Asked on May 08, 2019

Can I put 1/4" backer board over drywall?

Jeanne Kagle
by Jeanne Kagle

I am tiling my bathroom walls, and I am trying to decide how to prep the walls for tile in the area not around the shower. It is currently wallpapered drywall. Can I put 1/4" backer board over the drywall? Or should I just tear it all out and put up 1/2" backer board? I've seen that some people tile right over dry wall, but I don't want to deal with removing the wallpaper.

  7 answers
  • Janice Janice on May 08, 2019

    Hi Jeanne, for long term and to do the job professionally you should remove the dry wall land put up the concrete backer board to give your tile the base it needs, especially in a bathroom where you will have moisture. Do it correctly the first time and save yourself lots of hassle later.

  • Debi53 Debi53 on May 08, 2019

    I agree with Janice.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on May 08, 2019

    Definately do it right

  • William William on May 08, 2019

    Yes you can. As long as the drywall is in good shape would be no problem. Just make sure you locate the studs and screw it into them. Don't do this around tub or shower. The added thickness would be a problem with plumbing, faucet, and shower hookups.

  • Betsy Betsy on May 09, 2019

    Hi Jeanne: I agree with all of this, but especially with William, in part. I was thinking the same thing as he did, keep in mind that the wall will now come out 1/4 inch further than it is now, which will make the area around your faucets, windows, doors, etc., different. And, be sure to get the green wall board, made especially for wet areas. Regular wallboard won't hold up as well in the long run. Personally, I'd remove the old drywall and put up new. Yeah, it's a hassle, but I think it would be the best and easiest.

    Good luck with whatever you do.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on May 14, 2019

    I would remove it, especially in a wet area.

  • Jeanne Kagle Jeanne Kagle on May 27, 2019

    Thank you for your response everyone. I took your advice and tore out the drywall. I think it was the right choice. The project is taking a little longer than I thought it would, but we're getting there!