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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After seeing her backsplash my client would now like me to tile underneath the counter of her bar area, my concern is this is a heavily abused area since it will be nocked, kicked,and scraped constantly by feet while people are sitting at the bar. Will Thinset hold up to the abuse? especially when applied to drywall, or is there an extra step I should take for piece of mind?

The space is 42" tall and I am using 6x6 tiles

What I plan on doing is sanding the painted drywall, adding a scratch coat of thin set, then tiling onto the scratch coat?
 

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I'd be concerned with the strength of the drywall flexing. Can you add or replace it with 3/4" plywood then CBU? It's the substrate you need to be concerned with not the thinset.
 

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I'd usually just add a cement sheet over the top of the drywall to tile onto. If not it's okay over here to tile onto the drywall (we call it gib) as long as it's aqua line and the screw centres are reduced....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What about an uncoupling membrane? I understand what kurdi is intended and that it possesses limited uncoupling qualities but could it have a place in this scenario possibly?

My concern is that adding a CBU will push the tiles out too far, but I am happy to do anything necessary
 

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I've had to repair fallen off tile to a baseboard under a counter similar to what you're explaining. This was attached to OSB which didn't last, I replaced it with Hardi board and thinset, never came off again.
 

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use latex modified thinset and you'll be ok. Adding the 1/4" Hardi would give additional strength, if you want. Just make sure you wet the Hardi a bit before tiling (read their directions). Otherwise the Hardi will suck the water out of the thinset.
 

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If the drywall's solid, then prime with Zinsser 123, use modified thinset, and grout well, and it will last forever. Under a commercial bar or if the drywall's at all shaky, or if I were really concerned about the abuse, I'd add the 1/4" hardi.
 

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olzo55 said:
use latex modified thinset and you'll be ok. Adding the 1/4" Hardi would give additional strength, if you want. Just make sure you wet the Hardi a bit before tiling (read their directions). Otherwise the Hardi will suck the water out of the thinset.
I think they tell you to wipe it with a damp sponge to clean it. You want the hardi to suck in water from the mortar, otherwise it wouldn't stick.

To the OP, just to let you know, I've repaired tons of tile in restaurants that were used as baseboard attached to either drywall or plywood. I've never had to repair tile when it was stuck to backer board though.
 

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Why wouldn't you remove the drywall where you intend to tile and replace with an acceptable backboard, then tile as normal?

That sure beats coming back to fix the tiles due to failing substrate..

If the backboard is the same thickness as the drywall it will make the finished tile-to-wall transition flawless.
 

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Why wouldn't you remove the drywall where you intend to tile and replace with an acceptable backboard, then tile as normal?

That sure beats coming back to fix the tiles due to failing substrate..

If the backboard is the same thickness as the drywall it will make the finished tile-to-wall transition flawless.
This ^^. If the only concern is the thickness then rip the drywall. Add some blocking(especially at the seams) and put 1/2" Hardi there. I hate Hardi and avoid it whenever I can but it's the right material here.

The cost of the Hardi would probably be the same as putting Kerdi on it anyway.
 

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I would use cement board for that spot, like you said people are going to be kicking the hell out of it.

For a backsplash though drywall away.
 

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What does the t.c.n.a. hand book say about tiling on to drywall?. This seems like a rookie question from a GC
 

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sunkist said:
What does the t.c.n.a. hand book say about tiling on to drywall?. This seems like a rookie question from a GC
since my registration key expired on my TCNA book, I no longer have it. That's the last time I will buy the electronic version. But I don't remember ever seeing a detail where tile is attached to drywall. Even on kitchen backsplashes they detail out tile backer. I gave up arguing with people on this stuff a long time ago. If it's a baseboard and you never want to come back making repairs, then use tile backing. If you want to take the chance, then use drywall.
 

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If one replaces the board, how much more "abuse-proof" will it be? Probably not much, don't you think?

On the other hand, who kicks walls under there? Probably a non-issue in a home.
Cement board over plywood will be more kick proof because you get less flex and probably a better tile to wall bond with the thinset.

If there are any kids around you can bet that sucker will get kicked.
 

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Cement board over plywood will be more kick proof because you get less flex and probably a better tile to wall bond with the thinset.

If there are any kids around you can bet that sucker will get kicked.
This is the right approach, and by using the right thickness combinations of plywood and cement board, you can attain the desired relief for the tiles. A little more work for the demo, but you'll avoid the headaches of a dissatisfied customer. Part of what we tradesmen sell our clients is confidence that the job is being done right. If your tiles start coming off, even if you put it right, that confidence is lost.
 

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Using the logic of "well its going to be kicked" you may as well tear out all the framing and put block in there.

For this application, a good quality thin set will work fine. Sure a porcelain or hard ceramic tile would be best but even a lightweight 6x6 will do just fine. Its a home and a dry area. Over constructing something to avoid abuse is wasteful. If a foot goes through it, that would take significant force and a contractor is not responsible for abuse. No matter how durable you build it, it could be broken under abusive situations. Don't over build and charge extra to do it. You think that makes a HO happy?
 
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