Can you attach subway tile to a sheetrock wall using an adhesive?

Can you attach subway tile to a sheetrock wall using an adhesive? This will be a backsplash, and I wonder if it possible to do the application without using backer board etc.

  2 answers
  • Seth Seth on Aug 28, 2019

    You can use a tile mastic adhesive specially designed for that purpose applied directly to the drywall. It can used straight out of the container. Make sure you have sanded off any sheen to the paint and filled any low spots. We just finished a ceramic tile backslash using MAPEI Type 1 Mastic bought at Lowe's. One major drawback to mastics is they are not waterproof and will fail in a very wet environment. You should be okay using it for a backslash, but not for a shower wall or flooring.

    • 1cs1267 1cs1267 on Aug 28, 2019

      Thanks, Seth … this is plain ol' sheetrock … it was wallpapered 30 plus years ago, and I have removed the wallpaper. Do you think I should pretreat the sheetrock with a coat of flat latex paint or just put the tile over the sheetrock as is?

  • Seth Seth on Aug 30, 2019

    If the sheetrock was unpainted before being wallpapered, then use a sealer/primer like Kilz. Make sure the seams between pieces of sheetrock (if any) were taped and compounded and all nail/screw indentations are filled and sanded smooth. You want to make sure the surface is a smooth as possible. You may need two coats of primer depending on the condition of the sheetrock. Let the primer fully cure and then tile away.