This summer, I am undertaking a total bathroom remodel. I’m planning to tile the walls around the vanity and toilet, as well as those surrounding the shower. Mold has been a persistent problem in this room. In addition to installing an exhaust fan, I’m considering using mold- and moisture-resistant wallboard. Can I install tile over those specialty panels? I’d like to use one product on all the walls.

Areas in, around and behind showers and tubs are called “wet areas” by code professionals, standard organizations and specifiers. Mold- and moisture-resistant gypsum panels are not intended as an underlayment for tile in wet areas. Such panels are suitable for backsplashes and around toilets, and they may be tiled in these “limited wet areas.”

Building codes govern the type of material that can receive tile in wet areas. Both the International Building Code and the International Residential Code permit the use of only one gypsum product in wet areas, namely, coated glass mat gypsum panels complying with ASTM C1178/C1178M. If you want to use a single product on all the walls to receive tile, use C1178 gypsum panels.

The Gypsum Association’s YouTube channel now features a short video on just this topic. Part of the GA-216 Explained series, “Use of Gypsum Panels in Wet Areas” highlights Section 14 of GA-216 (Application of Gypsum Panel Products). Watch the video for essential information on the installation of gypsum panels and the use of adhesively applied ceramic or plastic wall tile.

Read more FAQs here. Watch video FAQs here.