Drywall To Use When Tiling Shower - June 24th 2008
Q. What type of drywall or backer board should we use when we tile a shower enclosure? We are considering using natural slate tiles and I am concerned about the moisture. What is the best way to seal and protect natural stone in areas exposed to alot of water?
A. To begin, for the backer board in a shower enclosure use a cement based backer such as Hardie Backer or cement board. Do not use a standard drywall or Gypsum Board. A great alternative that would be lighter and easier to cut than traditional cement board is "Green E-Board". These panels are a newer environmentally friendly option for tile backer boards with the durability and moisture-resistance advantages of cement board. More information on Green E Board is available through Jona Panel's website www.jonapanels.com.
Many natural stone products will stain from soaps and gels and they all will require ongoing maintenance. To seal, purchase a quality penetrating sealer from a stone supplier; however, I would avoid using slate in a shower. It's a very porous material and requires more maintenance. I suggest you look at some of the better porcelain tiles. You can find styles that simulate slate. It looks great with little maintenance and is far easier to clean.