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The Home Smithy
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
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I am remodeling my bathroom and just finished tiling the floor

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I am remodeling my bathroom and just finished tiling the floor with 16" tiles. Now I have decided to tile the wall that the free standing bath tub will be close to. I am going to use the same tile on the wall as I did the floor. My question is: do I need to remove the drywall from the wall and use a cement board or, since there is not going to be a shower and therefore water is not likely to wet the wall, can the drywall stay? If the drywall stays is there a special mortar I should use on the wall?

Hi. Welcome to Just Answer.

The drywall can stay. You will need to apply some backer board though. They have backer board that is only about 1/4" thick so you wont be taking up very much room at all.

The reason you need backar board is because the tile has to be attached to something that is going to expand and contract at the same rate. The backer board is pretty much just concrete sandwiched between figerglass matts so it has the same expansion properties that the thin set and tile have.

If you were to apply the tile directly to the drywall you would have most of it on the floor, grout cracked, or separated from the drywall, before winter sets in.

Something that I always suggest is the use of "acrylic add mix". It makes the thin set very strong and it wont powder up if laid a bit thick. Believe me it takes a big hammer to get it off!

No sprecial morter is needed. Just plain ole thin set and some acrylic add mix. Use the add mix for 1/2 of the water you use to mix the thin set with. 50/50 water/add mix.

Personal opinion...Large tiles on the floor are great. On the walls it just doesn't look right, and matching the lines coming off the floor is a serious pain in the back side. Use 6" or 8" tiles instead.

Please let me know if you have any other immediate concerns.
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Best, Smitty
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