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Drywall, meet bathtub. Bathtub, meet drywall.

4339 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  snic
Someone used grout instead of caulk where the tiles meet the bathtub. Over the years that cracked and water leaked into the wall, damaging the drywall next to the tub. Then I bought the house. I cut that spot out as well as a spot above the tub that had bullnose tiles on it (see photos).

So, when I install the drywall patch where the big hole is, what do I do about where it meets the cast iron tub? The drywall will be flush with the edge of the tub. Should the new drywall piece be as close to the tub as I can get it, and then I fill the gap with joint compound? And then prime and paint up to the edge of the tub.

This is, of course, the outside of the tub, but it's still going to get a little wet when someone gets out of the shower. There's old caulk along the edge of the tub - something tells me I shouldn't be caulking here, but I also don't want my wall to dissolve. What do I do here?

Finally, I'm guessing the right order is to finish and paint the wall, then re-install the bullnose tiles. (Or not?) What do I put to fill the gap between the tile and the wall it's perpendicular to? Just plain grout?

Edited to add: a lot of how-to videos mention a bathtub flange and explain how to join the drywall to that. But this tub doesn't have a flange. See photo below.

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I'm no a pro, but I would repair most of that with a new corner bead, and 'concrete fill'. It will take minor ongoing moisture better than drywall. Skim it with just enough drywall mud to smooth and paint.
I'd repair it with drywall/corner bead. If the door is kept well caulked and the drywall painted with latex enamel it should hold up ok. The bigger issue is the drywall behind the tile - it will fail sooner or later.

If you want you can use a setting compound instead of regular pre mixed joint compound. Unlike j/c setting compounds are not water soluble.
Thanks for these suggestions. I think I will use this corner bead ("L bead"):

I had no idea that something like this existed! Then I'll use silicone caulk between the tub and the PVC bead.

Regarding the drywall under the tile - it actually looks like it's in pretty good condition above where the leak was. So I figure that if I can prevent leaks, the new drywall I install there will hold up well.
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