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Old 08-30-2014, 10:33 AM   #16
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Using green drywall behind Kerdi is like wearing sunscreen inside your house. Sure, someday a meteor might fall through your roof and the sun might shine on you on your couch. But then, you probably won't sit there for an hour in the sun at that point.

But hey, whatever it takes to make you feel good :-)
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:31 AM   #17
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when i did my kerdi shower, i used the green drywall. i know i didn't need to, but it made me feel better.
It feels good to run into people from time to time that have some common-sense as in this case. Others that operate using the bare-minimums and doing just what it takes to get by and nothing more tend to get people in trouble and their jobs fail more often than others. To do simple is to be simple I suppose.
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:17 PM   #18
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If you installed a Kerdi shower and the job failed, it is most certainly not because you used standard drywall instead of green.

An electrician would not use 10g wire where 12 was called for, a painter would not use 3 coats when 2 were called for, and a framer would not use 2x6 studs when 2x4s were called for. Jobs do not "fail" for doing those things, and it's not called just "doing what it takes to get by".
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:55 AM   #19
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It feels good to run into people from time to time that have some common-sense as in this case. Others that operate using the bare-minimums and doing just what it takes to get by and nothing more tend to get people in trouble and their jobs fail more often than others. To do simple is to be simple I suppose.
thanx, Bud. but i am the "simple guy". though i do have this bad habit of turning something simple, into something complicated. i am trying to break this habit = not working out very well
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:23 PM   #20
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There are local codes that require moisture resistant drywall under Kerdi specifically? I'm skeptical of that.

Using moisture resistant drywall under Kerdi as a "safety measure" is about like saying you should wrap all your plumbing joints in duct tape, just in case. The point is, if you have installed Kerdi correctly, moisture resistant drywall is irrelevant. If you have not, then moisture resistant drywall isn't the answer anyway.
Drywall doesn't belong in a wet area regardless of what any manufacturer says. It's organic and does not belong in any wet area. The industry is a bit unsettled on the subject, but I am glad to see you are.

Here's what the TCNA says about it. This is from their site.

"Is drywall a suitable "solid backing" for methods B421 and B422?

B421 and B422 are shower methods in the TCNA Handbook in which a waterproof membrane is applied over an unspecified solid backing. The membrane must cover the solid backing under the entire area to be tiled. We are often asked if drywall is a suitable backing for these shower methods.

While some membrane manufacturers promote use of their membrane in such installations with drywall as the solid backing, other membrane manufacturers do not. At the same time, not all drywall manufacturers recommend their product be used in a shower, even if a membrane will be applied to the surface. Thus, the Handbook leaves the determination of a suitable membrane/backer board combination up to the membrane and backer board manufacturers to declare and up to the design professional to select/specify. Where materials manufacturers do not agree on a particular recommendation, a manufacturer is offering what's called a proprietary recommendation.

The International Building Code (IBC) is somewhat ambiguous on the topic. Many in the construction industry interpret it to say drywall is strictly prohibited in wet areas, regardless of whether a waterproof membrane would be applied to the surface of the drywall. Others feel the code only prohibits direct bond of tile to drywall in wet areas. Check with a local code official for your area requirements."


Best practice is to leave organic material out of any wet area. Unless you seal the entire cavity (shower head, mixer and so on) moisture will get in the wall.

As for moisture resistant drywall...there isn't much difference between drywall and MR drywall. Thicker paper with a wax coating. That's pretty much it.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:17 PM   #21
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Drywall doesn't belong in a wet area regardless of what any manufacturer says. It's organic and does not belong in any wet area.
Well, that is certainly an opinion, and you are entitled to yours.

One way to look at it is that behind a Kerdi membrane is not a wet area, even though the shower on the other side of it is a wet area.

However, if you want to take the approach that behind a Kerdi membrane is still considered a wet area because it's in a shower, then you can't have it both ways. Underneath your shower pan is most likely plywood, or wood of some kind. And wood is an organic material. So by that logic, wood doesn't belong in a wet area either.

Furthermore, cement board is attached to wood studs, and water will wick through the cement board and into the studs. So wood studs are another organic material in a wet area. You might argue that this is OK because the cement board is supposed to be waterproofed. But then that's what I'd say about the drywall.

Bottom line: you either trust your waterproofing, or you don't. If you do, then organic materials are fine. If you don't, then there's really nothing that will help you. Conclusion: use waterproofing that works or else organic material will get wet.

I was at a seminar at the TCNA in Clemson, and they were completely fine with drywall behind Kerdi.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:10 PM   #22
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Well, that is certainly an opinion, and you are entitled to yours.

One way to look at it is that behind a Kerdi membrane is not a wet area, even though the shower on the other side of it is a wet area.

However, if you want to take the approach that behind a Kerdi membrane is still considered a wet area because it's in a shower, then you can't have it both ways. Underneath your shower pan is most likely plywood, or wood of some kind. And wood is an organic material. So by that logic, wood doesn't belong in a wet area either.

Furthermore, cement board is attached to wood studs, and water will wick through the cement board and into the studs. So wood studs are another organic material in a wet area. You might argue that this is OK because the cement board is supposed to be waterproofed. But then that's what I'd say about the drywall.

Bottom line: you either trust your waterproofing, or you don't. If you do, then organic materials are fine. If you don't, then there's really nothing that will help you. Conclusion: use waterproofing that works or else organic material will get wet.

I was at a seminar at the TCNA in Clemson, and they were completely fine with drywall behind Kerdi.
Jeff,

We live in an imperfect world. I set it up for the best possible results.

As for TCNA, anyone can see what they say on their site and don't have to trust what someone heard someone say.

I know of many contractors who are just like you and okay with drywall in a shower. It doesn't change my stance that CBU is a better product in a wet area.

The industry is not settled on the issue, nor is the TCNA. If that is the case and the manufacturers cannot agree 100%, why go the low road of minimum standard. And there is a reason they don't all agree, because the verdict is still out. There is a tone of humidity and condensation that can and will be created in a wet area. Why risk an organic material when there are better choices that will guarantee a worry free installation?

That's like just building something to code. I prefer to build things to last a lifetime. Being accepted and best practice are not the same.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:29 PM   #23
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And there is a reason they don't all agree, because the verdict is still out.
No, the reason most of them don't agree is because most of them don't understand it. Those are the same types of people that refuse to use unmodified thinset on Ditra and Kerdi because they learned that modified was stronger, so that is that.

There is no verdict that is out on whether or not Kerdi is waterproof. It is. Therefore, anything behind it won't get wet if it's installed correctly. You have no more reason to worry about drywall behind Kerdi than you have to worry about wood under your shower pan.

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There is a tone of humidity and condensation that can and will be created in a wet area. Why risk an organic material when there are better choices that will guarantee a worry free installation?
You are still using wood in your showers, correct? Why would you do that?

And by no means does using cement board guarantee a worry free installation.

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That's like just building something to code. I prefer to build things to last a lifetime. Being accepted and best practice are not the same.
Do you use 2x4s or 2x6s in your walls? Do you use 12g copper wire on your 20 amp circuits or do you use 10g? I'm not asking rhetorically, I'm actually asking.

Last edited by jeffnc; 09-10-2014 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:08 PM   #24
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No, the reason most of them don't agree is because most of them don't understand it. Those are the same types of people that refuse to use unmodified thinset on Ditra and Kerdi because they learned that modified was stronger, so that is that.

So all of these manufacturers who spend their every day designing products don't understand them better than you. Sorry that made me laugh out loud. Seriously. How do you fit your head through a standard door?

There is no verdict that is out on whether or not Kerdi is waterproof. It is. Therefore, anything behind it won't get wet if it's installed correctly. You have no more reason to worry about drywall behind Kerdi than you have to worry about wood under your shower pan.

But you argue on another thread that using Kerdi Ban adds possible points of failure. Remember, you have to trust your waterproofing.

You are still using wood in your showers, correct? Why would you do that?

You have got to stop fixating on my wood. Perv!

And by no means does using cement board guarantee a worry free installation.

Concerning mold, mildew, deteroration...and so on goes, it sure does. But again, you love to take a single aspect of a discussion and make it about more than it is so that you can tear it down...that's called a strawman brotha.

Do you use 2x4s or 2x6s in your walls? Do you use 12g copper wire on your 20 amp circuits or do you use 10g? I'm not asking rhetorically, I'm actually asking.
No you are just asking to build another strawman argument. You are taking two different aspects of building science and trying to equate them to our discussion to make another pointless point. And I don't really have the time to show everyone that you also don't know as much as you think you do about those subjects. Let's stay on topic shall we?
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:13 AM   #25
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No you are just asking to build another strawman argument. You are taking two different aspects of building science and trying to equate them to our discussion to make another pointless point. And I don't really have the time to show everyone that you also don't know as much as you think you do about those subjects. Let's stay on topic shall we?
Yes, the topic is that Kerdi over drywall is perfectly fine. It's not that you don't have the time - you clearly do. It's that you don't have an argument. It sounds impressive to say you're exceed building codes because you're building higher quality than everyone else, but actually you usually don't exceed building codes. You use 2x4s in your walls and 12g wire in your house, just like everyone else.

Using drywall behind Kerdi is no different than using wood in your floor. Neither wood nor drywall should be getting wet in your bathroom. When you build a shower pan, you assume that no water will be passing through it and into the wood. If it does, the wood will rot.

Does this mean wood under shower pans doesn't rot? No, I have removed what seems like thousands of showers where water has penetrated to the wood subfloor. Does this mean wood should not be used in subfloors? No, it means the shower pans should be built correctly. You trust that the shower pan works, and that's the reason wood is allowed underneath. This doesn't mean the shower pan will always work. It means you're making a reasonable assumption about a construction technique that has proven reliability if installed correctly. Likewise, if you install Kerdi correctly, drywall is perfectly acceptable behind.

Saying that cement board is a "superior" product to drywall is like saying that 2x12s are superior to 2x4s for wall construction. Yes, they are stronger, but the extra strength isn't needed, and they are also heavier, more expensive, take more time to cut and install, and make your rooms smaller. This does not make it "superior", it just makes it a waste of time and money. So the fact that it's stronger is irrelevant, a red herring, and a moot point. It doesn't matter.

Exceeding building codes might be a good idea sometimes, but other times it's just an unreasonable amount of time and money. Yes, you could build your subfloor out of concrete under your shower pan so that it could never rot. Then your subfloor would last forever. But we don't do that. Instead, we attempt to build shower pans that don't leak. And we attempt to build shower walls that don't leak either.

Last edited by jeffnc; 09-11-2014 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:59 AM   #26
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Yes, the topic is that Kerdi over drywall is perfectly fine. It's not that you don't have the time - you clearly do. It's that you don't have an argument. It sounds impressive to say you're exceed building codes because you're building higher quality than everyone else, but actually you usually don't exceed building codes. You use 2x4s in your walls and 12g wire in your house, just like everyone else.

[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]Doing what everyone else does, does not mean it's not more than suffiecient. That was my point. You are trying to twist that code never allows for more than needed. Fact is 14g would work on certain 20 amp services and you would never have a problem./COLOR]

Using drywall behind Kerdi is no different than using wood in your floor. Neither wood nor drywall should be getting wet in your bathroom. When you build a shower pan, you assume that no water will be passing through it and into the wood. If it does, the wood will rot.

Let's take that...I do waterproof the subfloor and bottom plate before installing my pan. So I do offer some protection to subfloor.

Does this mean wood under shower pans doesn't rot? No, I have removed what seems like thousands of showers where water has penetrated to the wood subfloor. Does this mean wood should not be used in subfloors? No, it means the shower pans should be built correctly. You trust that the shower pan works, and that's the reason wood is allowed underneath. This doesn't mean the shower pan will always work. It means you're making a reasonable assumption about a construction technique that has proven reliability if installed correctly. Likewise, if you install Kerdi correctly, drywall is perfectly acceptable behind.

Saying that cement board is a "superior" product to drywall is like saying that 2x12s are superior to 2x4s for wall construction. Yes, they are stronger, but the extra strength isn't needed, and they are also heavier, more expensive, take more time to cut and install, and make your rooms smaller. This does not make it "superior", it just makes it a waste of time and money. So the fact that it's stronger is irrelevant, a red herring, and a moot point. It doesn't matter.

Exceeding building codes might be a good idea sometimes, but other times it's just an unreasonable amount of time and money. Yes, you could build your subfloor out of concrete under your shower pan so that it could never rot. Then your subfloor would last forever. But we don't do that. Instead, we attempt to build shower pans that don't leak. And we attempt to build shower walls that don't leak either.
Funny how you completely ignored the fact that you say one thing and then another. You said that I need to trust my waterproofing and that drywall is fine. Then you say you don't use Kerdi Ban because you are adding points of failure. Do you trust your methods or not? Makes no sense.

I am just preparing my showers for the possibility that it may not be perfect. Do I strive for perfection? Heck yea...but I am human and imperfect. And you agree, otherwise you wouldn't be worried about additional seams that could fail.

So you have made my point. I am doing nothing different. I am preparing and avoiding points of failure with CBU. Keep on comparing it to the structure, but the point remains, we should prepare for failure as best we can. If I had a better material to build structure out of, I would definitely use it.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:02 PM   #27
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Funny how you completely ignored the fact that you say one thing and then another. You said that I need to trust my waterproofing and that drywall is fine. Then you say you don't use Kerdi Ban because you are adding points of failure. Do you trust your methods or not? Makes no sense.
First of all, it's "Kerdi Band", not "Kerdi Ban". That's the second time you wrote that, so it's not just a typo. Have you ever actually used it?

Second, I did NOT say I don't use Kerdi Band. Of course I use Kerdi Band. What I said was you should prefer to decrease the number of seams you use. Yes, you can use Kerdi Band in all corners. However it's better to use 1 solid roll of Kerdi, going through the side walls. Save the Kerdi Band for wall-to-floor seams and other places that are too inconvenient to roll through. Using Kerdi Band - even if you are perfect installing it - only adds time and money. You should only spend the time and money extra if there isn't a good alternative. For the wall corners, there is a better alternative - use a straight roll of Kerdi. For some joints there is no alternative, and you have to use Kerdi Band. If you want to save money by not buying the Kerdi Band if you already have Kerdi, then just cut strips of Kerdi instead. (However the Kerdi Band is a little thinner and you get less build up.)

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I am preparing and avoiding points of failure with CBU. Keep on comparing it to the structure, but the point remains, we should prepare for failure as best we can. If I had a better material to build structure out of, I would definitely use it.
Cement board does NOT prepare for failure. That's my point. If water gets past your waterproofing and gets your cement board wet, then your studs are going to get wet as well. The water will wick right through the cement board. Then the cement board is going to have to come out to remove the mold from the studs, dry out the studs, and possibly even replace the studs due to rot. So using cement board does not really buy you anything much.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:39 PM   #28
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First of all, it's "Kerdi Band", not "Kerdi Ban". That's the second time you wrote that, so it's not just a typo. Have you ever actually used it?

Second, I did NOT say I don't use Kerdi Band. Of course I use Kerdi Band. What I said was you should prefer to decrease the number of seams you use. Yes, you can use Kerdi Band in all corners. However it's better to use 1 solid roll of Kerdi, going through the side walls. Save the Kerdi Band for wall-to-floor seams and other places that are too inconvenient to roll through. Using Kerdi Band - even if you are perfect installing it - only adds time and money. You should only spend the time and money extra if there isn't a good alternative. For the wall corners, there is a better alternative - use a straight roll of Kerdi. For some joints there is no alternative, and you have to use Kerdi Band. If you want to save money by not buying the Kerdi Band if you already have Kerdi, then just cut strips of Kerdi instead. (However the Kerdi Band is a little thinner and you get less build up.)



Cement board does NOT prepare for failure. That's my point. If water gets past your waterproofing and gets your cement board wet, then your studs are going to get wet as well. The water will wick right through the cement board. Then the cement board is going to have to come out to remove the mold from the studs, dry out the studs, and possibly even replace the studs due to rot. So using cement board does not really buy you anything much.
I spelled it incorrect on purpose. Just seeing how long it took you to nitpick it. I noticed you bagged on someone calling it Kerdi Mat...figured it would twist your nips eventually.

And yes I have installed it in several showers and love the base and curb. I do a hybrid installation getting the best of both worlds.

As for my point you have missed or twisted it once again.

Your statement was that I don't need to worry about the drywall if I trust my products and methods. You also said that adding seams adds "potential" points of failure. If you trust your products and methods then you don't have to worry about additional points of failure...you can trust your waterproofing.

And I disagree that CBU doesn't have added benefits and advantages in the case of moisture exposure. I have listed them. You want to go extremes but that doesn't actually portray the most common issues. Most moisture issues in showers are long time exposure to a small amount of moisture. Drywall is a sponge and will soak it up. It will mold within a few days unlike CBU.

If there is a significant amount of moisture, enough to rot studs (which takes years and years of exposure), you don't have a minor issue you have a major one. Here's an example concerning wood and rot. We just replaced two window sills. The sills had nearly completely rotted out and the structure was getting some moisture. It had failed years ago...guess what? The structure was fine. Wood does not react any where near as fast as drywall. That is why it is silly to compare the to. I know that's all you have but it's not apples to apples. Soak a piece of 2x4 in some water over night and then do the same with some drywall. See how it's not the same?

So to reiterate, you say that I should trust my waterproofing and not worry about what's underneath, yet your reason to not use Kerdi Ban is to reduce the number of seams, thus reducing the number of points of failure.

But now it's changed to additional time and expense. I mostly buy the shower kit and even if I didn't, like you said I would have some in stock for other areas. I have tons of the stuff in the shop. So it's really a few dollars per installation.

As far as labor. You will spend more time working the product around a corner than I will installing the sheets and seaming with KB (Kerdi Band - hopefully your anal ocd nature can tolerate initials). I have wrapped a few curbs and it was far more easy to use KB. I didn't have to work the thinset around and out the corners. Maybe I would get faster over time, but why bother? It's quicker and easier to cut each plane a little short and just overlap with KB.

What I am saying is there is really no extra time and the materials are minimal.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:32 PM   #29
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I spelled it incorrect on purpose. Just seeing how long it took you to nitpick it.
Sure ya did.

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So to reiterate, you say that I should trust my waterproofing and not worry about what's underneath, yet your reason to not use Kerdi Ban is to reduce the number of seams, thus reducing the number of points of failure.
I did not say not to use Kerdi Band. I said you should reduce the number of seams when possible. This is a basic principle of construction and applies to all seams, joints, and connectors.

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As far as labor. You will spend more time working the product around a corner than I will installing the sheets and seaming with KB
No, I won't.

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Maybe I would get faster over time, but why bother?
I understand. That mentality is very common in the trades.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:43 PM   #30
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