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Old 02-08-2015, 12:55 PM  
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Tiling over drywall-prime & paint first?


Hey all,

I'm confused (yes, easily so).

I'm remodeling the kitchen and there are a couple of areas where the backsplash tile will be installed over drywall. (I put up a strip of cement board behind the sink area where it is more likely to get wet.)

On the portion of the backsplash away from the sink, should I prime (and paint?) the new drywall that will be behind the tile?

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Old 02-08-2015, 04:12 PM  
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I'm curious about this too. I was taught never to deliberately paint drywall that got tile, but have seen tile put over painted walls. Is it really a big deal?
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:46 PM  
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I would prime it---the thinset could soften the drywall compound---

I've set tile over raw drywall with out any problem---but still,priming it sounds like a good idea--
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:59 PM  
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The rule has always been that thinset doesn't like paint. However, and in my experience and opinion, thinset over raw drywall compound can be a bigger problem.

Over the years I have installed many backsplashes over previously painted walls without issue.

I see no reason to "prime" AND "paint" but priming is what I would recommend.

I also see no reason to install cement board in the sink area. Unless things go catastrophically wrong...you will never get enough water on the tile behind the sink to create any issues. The finished tile should be sufficiently caulked to the countertop so that pooling water (behind a sink) doesn't leach under the tile and into the drywall.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:19 PM  
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Thanks Bud.

I used the cement board because I happened to have a 5' long strip of the stuff left over from a previous bathroom job, so I figured why not use it for the backsplash.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:30 PM  
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years ago i was told to use mastic for my tile back splash. the wall was painted. it worked really well, and is what i will be doing again.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:30 AM  
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I never use thinset on walls.

The type 1 mastic says to sand and score any painted areas. I normally draw lines on the wall about 3" short of where the tile will end and leave the tile area unprimed and unpainted.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:35 AM  
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I've had no problem either way.... remodels..repair...or new build.

For wall tile in non-wet areas, I'm fond of mastic also.... just more convenient to use.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:32 AM  
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I dont understand the argument of using cement board in 'damp areas' like near the sink.

If back splash was not there, then drywall would be and fully exposed to all moisture. By covering the drywall with a backsplash you are only making it more water resistant.

And in all seriousness, a properly set back splash with grout and sealer is practically water tight.

I had to remove a subway tile from my recently done back splash because I didnt measure right. Thinset was 100% cured and set directly onto none primed sheetrock.

I was able to pry it off but it took a huge chunk of sheetrock with it. It is plenty strong when adhered directly to sheetrock.
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