Installing tile board around a bathtub is the first step in tiling a bathroom wall. A flat, uniform surface is essential to a professional-looking tile project. Since the area near the tub is prone to soaking, use cement board, which has a cement core covered by a fiberglass facing. Water will not damage cement board even if the tile joints eventually leak.
Things You'll Need
- Cement board
- Utility knife
- 1-1/2-inch galvanized deck screws
- Fiberglass-mesh wallboard tape
- Thinset mortar
- Wallboard knife
Inspect the wall studs and replace any wood that shows signs of water damage.
Measure the area around the tub where you will be installing tile. Figure a 1/8-inch gap between each tile board panel and a 1/4-inch gap around the edges of the installation. Mark placement lines on the wall studs.
Cut the tile board to fit the area around the rub. Score the fiberglass layer on one side with a utility knife and snap the panel along the scored line. Cut through the other side’s fiberglass layer to complete the break.
Attach the tile board panels to the wall studs at the marked placement lines with 1-1/2-inch galvanized deck screws every 6 inches. If an attachment point falls near the edge of a panel, drill pilot holes along that edge to prevent crumbling.
Cover the seams between the tile board panels with fiberglass-mesh wallboard tape.
Mix a small batch of thinset mortar. Fill the gaps under the tape with the mortar, leaving a thin layer on top of the tape. Allow the mortar to cure for two days before you begin installing tile.
Tips & Warnings
- Building codes in some areas require you to install a waterproof membrane between the framing and the tile board. Check your local code requirements.
- Using power tools to cut tileboard may result in silica exposure via excessive airborne dust. Even in large projects, scoring the panels with a sharp utility knife is the best method for cutting tile board.
- "Black & Decker: The Complete Photo Guide to Home Improvement"; Bryan Trandem; 2001
- Tile Magazine: What Is the Best Backer Board?
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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