Drywall To Use When Tiling Shower

June 24th 2008
Drywall To Use When Tiling Shower

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.

Shell Busey