|Question from Jon|
The contractor doing my bathroom renovation has used gold bond Purple XP (a water-resistant drywall) as a backer for the tile in my shower.
This is the Question:
Is this an accepted practice or should I be concerned?
To help answer this question we’re bringing on ATC contractor, Paul Reeves with Reeves Construction.
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Paul, you’ve heard the question, was Gold Bond Purple XP the right choice?
This is a hot question. It’s a little misleading because back in the day we called it Green Board. Now it’s called Purple Board. Homeowners think contractors can just put up their tile, but they do not realize what’s behind that tile. In fact, grout does not resist moisture. It actually absorbs it.
What’s behind your Tile is very important
I run into this all the time when we do demolition. We tear into homes all the time because we do a lot of dry rot. Just the other day we pulled the siding off the outside of a building and they had put a soap and shampoo niche in the wall, but they clued the tile to the inside of the exterior siding. We tore the siding off the outside and we are looking into a two foot opening inside their bathroom. “Hi, how are you today?”
Jon has a good question because the homeowner doesn’t always know
You see the finished tile work and it looks great to homeowners. They pay the contractor or tile setter, and away they go. The clients don’t realize what’s going to happen 3, 4, and 5 years from now.
We always up use Tile backer in our projects. That is a cement board that’s specifically made to go behind tile. It’s just a forgone conclusion. I make sure there is clearance for my tile guy to put up his cement board when I install the moisture board.
I know there are people putting tile right up on top of purple boards. I’m not a fan of that.
And here’s a saying I’ve used for years. I think you might agree with this…
Your tile is only as strong as what it’s adhered too.
…and if it’s only attached to a piece of sheet-rock, or in this case water resistant drywall, it’s only as strong as the paper that’s glued onto. That’s it.
Here’s what happened to me. We put up Purple board because we were installing a cultured marble shower, which is a solid-hard surface. Then there was a last minute change to tile. The client didn’t understand the cost and expense of having to tear back into that wall and put the cement board back up.
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That gets into another question that sometimes you and I have to deal with… when people are requesting change orders.
“Change orders cost money, and that’s why you pick out your product you want to stay with it.”Host of Ask The Contractors, Todd Bird.
Whatever goes behind that product, in this case your cement board and your water resistant drywall, you want to make sure that product is going to be the right product for your finished product. So homeowners have to understand that. There’s a reason to what goes on, and in which order. I want Jon to understand that. Just having sheet-rock behind your tile does not always mean its a good job.
“It might look good for a couple of years, but then all the sudden the contractor is gone and it’s five years down the road. The warranty is up and all of a sudden I’m redoing a bathroom.”Host, Todd Bird.
We’ve both received the calls and a picture texted to us of someone’s tile laying on the bottom of the bathtub. What happened? Gold Bond Purple XP tile board is moisture resistant. It’s not moisture-proof.
Exactly, and Jon asks if a water-resistant drywall is an acceptable practice? Should he be concerned? Yeah, I have a concern. It’s not an acceptable practice. “No” and “no”.
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