. I haven't started removing the existing tile that's on the wall but I'm pretty sure when I do I'll have to start from scratch. The shower has been leaking somewhere around the base, I think. If the walls are 1/4" drywall, does that mean I need to use 1/4" backerboard? Everything I have read says 1/2" for wall applications. If I have to use 1/2" what can I do to make the backerboard and the drywall flush? Also this is my first time doing anything like this.

One more question.... I think I'm going to go with Custom Building Products' WonderBoard. Their website says you do not need to use tape, a.k.a. tapeless installation. Should I tape anyway?

Any input would greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:59 AM   #2
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I doubt very much it is 1/4" drywall. It could be 3/8 rocklath with plaster, common in the 50's. But any tile should go on 1/2 backerboard.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:54 AM   #3
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An unremodeled '50's bath will probably be a mud job. Tile, concrete and wire lath.
Closer to 2 1/4" thick.
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B. Franklin 1759

Last edited by Ron6519; 09-22-2011 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:27 AM   #4
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I'd never use 1/4 backerboard on anything but a well supported floor.

If you tile job is from the 50's, and still in tact, there's no way its on 1/4 drywall (aside from not being common practice in that era)
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:08 PM   #5
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If your shower has leaked then what you need to do is tear out all the wallboard (and maybe the flooring) - expose as much of your joists/studs as possible in this area to access the plumbing. Check for a water-barrier skin (that goes on the joists/studs - underneath your backerboard).

This would give you a clean slate to put down new backerboard - putting you in control and in full knowledge of what condition your bathroom shower is in.

I would also suggest using hardibacker instead of wonderboard. Wonderboard is a bit crumbly and doesn't respond well to cutting and handling - hardibacker is smooth and more sturdy.

Yes - you should mud, especially if you don't have a waterproof skin under your backer board.
At this present moment in time I am making cabinets for the kitchen - just in case you wanted to know what I'm doing when I'm not around.
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