Each month in CONTRACTORS CORNER Colin fields questions from readers about their renovation or home building project. Have a question? Let him have a swing at it. NOTE: PLEASE TRY TO GET YOUR QUESTIONS TO COLIN BEFORE THE 15TH OF THE MONTH SO THAT HE CAN MEET HIS DEADLINE. THANK YOU!
QUESTION: Dear Colin: We are contemplating a renovation to our bathroom which includes a new tub and surround. We have yet to decide on the finish for the surround, but have this question: Is it a good idea to use the green waterproof drywall behind the tub walls? Signed: C&J
ANSWER: Dear C&J: I guess my question to you is this: Are you planning on using a waterproof surface for the finished walls around your tub? SOOOOO! Now your thinking: that’s a stupid question. Let me humor you for just a few seconds. If the wall surface were covered with something waterproof, then why would it need something waterproof behind it? If no water can leak past the surface……then all is well. It has been my experience that when tearing out an existing bathroom to start from scratch…….green drywall is just as good as regular drywall. If the walls leaked through…..it was mush. If the walls didn’t leak……regular drywall or green would be fine. If you are intending to tile the walls……you should know this: Ceramic tile does not leak……the grout that goes between them does however. When the water leaks through the grout…..and gets the drywall behind it wet….it’s not going to mater what colour it is. It will become weak and mushy. It takes a bit before you become aware of the underlying problem. The first sign you will see of it, is the mildew stains coming out of the grout lines. Within a few short years……depending on the amount of use……the wall weakens. If you slip in the tub and bump the wall, you might get a quick look at the scope of the problem. If tile is a must for you, then you should consider backing it with cement board. It will withstand a lot more water leakage before the tiles let go. The tile will still leak…..early in their life……the grout will still turn ugly…..but the wall will not fall into the tub nearly as fast. So that’s enough beating around the bush. My best suggestion is to use cultured marble panels on the walls around you tub. They are custom made to fit, with one piece on each wall. They are sealed up the corners and around the tub with silicone. No water gets through. If you think about it……that’s how they build aquariums. As for the backing……standard drywall is sufficient. Good luck, Colin
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS… Please ask me that home renovation question for which you’ve always wanted to know the answer but were afraid to ask. Chances are someone else would like to read about it too. PLEASE DIRECT QUESTIONS TO: Colin Lewis RR # 2 Ennismore, Ont. KOL 1TO or call him at (705)292-9812 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org Colin is a local renovation contractor and would be happy to answer any of your questions in or out of this magazine.