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Bathroom Walls Sheetrock: Install a New Tub/Shower Unit that will NEVER CRACK at the Wall!

The following bathroom walls sheetrock tips will show you how to install a new bathtub/shower unit correctly, and also how to permanently fix one that just keeps cracking.

NEW CONSTRUCTION: When tub/shower units and the surrounding drywall are improperly installed, it’s very common to see cracking where the wall meets the tub/surround. You can caulk it all you want, but it just keeps cracking and the caulk just won’t cure it. The result is an ugly build-up of old caulking from repeated attempts to solve the problem.

The two most common causes are:

#1 Using the wrong fasteners to install the tub/shower unit:
Always use screws on the flange of the tub unit. DO NOT USE “NAILS”. Always shim the flange if needed.

#2 Most people place the drywall over-top of the “flange” on the tub/surround unit:
This creates a space between the drywall and the nearby studs. As a result, this cracking is often accompanied by nail pops near the same area.

Fiberglass bathtubs and surrounds are very flexible and tend to move (especially with a two or three hundred pound person inside). Needless to say, the bathroom walls sheetrock needs to be as solid and resistant to movement as possible.

The only way to accomplish this is to have the bathroom walls sheetrock tightly fastened to the studs, and the filler tightly bonded to the flange! Even the latest books available on taping/finishing show the incorrect installation of the bathroom walls sheetrock around the flange!

The bathroom walls sheetrock shouldn’t even touch the flange.
This creates a gap around the tub/shower unit which is MUCH bigger, but once filled, it will not crack!

Always use setting-type compound to pre-fill the flange area. Afterwards, apply a single strip of un-folded mesh tape over the filled area along the entire length of the flange.

Some people like to use the paper joint tape here, but the “mesh” tape is often preferred because it’s a water-resistant material. Also, be sure to use a water proof, or water-resistant drywall around tubs/showers.

The proper framing must be installed behind the edge of the drywall and the flange.

TIP: When choosing drywall pieces to hang around the tub/surround, never place a “recessed edge” up next to this void. Doing so will only make filling and taping much more difficult.

Refer to “The Trade Secrets to EASIER Taping, Finishing and Texturing” for detailed instructions on taping and finishing this and all other parts of the job.

Related Articles:

Tips On Hanging Drywall - Inspection
How to inspect a hanging job and other tips on hanging drywall. Can you tell the difference between a good hanging job and a BAD one? Do you know what to look for, or what to ask for in a hanging job?

Sheetrock Nail Spacing
Proper sheetrock nail spacing is the key to preventing loose drywall panels, weak joints, multiple nail pops, and other on-going problems.

Tips on Installing Drywall - Definitions
The following definitions and tips on installing drywall will help to speed your learning.

DIY Drywall Finishing - Setting-Type Joint Compound
DIY drywall finishing tips that answer the "How", "When" and "Where" to use setting-type joint compound. DETAILED instructions including mixing & clean-up of small & large size batches.

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