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What is the best solution for a damp bathroom wall that we would like to tile?

The wall next to our bath has had the water leaking in through the grout from our shower which has lead to the wall being soaked under the tiles. We have removed the tiles and are drying the wall out at the moment. It's important to note that we are unable to cut out the damp sections of the wall and replace them as the wall seems to be made out of some kind of chipboard, which is about 6 inches thick with no hollow section inside. We have put a small hole into the wall with a screwdriver to look for the hollow section inside but the screwdriver just cam out the other side (our bedroom).
We are currently using a dehumidifier and heater alternatively to dry out the wall, which seems to be working well, but now we need to know exactly what steps to take from here. We have been advised to PVA the wall once dry, followed by applying Marine plywood and then tiling, but we would like to know if we can use normal plasterboard instead, what sealing measures we need to take to the wall before we put plasterboard up, and what sealing measures we need to take to the plasterboard before tiling.

Thanks all

6 Answers from MyBuilder Tilers

Best Answer

Hi when i tile shower walls i always use a good tanking solution to prime the walls and seal the tray to the wall, the tanking should come with a 10 year warranty for peace of mind. using Hardibacker board and Marmox are fine but i would still use a tanking system just so you can seal the tray to the wall and seal adjoining walls. also after the tiles have been installed using a cement based adhesive (Must use cement base over tanking) make sure the wall joints are sealed with silicone, not grout.

Hope the advice helps
John Renshaw
Aqufit Ceramics


Answered 4th Jan 2012

Marine ply will work for this but will not be cost effective. In this case, the best material to use would be hardiebacker board (you can find this at any builders merchants). This board is specially designed for tiling purposes and is very non-pourous. Hardiebacker is a cement compound board and is sold in 900x1200 sheets.
You should still pva the wall, this is never a bad idea! Good luck!


Answered 29th Dec 2011

Use Gyproc MR moisture resistant (green paper faced) plasterboard,don't skim it just seal it with some waterproof tanking (quite expensive though but not essential if you use a good quality adhesive & grout) then tile straight onto board.

DO NOT P.V.A the plasterboard!

No need to P.V.A/seal existing wall before fixing new plasterboard.......absolutely pointless.



Answered 29th Dec 2011

I would go for Aqua Board, this is designed for bathrooms and wet areas.


Answered 29th Dec 2011

There are a number of different ways you can do this , each one has its pros and cons.
One word of advice from me would be dont try to cut corners by doing a ''cheap fix''.
I wouldnt use marine ply, there are better products on the market now, products made for this very purpose, aqua-panel, Hardibacker or marmox boards are a wise choice.
There isnt a problem using plasterboard but you would need to use the moisture resistant type, then tank the area anyway so its false economy.
Without seeing the job its difficult to say exactly what is going to be the best option for you , so get a couple of trades in, ask for their opinion and make an informed decision.
This is a common problem but easily solved with the right know-how and equipment,
Good luck


Answered 29th Dec 2011

Hi first thing is if it is chipboard it will need to be removed and replaced i would use a cement fibre board such as aqua panel,if you use marine ply or even plasterboard over time it will rot down if using plasterboard because its cheaper and easy to fix then i would suggest using a tanking system such as Bal or Ardex if leaving the chipboard seal with SBR not PVA,hope this helps.


Answered 29th Dec 2011

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