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Greenboard or Cement Board For A Shower?


shower boardIf you are going to tile a shower or bathtub surround, the age-old question becomes whether you should use green board or cement board as backing. You will get different answers depending upon who you ask.

Greenboard is a water resistant drywall. It has a waxy surface that repels water better than regular drywall. I’m told by people in the know that it also has a water resistant gypsum core. It is lighter than cement board and therefore easier to move around; it is also easier to cut than cement board.

If it were my shower, I would install cement board. Yes it is heavy and slightly more difficult to cut (although you can score and snap it), but it is tough. I have seen green board turn to mush.

Whichever you choose, the installation is very important. Make sure you leave a gap between the shower pan or bathtub lip. After the tile is installed on the backing, the gap is caulked. This gap will make it so that if water gets by the caulking, it won’t wick up the backing and cause damage.

Cement board is also known as “durock” and has specific screws to use to fasten it to wall studs. There are markings on the cement board for spacing of these screws.


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