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Thread: tub/shower surround walls - attach directly to studs or install wallboards first?

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    DIY Member johnny-canuck's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Default tub/shower surround walls - attach directly to studs or install wallboards first?

    I'm in the process of helping my son redo his bathroom. (It's been stripped down to the bare studs and we're now in the process of putting it back together).

    It's not going to be a "Taj Mahal" type bathroom, so costs and/or the diy effort that's required, are in the mid range (we expect costs to be moderate, but I don't want to go "cheap"). I think I'm skilled enough as a diy'er to recognize the difference between "cheap" and "good / adequate / functional".

    My question relates to the tub/shower solution we've decided on. It's going to be a Sterling ("Kohler" brand for whatever that means ... at this point "Kohler" just means a solid brand name that I recognize, but I have no idea of how good or bad the Sterling branded products are, but they seem to be at least mid-range and are at the price point we've picked).

    My question. The installation instructions [URL="http://www.sterlingplumbing.com/onlinecatalog/pdf/1064910_2.pdf"] for the Sterling "Ensemble" tub and 3 panel wall surround unit we've purchased says that the tub and wall panels are designed to be attached directly to bare studs.

    I'm trying to decide if instead of just attaching everything directly to the studs, it would be a significant improvement if I first installed wallboard and then the tub and wall surround panels. My thought being that the wallboard would provide significantly better support and rigidity for the wall panels ... but on the flip side, if Sterling says that bare studs are fine, I don't want to do the extra work, unless it seems like there would be a significant benefit).

    PS: In asking this question now, I'm also realizing that I'm asking it too late, because the length of the alcove that I've already built to accomodate the length of the tub, already assumes a direct to stud install. However, if opinions suggest that there might be signifcant benefit to installing wallboard first, I'm prepared to adjust the dummy wall by moving it 1" to accomodate the width of the 2 pieces of wallboard that I'd be installing on the end walls.

    Note: When I say "wallboard" I mean I'd be using Georgia Pacific's DensArmour Plus (their "water resistant" product, which seems to be the newer / better incarnation of the old drywall "greenboard" product).

    Hope you can see the gist of my question buried in all the gibberish I've written above. All thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by johnny-canuck; 05-21-2012 at 04:13 PM. Reason: typo in subject

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