How to Finish Drywall Where it Meets the Shower
If you’re building out or remodeling a bath or shower enclosure, you’re probably wondering how to finish the inevitable gap between the sheet-rock and the shower or bath surround. There are three primary methods that you can use: filling the gap, furring the wall, and using shower bead. We’ll take a quick look at each one and outline the steps so that you finish this tricky spot in your home with a minimum of
It may seem obvious, but drywall should not be used to back the tile in the shower or bathtub enclosure, as sheetrock breaks down in the presence of moisture. Using drywall as a substrate for the tile is a recipe for potentially costly repairs (and probably after a relatively short time, too!). Certain waterproofing products (such as Schulter Kerdi) offer a warranty on their waterproofing capability even when drywall
is the substrate, but unless you have such a product, avoid putting drywall in direct proximity with the wet area of the tub or shower. Feel free to drywall the rest of the bathroom (outside of the wet zone), but consider using a mold-resistant greenboard as the bathroom in general is a high-humidity environment. This is especially true nowadays as time spent in the shower/bathtub has increased considerably thanks to the arrival of products like Jacuzzi tubs and rainfall shower heads. These products encourage people to spend more in the bathroom as a calming oasis rather than the shorter, more business-like showers of
yesteryear. For this same reason, avoid using paper tape in the bathroom. The paper can be a source of food for mold, encouraging it to grow. Be sure to use mesh tape in damp environments like the bathroom.
The last possibility is to use a manufactured shower bead to finish the gap directly. Essentially, it is a pre-made product that allows you to split the difference between the first two methods. This plastic bead consists of support leg attached to a long mud leg, allowing you to attach them directly across the gap between the rock and the enclosure and then mud over them with standard compound. This produces the
smooth, edge-to-edge effect of furring the wall in even less time than it would take to fill the gap – and without all the hassle of actually furring out the whole wall!
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Video: How to Install Shower Bead