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Can You Put Drywall Over Tile? (How To)

We all want our homes to have a polished look. We also have our likes and dislikes when it comes to interior decorating. Our preferences can be seen in our walls. If you want to drywall over a tile wall or ceiling, can you do so without removing the tile?

It is ok to install drywall over tile, provided you first scuff the tile’s surface. You can then install the drywall over the tile using drywall adhesive.

Worker man fixing the wall

Although installing drywall over tile is certainly possible, it is not always the preferred method. Sometimes, removing the tile may be better, and at other times, it can lead to additional problems.

When I first considered installing drywall over tile in my bathroom, I thought I was doing something wrong. Since then, I have installed drywall over tile on dozens of jobs, and the customers are always happy with the results.

Essentially, you need to consider two different things when deciding whether to install drywall over tile. First of all, is removing the tile too challenging to do? Secondly, will removing the tile cause additional problems?

Difficulty: Most people will tell you how easy it is to pop tiles off the wall. I’m not saying it is the most challenging job you will do, but there are issues associated with any project.

For one thing, you are running a risk if you remove the tile. That risk is to your health and safety.

You can reduce the risk by wearing safety glasses and gloves, but consider your respiratory system as well. Wear a respirator, such as an N95, to minimize any dust you breathe if you remove the tile.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what other people think. If removing the tile is difficult, hanging drywall over it is ok. You just need to prepare appropriately, as we discuss below.

Additional Problems: Will removing the tile expose other problems? If the tile was put on concrete, removing the tile could present an uneven surface that is difficult to drywall.

In addition, if the tile is over drywall, you may have additional work ahead of you. At that point, it is best to remove the underlying drywall and start from the studs.

Ultimately, deciding to drywall over an existing tile wall is a personal decision. Nobody can make that decision for you, as there isn’t a right and wrong choice.

This article will consider some of the problems associated with hanging drywall over title. We will also look into the method of doing it properly, which you will see involves a lot of preparation.

Should You Put Drywall Over Tile?

Wall with tiles

When a client asks me if I can hang drywall over tile, my immediate answer is yes. Typically, this is followed up by the question if it should happen.

Here’s what you need to know:

Dimensions: When installing drywall on any surface, you intrude into the living space. Admittedly, it’s only a tiny amount, but it will make a difference.

For example, if you hang drywall in the bathroom, will an extra 1/4 inch make a difference behind the toilet? Will you have to remove the vanity? What will it look like when you get to the shower?

Take a moment to envision what the room will look like after installing the drywall. At times, the thin drywall veneer will cause sufficient problems.

At the same time, it is possible to move things in the bathroom. You can move the toilet a few inches using an offset phalange. The shower tile could meet the new drywall using a rubber quarter-round.

Weight: Another important consideration is the weight of the drywall. If you already have tile on the drywall and, possibly, drywall under the title, a significant amount of weight is already hanging on the wall.

When you add a sheet of drywall to the wall, you are adding weight to the wall. For example, a 3/8″ standard sheet of drywall weighs almost 45 pounds.

Adding weight to the wall is less of an issue because it is upright. This could be a big issue if you put drywall over the tile on the ceiling.

If necessary, talk to an engineer and see if the extra weight will make a difference. It will likely not make a difference on the wall, but it might make a difference on the ceiling.

Mold: If you put drywall over the tile, you essentially encapsulate everything on and under the tile. This could include mold and mildew.

After sanding the title in preparation for the drywall, clean everything thoroughly. Doing so will reduce the possibility that mold will grow in the area.

Future Work: One other issue to remember is the possibility of future work, such as hanging a mirror or picture.

Getting a screw through the drywall may be possible, but once you hit the tile, you will run into problems. These issues can be overcome by using the correct type of screw or hanger, but it will be something you need to deal with from that point forward.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Drywall Over Tile

Tools for drywall renovation

It has often been said that you should use the right tool for the right job. What are the right tools for hanging drywall over tile?

The list of tools we have for you is similar to what you would have for any drywall job. The big difference is preparing the tile and adhering the drywall to it.

  • Shop Vac
  • Broom and Dustpan
  • Orbital Sander
  • Drywall T-square
  • Utility Knife with Blades
  • Tape Measures
  • Pencils
  • Drywall Adhesive
  • Two by Fours for Braces
  • Drywall Knives
  • Drywall Tape
  • Sponges
  • Buckets
  • Safety Glasses
  • All-Purpose Gloves
  • N95 Respirator

The tools necessary for drywall are some of the least expensive you will purchase. Use high-quality tools for a high-quality finished product.

What Preparations Do You Need To Put Drywall Over Tile?

Drywall renovation

I have always told my drywall crew that hanging drywall is 50% preparation and 50% perspiration. If you prepare everything properly, the job will go much better for you.

Follow these steps to prepare:

Look Behind: It is good to know what is behind the tile. Knowing what is behind the tile could make a difference in your plan to drywall over it.

If brick or cement is behind the tile, it is typically preferable to leave it in place. Removing the tile would expose an uneven surface that is difficult to cover with drywall successfully.

On the other hand, if there is drywall behind the tile, you could remove both the tile and drywall. Doing so would allow you to start from scratch, but a lot of work is involved.

Pro Tip: If you need to know what is behind the tile, try removing the baseboard or other trim. Typically, an area behind the trim will expose the wall behind the tile.

Safety: Safety must be considered for the next step in the process. Protect your hands, eyes, and respiratory system from possible dangers.

Since you will be sanding tile, the dust can get in your eyes and lungs. It will likely contain silica along with other components that are hazardous or could even be deadly over time.

Always wear safety glasses on any DIY project. Prescription glasses are not safety glasses, but you can buy safety glasses that fit over your regular eyewear.

Always wear a respirator when exposed to unknown dust. A dust mask will not protect you, but an N95 respirator protects you from most problems with dust. An N95 does not protect you from chemicals.

Finally, choose the appropriate gloves for the work you’re doing. A good pair of all-purpose gloves are recommended for preparing tile to hang the drywall.

Cover: Put plastic over any exposed area or furniture to make it easier to clean.

Sand: Use an orbital sander and 150-grit sandpaper to rough the title’s surface. Your goal is not to sand through the tile but to take the glaze off the surface and make it possible for the drywall adhesive to work.

How To Put Drywall Over Tile

confused man standing

At this point, you will be hanging the drywall. It isn’t difficult to do, but take your time and do it properly, so it lasts a long time.

The primary difference between hanging drywall on studs and tile is how you adhere it to the wall.

Pro Tip: Hang the drywall horizontally. Doing so will typically put the tape line in the middle of the wall, resulting in less work and less possibility for tape lines to show.

Measure and Cut: Use a tape measure to get a good measurement and mark the drywall accordingly. After marking the drywall, use the drywall T-square to keep the straight line at a right angle from the edge.

Hold the T-square in place and use the edge to guide the utility knife’s blade. Cut through the paper and a little gypsum on the inside. Don’t try to cut the whole way through the board.

Snap and Cut: Lift the drywall on the edge and put your knee on the opposite side of the drywall from the line you just scored. Grip both ends of the drywall and snap the drywall at that line. It should snap cleanly.

You will now need to cut through the backside of the drywall. Run your utility knife up the drywall, cutting through the paper but be careful not to cut your hand on the other side.

Rasp: Use a drywall rasp to clean the edge and smooth it.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on February 1, 2023.

Stick: Apply a liberal amount of drywall adhesive on the drywall and press it in place. Lift to the drywall slightly from the wall and push it back in place again.

Pro Tip: Use a 2 x 4 brace to hold the drywall in place. Doing so will ensure that it sticks in the same place until the drywall adhesive dries.

Tape and Mud: Use drywall tape on the seams and joint compound to cover the drywall tape. Feather the drywall compound from the center outward.

It may take a few applications before the tape line disappears. You want the end product to be as smooth and flat as possible.

Wet Sand: Use a sponge dipped in water to wet sand the joint compound after it has dried. Use more water for a rougher ‘sandpaper’ and less for fine work.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on February 1, 2023.

It is possible to put drywall over tile as long as you sand the tile’s surface to remove the glaze. You can then use drywall adhesive to permanently stick the drywall to the tile.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on February 1, 2023.

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