I want to retile my bathroom. After taking down the old tile around the tub, if the wall is not damaged, does the wall

Madeline M
by Madeline M
board have to be replaced?
  19 answers
  • Typically no, But you will end up with a much better job overall if you do. Reasons why would be for smoothness and ease of doing the tile work. But even more important is this is the best time to check your plumbing, upgrade your faucets, improve your insulation. If your thinking that doing this will save you some money and time, the answer here is perhaps. Most of the older tile walls were not that well done to begin with and you would be hard pressed to find a pro willing to simply use the old walls instead of a complete gut and rebuild. It is really not that hard to replace the walls over all. But the results area much better and the job becomes much easier then working new over old.
  • Madeline M Madeline M on Sep 28, 2012
    Thank you for your help!
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Sep 29, 2012
    Have you tried to remove the tile yet?...I have done lots of these over the years and if the tile comes off easily it was a crap install over drywall and the moisture has caused the paper to fail...which then means it has to go....The only time tile can be set on drywall is for backsplashes or wainscot type installs Showers should always be set on backer board...period. Greenboard NO, denseshield NO. If the tile was set well then trying to remove it results in extensive damage to the wallboard. I have found the best way to remove tile in these situations is the remove the tile WITH the wallboard. It is much faster and easier. I just started a shower remodel this week and the tile was set on green board 18 years ago. I pulled the tile and board together there were coming off in 2 to 3 foot sections.
  • Sharron W Sharron W on Sep 29, 2012
    @KMS Woodworks , I always thought greenboard WAS backerboard! Thanks so much before I got into my bathroom and wrecked it! What does it look like? Will I be able to tell cause you sure can't get any help at my HD...
  • Z Z on Sep 30, 2012
    Good advise guys. Never would have thought to take both off at one time Kevin. What a time saver! Sharron, Greenboard is just drywall with a water resistant covering, green in color, instead of the standard paper.
  • Sharron W Sharron W on Sep 30, 2012
    But Becky he said NO greenboard....to use Backerboard...I ALWAYS thought greenboard was what you were supposed to use....it's what we used in my mom's bathroom although she has a "surround" over the top of it, Long story...but the original plan was for tile so the greenboard went up...and then my dad decided he'd rather have a life with a floozy than continue to have our family...and all of us kids had to finish building their house to get her out of the winabago they had been living in while the house was going up...it was hard, financially draining, especially after myself and my sister were laid off during the economic crash as well as one of my nieces...so the money got tighter and tighter and she ended up with a tub surround.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Sep 30, 2012
    Greenboard has the same gypsum core as regular drywall...when that gets wet it turns to mush. The "green" paper skin on green board is just a touch more water resistant. http://homerenovations.about.com/od/wallsandtrim/a/artgreenboard.htm
  • Z Z on Sep 30, 2012
    I was only explaining what greenboard was Sharron. Not to use it behind tile. It's what you use in areas of your home where the painted walls might come into contact with water. Like in a bathroom around a tub area.
  • Sharron W Sharron W on Sep 30, 2012
    OH!!!! Ok y'all I'm getting it...the backer is made by Hardiboard people...Gottcha,,, Yeah that makes perfect sense...
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Oct 01, 2012
    Hardibacker is my favorite of all of the others. Wonder board is like grey cement between fiberglass mesh Durock is similar Rino board is a lot like hardi I like the hardi because it cuts well with my thin blade diamond grinder
  • Z Z on Oct 01, 2012
    Kevin my hubby will only use Hardibacker. Hates cement board.
  • Sharron W Sharron W on Oct 01, 2012
    Ok I Know I've seen durock at the HD but not sure about the others, probably if I'd actually been Shopping for those items instead of looking for something else...
  • Z Z on Oct 01, 2012
    HoDe carries the HardiBacker too Sharron. We just recently bought some there.
  • Madeline M Madeline M on Oct 01, 2012
    Thanks for the clarification, everyone!
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 06, 2022

    Seems the choice is yours!

  • No, not if it's in good condition. If it's sheetrock, I would replace it with cement board though.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 08, 2024

    Hi Madeline, no you do not have to.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 08, 2024

    As long as it is smooth, you can use it again.

  • Dee Dee on Feb 24, 2024

    Showers and tubs should always have the green board waterproof backer board. You do not want to retile on dry wall and risk water damage which will cause mold and mildew.