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    Tileing on plaster board in bathroom/shower area

    Hi guys, I'm having a new bathroom upstairs and replacing the bath with a shower and shower tray. The builder is going to take off the existing plaster and put in new plaster board, he will then tile upon this. A friend has advised that this is not ideal as if water gets behind the tile they are all prone to fall off. The builder is not willing to do the work any other way. What would you recommend?

    41 Comments

    get another quote from another builder. get a few quotes and ask them the same. not sure about the specifics of what would happen if water got in but its prudent to get views from several different workers before you go ahead.

    I just had a quick look online and it looks OK if you tile straight on to plasterboard. As long as it's done right. If water gets behind any tiles I'm sure they will come on what ever wall there put on

    Lots of new builds are tiled straight on top of plasterboard, and if done to a high standard will be absolutely fine. You could ask the builder to use AquaBoard instead of plasterboard, labour should be the same, but the boards will cost more.

    Some people do get away with it if the tiling and grouting is perfect but your friend is correct, if water gets behind not only will the tiles fall off but if plasterboard gets wet and stays wet for any length of time, it will go soft and disintegrate and you''ll end up with a hole ( I had it happen). My builder replaced it with cement board and then re-tiled, which is quite a bit more expensive than plasterboard but doesn't go soft when wet - sorry but I don't know the correct trade name for it.

    Original Poster

    Thanks guys, a few mixed replies here, but keep them coming, the bathroom is the only one in the house and with a family, the shower will have a lot of use, ive seen the builders work and hes good and reasonably priced, but im not sure of the tileing straight on plasterboard, which he is adamant on doing.

    I have tiled bathrooms for years, you can get moisture resistance board (cheaper), or aqua-board for behind the shower, both will work, if you have really heavy tiles, use aqua-board, screwed to the battens.. I have tiled onto plasterboard in the past. never had a problem, but it must be tiled and sealed around the shower really well.

    There is specialised adhesive for tiling onto plasterboard

    Delbert Grady

    Some people do get away with it if the tiling and grouting is perfect but … Some people do get away with it if the tiling and grouting is perfect but your friend is correct, if water gets behind not only will the tiles fall off but if plasterboard gets wet and stays wet for any length of time, it will go soft and disintegrate and you''ll end up with a hole ( I had it happen). My builder replaced it with cement board and then re-tiled, which is quite a bit more expensive than plasterboard but doesn't go soft when wet - sorry but I don't know the correct trade name for it.

    Its called aqua panel and is the best option for the shower area

    Original Poster

    Kebo, so can he use Aqua panel in the shower area and normal plaster boards in the rest of the bathroom? Would Aqua boards require the same amount of work for him? Thanks

    Banned

    It's okay. A tight coat of bonding on the boards is better.

    Banned

    Lilly_White

    Kebo, so can he use Aqua panel in the shower area and normal plaster … Kebo, so can he use Aqua panel in the shower area and normal plaster boards in the rest of the bathroom? Would Aqua boards require the same amount of work for him? Thanks



    they cost three times as much and are a pain to cut and screw. strong product though.

    We used a special plasterboard just for bathrooms and to be doubly safe paid extra for a plasteror to skim before applying the tiles.

    Banned

    You could get him to waterproof pva ( cementone product) the plasterboard first to seal it.

    Original Poster

    I have suggested different boards to the tiler, he's saying it depends on how good the tiles are put on, he's not happy with using Aqua boards, he says it's all about fitting the tiles correct

    Firstly I'm a professional tiler. Nothing wrong with tiling on plasterboard, however I always use a tanking paint in the area where water spray is likely. You can get it as part of a kit or on its own for about £30. Basically it is like a rubber paint that you can either apply with a brush or a plasterers metal float trowel. Hope that helps.

    plaster board are prone to disintegrate if there are leaks, not just from the tiles but the seals or pipes.

    the best long term solution is to plaster the walls before tiling. this is costly as you will need to employ a plasterer, a tiler may not be able to do plastering. then employ the tiler as the plasterer may be no good at tiling. they are two different trades.
    Edited by: "mutley1" 20th May 2015

    Banned

    hubcms

    Firstly I'm a professional tiler. Nothing wrong with tiling on … Firstly I'm a professional tiler. Nothing wrong with tiling on plasterboard, however I always use a tanking paint in the area where water spray is likely. You can get it as part of a kit or on its own for about £30. Basically it is like a rubber paint that you can either apply with a brush or a plasterers metal float trowel. Hope that helps.



    As a apprentice trained plasterer we always taped and bonding coat plasterboard for tilers.

    It's then up to the tiler to apply 5 to 1 pva prior to tiling.

    Tiling plasterboard is bad news when it comes to removing tiles. It almost always damages the boards underneath.

    Personally I'd use Hardiebacker.

    You should not PVA plasterboard before tiling. As soon as it gets wet the PVA will dissolve and the tiles could fall off the wall.

    Tile adhesive and grout do not stop water getting through to the wall behind, they just resist it for a while. Waterproof adhesive just means it stays solid when it gets wet. Look at the wall when the old tiles come off to see. Your best options are either to use a tile backing cement board or to use plasterboard and cover with a tanking membrane. You can get a kit from Screwfix for about £50.

    I am in the middle of doing mine and after a lot of research have chosen the latter option. Its easy to apply and has sealing tape for joints. If your builder cannot do this then get another builder or get him/her to finish after the wall is up.

    Don't scrimp on what could be a costly redecoration. You only need to use the water resistant plasterboard around the areas that are going to get soaked from the shower - tank it, then tile it. The rest of the room is fine for tiling onto normal plasterboard.

    The aquaboard stuff might be 3 times the price and a pain to work with, but it's only about £12 a sheet and you shouldn't need many... And if they can't work with it, you need another builder. It's a d.i.y job
    Edited by: "kjcoolcat" 20th May 2015

    Just tank the area. Any other way is a bodge that will not be waterproof.

    Our shower room is tiled straight onto plasterboard on one wall - I did it myself, I just used waterproof tile adhesive for use in showers. Nothing else special, I did it 8 years ago and they're still stuck in the same place!

    Banned

    paul123edwards

    You should not PVA plasterboard before tiling. As soon as it gets wet the … You should not PVA plasterboard before tiling. As soon as it gets wet the PVA will dissolve and the tiles could fall off the wall.Tile adhesive and grout do not stop water getting through to the wall behind, they just resist it for a while. Waterproof adhesive just means it stays solid when it gets wet. Look at the wall when the old tiles come off to see. Your best options are either to use a tile backing cement board or to use plasterboard and cover with a tanking membrane. You can get a kit from Screwfix for about £50.I am in the middle of doing mine and after a lot of research have chosen the latter option. Its easy to apply and has sealing tape for joints. If your builder cannot do this then get another builder or get him/her to finish after the wall is up.



    waterproof pva won't dissolve.

    Banned

    Paul is talking nonsense. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. .

    Why would you ever use PVA, use the primer the adhesive (powdered, not tubbed) manufacturer recommends.

    Waterproof adhesive/grout means it doesn't break down in water, not that it is impenetrable to water.

    Banned

    themorgatron

    Why would you ever use PVA, use the primer the adhesive (powdered, not … Why would you ever use PVA, use the primer the adhesive (powdered, not tubbed) manufacturer recommends.Waterproof adhesive/grout means it doesn't break down in water, not that it is impenetrable to water.



    waterproof pva is suitable for external work even in constant damp conditions. Our building firm have been using it for years on countless projects with zero issues. its more than strong enough to survive a shower.

    And to Paul, non waterproof tile adhesive does not go soft when wet...

    The difference is the waterproof tile adhesive has an additive that stops water penetration.

    I can only presume some comments on here are diy folk. I have 16 years in the trade...

    Original Poster

    Thanks guys, I've suggested the Aqua boards and also the waterproof tile adhesive to the builder. He got quite defensive and said he's got 20 years experience he always tiles straight onto plaster board with normal adhesive, he says he has never had a problem, and it's all about putting the tiles on correctly, he basically said he'll do it his way and his way only, it will not do the job!

    Just to help clear up a few issues. PVA over wall primer. According to the BAL representive (BAL make tiling products). PVA will create a film where as a primer should absorb into the surface. Being cynical this may just be a good way to sell another product and void their adhesive guarantee if you do not use their primer. You really only need to use powder adhesive on floor tiles or large wall tiles. Plane plasterboard is about the best surface to Tile as it should be smooth, flat, and level. The only real advantage of a skim coat of finishing plaster is to reduce the damage to the wall when you want to remove the tiles next time round.

    Original Poster

    Above should read 'he will not do the job'

    Lilly_White

    Above should read 'he will not do the job'



    builders tend to be like this as they don't like to requote and they like to stick to what they know.

    try getting other quotes where you state you want a certain board.

    Original Poster

    I have got other quotes, my builder is far the cheapest, I have also seen his work and it looks neat and tidy. He's just very stubborn and will only do things his way

    Banned

    Lilly_White

    I have got other quotes, my builder is far the cheapest, I have also seen … I have got other quotes, my builder is far the cheapest, I have also seen his work and it looks neat and tidy. He's just very stubborn and will only do things his way



    I don't like his attitude. If somebody prefers a certain method I will follow their instructions but not guarantee the work.

    sounds like he's penny pinching. not using waterproof tile adhisve in a bathroom is just inexcusable.

    Original Poster

    A friend has suggested go for cladding instead of tiles, not sure about that look, although it doesn't look too bad in some of the showrooms

    Original Poster

    Lukey, I would be paying for all the materials including the grout etc. He has quoted just for his labour. I can't understand why he is so adamant in doing everything 100% his way.

    Lilly_White

    Lukey, I would be paying for all the materials including the grout etc. … Lukey, I would be paying for all the materials including the grout etc. He has quoted just for his labour. I can't understand why he is so adamant in doing everything 100% his way.



    because he doesn't like to think you know more than he does. if he uses another board then he would be admitting that he didn't know what was best.

    cheapest is not always best. his work may be neat but it may not last long!

    Banned

    Lilly_White

    Lukey, I would be paying for all the materials including the grout etc. … Lukey, I would be paying for all the materials including the grout etc. He has quoted just for his labour. I can't understand why he is so adamant in doing everything 100% his way.



    I can't understand either. Some folk in the trade are dinosaurs.

    At the end of the day what the customer wants is paramount. its your money and your house after all.

    i personally would just tile on the plasterboard as its alot flatter and tile adhere better to platerboard then plaster i have noticed. Yes the plasterboard may need replacing if u re tile in the future but its not expensive and you just put up plasterboard again. Its really down to how well its tiled that would that would prevent the board from getting wet. You can try other boards and different methods but i have found tiling on plasterboard direct to be the best and will continue to use it. I do have customers that ask the same question as yourself, but i still do it the way i think best unless they want to pay for a plasterer which i believe is a waste of time. And after years of bathrooms done i have been back after 10-15 years and redone the same bathrooms again just with a modern finish and there was no failure in the plasterboard due to moisture. But like i said its down to how well its fitted and tiled that makes the difference.

    You also need to consider this as a tradesman I'm open to opinions discussion and suggestions but ultimately I'm the one who has to stand by my work. So with that in mind if you insist on things been done your way should it fail, product turn out to be faulty etc don't complain when you have to pay to put it right. Also ment to add if the plasterboard is dust free then no PVA or primer is required. Finally if it gives you any peace of mind also hold several City and Guilds in the said subject.

    The difference is the waterproof tile adhesive has an additive that stops … The difference is the waterproof tile adhesive has an additive that stops water penetration. I can only presume some comments on here are diy folk. I have 16 years in the trade...



    The two major adhesive manufacturers, BAL and Mapei, do not produce a waterproof adhesive or grout (excluding epoxy) because it doesn't exist.

    I always insist on supplying adhesive and grout, simply because the customer doesn't have a clue what one is suitable for the job, they just get to choose the grout colour.

    Banned

    themorgatron

    The two major adhesive manufacturers, BAL and Mapei, do not produce a … The two major adhesive manufacturers, BAL and Mapei, do not produce a waterproof adhesive or grout (excluding epoxy) because it doesn't exist.I always insist on supplying adhesive and grout, simply because the customer doesn't have a clue what one is suitable for the job, they just get to choose the grout colour.



    since when have those 2 been the 2 only major manufacturers? what about uni bond?

    lukeybuilder

    since when have those 2 been the 2 only major manufacturers? what about … since when have those 2 been the 2 only major manufacturers? what about uni bond?



    Unibond is not in the same league as Mapei or BAL. They also don't advertise waterproof grout, just that it 'repels' water. I see they advertise waterproof adhesive, I really don't understand why as once the water has reached the adhesive your knackered (unless you've been sensible and tanked the area).
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