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Can You Put Drywall Around Bathtub? (How To)

It’s always nice to do some home improvement projects and at times, we may feel that it is best to upgrade the bathroom. If you are hanging drywall around the bathtub, is drywall the best material to use?

Although you can use drywall around the bathtub it is not typically used because it is not the best choice. Drywall is not waterproof and there are certain problems associated with its use. If you have things sealed properly, however, you may find that it works well for you.

drywall in the bathroom

There are a number of other types of materials that can be used for the walls around the shower. These provide a strong structural backing for any tile that may be used and they are waterproof.

Cement Board – Many people use cement board because it is a high-quality board that is similar to drywall but it does not absorb moisture. It also does not experience many other problems associated with drywall, such as the growth of mold and mildew.

Green Board – This is another option that you can consider when installing a wall around a bathtub. It is waterproof and acts very similar to drywall, making it easy to work with.

Can You Put Drywall Around Bathtub? (How To)

One important factor to consider when working with drywall in any part of the home is your personal safety. When cutting drywall and many of the other materials that may be used, such as cement board, you could be exposed to some dangerous dust.

Perhaps one of the most dangerous materials found in drywall is silica. Although it is not something that is going to cause problems when it is in a solid form, when it is airborne, it could be inhaled into the respiratory system.

Once silica gets in your lungs, it doesn’t come out and it can lead to serious problems such as cancer and silicosis. Always make sure you are wearing a quality respirator, such as an N95 or a half-mask respirator.

You should also consider other factors that will help keep you safe during this time. This could include safety glasses, long sleeves, gloves, long pants, and good work boots.

The biggest problem that you have when using drywall around the bathtub is moisture. It can have an impact on the drywall that makes it unusable within a matter of weeks or months.

That is why it is so important to seal the bathtub carefully if you are using drywall. In addition, you may want to consider using one of the alternatives that can work well around a bathtub and can keep everything dry.

Should You Put Drywall Around the Bathtub?

installing drywall

We’ve already considered the fact that it is possible to use drywall around the bathtub but we’ve also considered that it is not always the best choice. What are some problems to look out for if you decide to go this route?

Structural Integrity – Since drywall absorbs moisture readily, it can easily break down and it isn’t long before it is falling apart. Fortunately, you don’t typically rely on drywall for the structural integrity of the home but you do rely on it for the integrity of anything that is installed on it, such as tile.

There is no way to really avoid this problem unless everything is sealed perfectly. Unfortunately, moisture can get behind tile very easily and it can even come from behind the drywall, causing a similar problem.

It is a much better idea if you use an alternative instead of using drywall. Green board or cement board are good options to consider.

Mold/Mildew – Another problem that we certainly want to avoid in the home is the development of mold or mildew. If moisture gets in the drywall, it is easy for mold to develop because it has the three elements it needs: moisture, oxygen, and a food source.

Once mold becomes a problem, it can get a foothold in the home that can become even more than what it is at first. You may have to hire a professional to come in and clean the mold if it develops.

Keep in mind that dead mold is going to cause just as many problems as mold that is currently living. It will still cause allergic reactions and other issues so you need to do more than kill the mold, you also need to remove it.

Drywall Edges – One big issue that occurs with drywall is for the edge to become soft. It can occur in the center of the sheet of drywall but it is more likely to happen where the edge of the drywall meets the bathtub or ceiling. That is why it is important to ensure that these edges are carefully sealed.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Drywall Around Bathtub?

tools for drywall

If you are going to move forward with your decision to use drywall around the tub or shower enclosure, you need to gather the tools necessary. Having tools on hand will ensure that the work goes smoothly and without delay. Gather the following tools ahead of time:

  • Buckets
  • Rags
  • Broom and Dust Pan
  • Shop Vac
  • Tape Measures (Long and Short)
  • Utility Knife with Extra Blades
  • Drywall Saw
  • T-Square
  • Straight Edge
  • Screw Gun
  • Drywall Knives
  • N95 Disposable Respirator
  • Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Kneepads

There may be other tools that you are accustomed to using on other projects, such as a five-in-one tool. Make sure that you have these available as well because you will likely find a way to use them on this project.

What Preparations Do You Need To Put Drywall Around Bathtub?

installing drywall

In almost anything that you do around the home, preparation is going to be the most important part. Regardless of whether you are painting, installing countertops, or putting drywall around the bathtub, preparing everything in advance will help the job to go smoothly. Here are some things to consider for this project:

1. Measure – It is important to measure the area of the bathtub carefully before the project starts. This will allow you to get enough drywall and any other materials that are needed for the project.

2. Removal – Before drywall should be installed around a bathtub, you need to remove any existing material that may be in the area. This could include tile, drywall, or anything else that was used for that purpose.

Keep in mind that there may be specific regulations in your local area as to how this material is disposed of.

3. Clean – Before any new drywall is installed, you will have to clean the area thoroughly. Not only will this prepare the way for the new drywall to be on safely and properly, it will likely alert you to any problems that need addressing.

4. Mold – It is also a good idea to check behind the walls for any mold or mildew that may exist. Keep in mind that not every spot is going to be mold and in many cases, it is something harmless. If it is mold, focus more on removal rather than killing the mold.

How To Put Drywall Around Bathtub

confused woman standing

Now that you have the area prepared for hanging drywall around the bathtub, here are the steps to take to get it home properly.

1. Measure – Measure each area so that you can cut the drywall properly.

2. Cut – Cut the drywall to size. Do so by using the straight edge and running a utility knife along the back of the drywall. You’re trying to cut through the paper and then you can bump the drywall with your knee on the opposite side to split it. Finish cutting the drywall with a utility knife.

This is the part of the job when most people get injured. Always pay attention to your hands, especially the one that isn’t cutting to make sure it doesn’t get in the way.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on January 2, 2023.

3. Cutting around Obstacles – Carefully measure and mark the drywall for any obstacles that exist. This is typically going to be the faucets and spout in a bathtub area. You can cut these with a drywall knife.

4. Hang – Put the drywall in place and screw through the drywall to attach it to a stud. Be careful that you aren’t breaking the paper on the drywall as you screw into it. You just want to indent the drywall slightly with the screw.

5. Tape and Mud – Use drywall compound to tape and mud the area. Be careful that you don’t get excessive drywall compound in any one spot because it is going to be difficult to remove once it dries.

6. Sand – At this point, you should sand the drywall compound so that it is smooth. Although you can sand it with regular sandpaper, it is better to use a wet sponge and ‘wet sand’ the area.

Wet sanding gives you the same benefit as dry sanding but it does so without the dust. If you have to dry sand in the area, make sure you wear your respirator and safety goggles.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on January 2, 2023.

Drywall can be used around the bathtub but it is not the best choice. If you are going to use drywall in the bathroom, make sure that it is sealed properly and that you aren’t allowing moisture to get into the drywall after it is finished.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on January 2, 2023.

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