Bathroom Drywall Installation: What to Choose

Bathroom drywall installation often turns to be a very challenging task. The moisture that dominates in a bathroom creates problems for installing standard drywall, but the alternatives have their own drawbacks. Making the best choice requires a wise balance between differences in durability, cost and ease of proper drywall installation.

Gypsum Board

Standard drywall sheets are the most common material used on walls in home construction. They are made from a core of gypsum sandwiched between layers of paper. However, it is not appropriate choice for bathroom drywall installation. As being exposed to moisture, gypsum board swells, deteriorates and molds. It often happens when it is installed as a base for tile in a bathtub or shower surround. The conclusion is the only one: unprotected gypsum board is not stable enough or durable to stand up to the bathroom environment for a long term.

Cement Board

Cement board is a popular alternative to gypsum board for a bathroom drywall installation. This strong, durable and moisture resistant material is made from reinforcing fibers held together by a cement binder. It perfectly resists the growth of mold and mildew. In addition, getting wet it will not swell or break down unlike gypsum board. The only important disadvantage for proper drywall installation is its weight, which is approximately twice as much as gypsum board per square foot. The conclusion is the only one: the heavy sheets of cement board are difficult to install.

Composite Board

This kind is a compromise between the ease of installation of gypsum board and excellent water resistance of cement board. It is a combination of a core of reinforced gypsum with layers of fiberglass mat aimed to keep moisture from getting to the underprotected heart of the board. Additional protection against the infiltration of water is provided with a layer of acrylic polymer on the interior side surface of the board. These boards are used as tile underlayment in wet areas, but they can also be used alone as wallboard for bathroom drywall installation.

Tile Membrane

This premium product allows installing ceramic tiles over standard gypsum drywall in wet areas. The main qualities of membranes is water and vapor resistance that keeps dry the gypsum board beneath. They are sandwiched directly between the drywall and the tile. The seams between the sheets are sealed with joint tape and mortar. It is very reliable though not very budget-friendly solution.

 

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