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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went to look at tiling a couple kitchen walls at a restaurant in the area today. The general contractor or one of his crews had done the walls in greenboard up to about four feet, then had done about a four foot stripe of 1/2" pine ply, then finished to the ceiling with board again. The purpose is to allow the owner to mount shelving anywhere along that ply level without having to search for studs.

I've put tile on plenty of greenboard back splashes before, but I'm skeptical about going right over the seam and continuing onto the plywood up the wall, even if the seams were pretty darn flush.

Is my skepticism warranted? I've never been faced with having to tile vertically over ply. The ply was glued and screwed on 12" centers
 

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Some skepticism is warranted, sure - I'd probably worry, depending on conditions, about movement around that joint, or swelling if moisture gets into the wall. Can you put on a 1/4" cement board backer as a crack/movement isolation layer?

What are conditions going to be like inside that kitchen? A commercial kitchen wall gets some abuse that wouldn't be seen by a residential kitchen backsplash.
 

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If you are that concerned put a soft joint at the seam. Personally I'd caulk it, tile it and call it a day...but I'm no expert.
 

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What about one of the tile membrane products? I've used the Durock one. It's a crack isolation membrane and waterproof membrane as well. Goes on with a special proprietary Durock adhesive and the application process is similar to installing wallpaper. Then you have to wait a day for it to dry before applying tile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks fellas. I think I'd feel better if there was one consistent smooth layer of something (1/4 inch cement or hardi) across the whole surface first, just to help with avoiding lippage. I'll suggest this to my customer. If they'd rather not go the expense, we're just going to have to have a written agreement that we don't guarantee a perfectly flat installation.

Either way, we'll definitely be taping/mudding the seams and throwing a good thick coat of RedGard on it.

Thanks again for some context guys
 
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