We started a Master Bathroom Project in Pickerington,OH today. This Home was built less than 20 years ago. One of the reasons our client decided to have us do this project is because the tiles in the shower were “pushed inward” on the wall. There were suspected water issues behind the tile. When we tore open the shower wall we found completely soaked “greenboard” drywall. There was a bad mildew odor. I couldn’t see any mold, but the practice of putting tile over drywall in showers could potentially lead to a very serious mold issue. I have seen this a few times, in which the insulation in the wall behind the wallboard keeps sucking up the extra moisture, does not have time to dry out, and turns completely black. Yet, many new homebuilders and contractors continue with this practice because it is cheaper to do.
When I refer to drywall behind shower wall tile, I am speaking of GreenBoard. It is supposed to be “water resistant”. This is true to a degree, but certainly not to the degree that it should ever be used behind tile in showers. Amazingly, I would say that approximately 90% of every shower we have torn out of houses (built in the last 25 years) has been the standard 4″ ceramic tile on Drywall combination.
We have redesigned this bathroom and soon it will look similar to this 3-d Conceptual View….