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Can You Tile Over Drywall In The Bathroom?

  • By: Peter Allen
  • Date: 06/23/2021
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Do you want to know if you can tile over drywall in the bathroom? If your answer is yes, you have come to the proper place. You can tile over drywall in the bathroom but it’s not recommended to do. As a professional tiles installer, I am going to share some points by which you can safely tile over drywall in any bathroom.

Tiles can’t be installed without thinking about the outcome. It’s recommended that tiles should be installed only over places where there is no moisture. Tiles can be ruined by the humid atmosphere in the future. To tile over drywall in the bathroom, it’s necessary to maintain some basic rules of installing tiles. 

Keep reading to know the ways of putting tiles over drywall in the bathroom. 

How Can You Tile Over Drywall In The Bathroom?

You can tile over drywall in the bathroom. But do it at your own risk. Because the bathroom area remains wet all the time. You should place them in such an area where water splash is less. To tile over drywall, you have to maintain some basic steps, such as: 

Condition Of Drywall:

It’s the first and most important part. Make sure that the condition of the drywall is perfect according to the need. As the bathroom is such a place where water can surely touch the tiles; consequently you need to be extra careful. Drywall should properly be cleaned and dry. Make sure before the installation of tile there aren’t any drops of water on the surface of the wall.

Condition Of Gypsum Board: 

If you are doing tile installation over old tiles, make sure to restore the gypsum board. Without a gypsum board, it’s impossible to attach tiles. Gypsum boards help to hold up tiles for a long period of time. You can put in a new gypsum board if not already.

Place The Tile: 

 After putting gypsum boards, sand the board properly. Sanding helps the surface of the gypsum to become smooth. Place tiles over the smooth gypsum board.

How Can You Place New Tiles Over Old Tiles In The Bathroom? 

Even though it’s the best option if you don’t place new tiles over old tiles. Especially, the bathroom area has many risks of water splashing. So, it’s better to place tiles that are light in weight. I am below writing the 4 best ways by which you can place new tiles over old tiles in the bathroom, such as:

Remove The Tiles: 

To place new tiles you need to remove the old tiles first. Try to remove the old tiles gently so that you can protect the gypsum board. Though, gypsum boards, in most cases, get destroyed while removing.

Restore Gypsum Board: 

If you don’t want to install a new gypsum board, try to restore it. While you remove tiles, a brown paper might be hanging; indeed, try to scrape it off the wall as much as possible. Otherwise, tiles won’t be attached on the wall, and they can fall off easily.

Skim The Drywall: 

The area of drywall damages while removing the tiles including joints. So try to skim coat the whole area. Then put it up for drying. After that, gently sand the skin. Sanding will make the surface smooth for placing tiles.

Installation Of Tiles: 

Lastly, you need to seal off the gypsum board with a sealer. The more high-quality sealer you use the better it will be for tiles installation. Finally,  you can install tiles one by one. 

7 Tips Before Placing Tiles Over Drywall:

You can’t just simply place the tiles on the drywall. Before placing the tiles, follow these 7 tips below. These tips will help you to place tiles properly. Such as:

  • Find the center of the wall by dividing the whole width of the drywall by 2.
  • Ensure the bubble center is attached by the etched lining. 
  • Measure the height of the wall and point a horizontal and vertical line for placing the first tiles.
  • Using a tile trowel, apply a light layer of mastic. 
  • Move the trowel from the horizontal to the vertical line to spread the mastic on all sides.
  • Then before placing the first tile make sure you hold up one tile to check the area of spread mastic. 
  • Keep ¼ inch space between each tile.
  • Stick the tape to hold up tiles and allow it to set for a minimum of 12 hours. 

Why It’s Not Recommended That You Shouldn’t Tile Over Bathroom?

A bathroom is a place where everything gets more contact with water. No matter how much you try they will remain wet after you use the bathroom for a shower. The tiles can’t stay for a long time over the bathroom area due to moisture. These tiles can remain a maximum of up to 15 years. This method of tiling over drywall was popular up to the 70s.

The water around the bathroom can degrade tiles so much that the tiles can fall on their own. You can tile over the walls of the bathroom at a distance from the water. But it’s highly recommended that you shouldn’t place tiles on the spot of the tub or shower. Try to use thin weight and big size tiles over the bathroom area. That’s why it’s not recommended that you should tile over the bathroom.

5 Steps To Prepare Bathroom Dry Wall For Placing Tiles:

  • Remove everything that is on the wall including the old fittings like screws.
  • Remove or restore drywall plaster.
  • Remove all kinds of papers from the drywall.
  • Smooth up the surface by removing any cracks or damage.
  • Sand up the surface to make it smooth and dirt-free. 

Comparison Between Tiles Over Drywall In The Bathroom Area and Other Areas:

I am comparing below two main points between tiles over drywall in the bathroom and other areas.:

Bathroom Area  Other Area
Tiles can remain up to 15 years.  Tiles can remain for more than 30 years without any single issue.
You have to make sure any kind of moisturizer goes near the tiles. You don’t have to worry if you install tiles because dry places don’t have any issues.

Can You Put Tile Directly On The Drywall In Bathroom?

You can’t put tile directly on the drywall in the bathroom. The bathroom remains wet, so you need to make the drywall water-resistant at first. Otherwise, tiles will fall apart on their own. But, you can put tile directly on the drywall in low moisture areas. They will hold up the tiles for a long period. 

How Do You Put Over Drywall Before Placing Tiles In A Bathroom?

You can put over drywall before placing tiles in a bathroom by covering or coating the drywall with glue. The drywall needs protection from the high moisturized situation. As drywall isn’t waterproof, you need to put extra effort into protecting the drywall before the tiles are placed.

Do You Need To Prime Drywall Before Tiling In Bathroom?

You need to prime drywall before tiling in the bathroom. After sealing the drywall properly, you need sand lightly to have a smooth surface. Then, before placing the tiles in the bathroom paint and prime the whole wall. Primes can help you repair the joint compound that becomes damaged after taking out the old tiles.

Final Verdict: 

I hope now you know that you can tile over drywall in the bathroom. But before installing tiles try to follow these tips and steps pointed above. These will help you install tiles by yourself. But try not to install tiles over the drywall in the bathroom area. 

Read our other articles to know more about tiles installation.

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