Drywall & Backer Board
Gypsum wallboard and concrete backerboard are popular materials for bathroom walls. Wallboard is easy to work with and provides a smooth, paintable surface.
Concrete backerboard is a solid, durable material designed as an underlayment for ceramic tile.
This page discusses how each material is used in a bathroom remodel and also includes links to their respective "How-To" sections.
Drywalling a bathroom is just about like drywalling any other room in the house. Yet. it does take a little more time to cut for roughed-in pipes and the bathroom's high moisture levels require using different wallboard.
Water-resistant drywall, or "greenboard" as it's often called, is made out of the same gypsum core as drywall. It's preferred in shower stall ceilings and around bathtubs.
Greenboard usually costs slightly more than standard drywall and is installed the same way. The only
difference is that it has a water-resistant facing so water is less likely to penetrate, stain and decay the wall.
Keep in mind that greenboard is not waterproof. So, if you're tiling over it, deterioration can occur if the tile isn't sealed properly.
For more How-To information, see our Drywall Section
Concrete backerboard has a solid concrete core and is reinforced with fiberglass mesh. It's an ideal underlayment for wet areas like whirlpool decks, shower walls and bathtub surrounds.
Backerboard is bit harder to cut than wallboard. Use a straight-edge guide and score a line a few times using a carbide-blade cutter or a short-bladed utility knife. Snap the board along the score line and cut any remaining mesh.
If the backerboard doesn't quite meet flush with a drywall surface, fur out behind the backerboard with felt strips, or for wider gaps use wood furring strips.
For more installation information, see the underlayment tips in our Ceramic Tile Section.