Ceramic tiles on drywall on steel studs, any problems?


Movement is the enemy of masonry of any type. In this case, it depends on a few factors. How much movement? How often does the movement occur? What products were used to install the tile? What size and type of tile?

If all you're asking is whether some cracking is likely to occur, the answer is yes. However, it may be negligible from an aesthetic standpoint. The severity depends on the things I mentioned.

If you're asking how you might prevent damage, that depends on whether the wall interior is still accessible. If so, consider adding stiffening members to reduce deflection. More studs, engineered wood, heavy steel, or other devices could stiffen the wall and reduce...

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Install a batten to keep your first row straight.

With everything else ready to go, you'll want to install a batten to help keep your tile rows straight. This is a piece of scrap wood, such as a piece of 1x4 lumber, that you use as a long straight-edge, placing the first row of tiles right against the batten. Align the top edge of the wood so that it follows exactly along the mid-level line that you marked, then screw it into the studs. Once the tiles have been placed, simply unscrew and remove the batten.

Double check that everything is level before installing the tiles on the batten. You'll also want to check it all the way across, since there may be dips in the wood you use for your...
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If you're talking about steel stud and track framing used for non-load-bearing interior walls, those studs are actually pretty flimsy. They rely on the interconnected pieces plus the attached wall material, working as a system, to have any strength. The sheet metal in the stud will distort if you try to use just the stud to hold something. So don't count on drilling a pilot hole and then screwing into it like a sheet metal nut to hold a load.

If the plasterboard or drywall is attached to the stud, the stud can serve as a flimsy washer or backing, similar to how the paper surface of drywall adds strength to the plaster. Drill through it (using precautions as Iggy describes). Then use anchors that would be appropriate if the stud wasn't there. The stud will provide a little extra strength for anything that expands or toggles behind the wall.

However, if the wall material isn't actually fastened to the metal stud (there is a gap between the wall material and the stud),...

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Ceramic Wall Tile Installation Tips

Ceramic tile comes in square or rectangular pieces. Modern manufacturing makes most of them very consistent in size.

The grout lines that are created by the tile, unless you create an offset pattern with the tile, end up being straight as well.

This means you need to be perfect in every way through the entire installation process because the tile will telegraph mistakes or sloppy workmanship.

That's your warning - no shortcuts.

Plumb Walls

Nothing looks worse in a ceramic tile job than edge or corner tiles that grow or shrink because a wall is out of plumb. High-quality ceramic tiles are made to exacting standards.

If you start out level and plumb, the tiles will follow suit. If a wall is out of plumb, you will soon be cutting progressively larger or smaller tiles as you go up the corner.

If you have an opportunity to shim the walls or you are building new, get the walls right! Use the best...

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Kitchens are one of the places you can get away with mastic to attach tile.

You are not going to get enough water on a back-splash to make it through the grout joints unless you are flooding the kitchen.

The grout joints are the 'weak spot' for water penetration.

Repeated wetting (like a shower enclosure or tub surround) can allow enough water through the grout to start problems.

Even in a wet location, an additional barrier is used to prevent water from moving through the grout, the thin-set, the backer board, and into the studs.

You need to be very clear that 'waterproof' often means water does not damage the material, NOT that it stops water fro passing through.

While cement board is 'waterproof' is is a cement product and wicks water (like grout) very...

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Its very difficult to do that. If you get lucky, you may only tear off the paper of the drywall. Sometimes you can go over this with a skim coat of mud.

Since you are doing work in the Kitchen. I would recommend replacing the drywall with something more suitable for that environment. They make water resistant drywall, or better yet, cementitious underlayment.

This will give you a nice, smooth surface to start from when you go to put the new tile in, and should there be a water leak or crack in the grout - the water wont damage what's underneath.

If you want to try to save your drywall, they do make it in 1/4" but this my throw off some of the dimensions for cabinets, etc. Make sure you check first. And use a skim coat of mud underneath first, so the original damaged drywall is nice and smooth.


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There was a time when the use of steel studs in residential building applications was considered exotic. At the least, it was limited only to builders or home remodeling professionals.

Now, go to any Home Depot and chances are good that you will find a stack of steel studs in the lumber section. But the very fact that steel studs are outnumbered 100-to-1 by good old-fashioned wood lumber should tell you something: working with it is not as easy as it seems.


Benefits of Steel Studs

Durable: Metal studs are impervious to fire, termites, rot, splitting, and any other number of hazards which can affect any kind of organic-based building material--namely, wood. Predictable: Unlike wood, which can arrive warped, twisted, or bent, steel studs (unless damaged) always arrive perfectly straight.Cost Effective: While never as cheap as wood studs, steel studs are cost-competitive.Light: Steel studs are lighter to carry and store than wood because they are hollow...
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Brand Will Vary

Brand Will Vary

•25% lighter than original 1/2" high strength gypsum board
•Can be used on walls and ceilings - Brand Will Vary

Brand Will Vary

Brand Will Vary

Brand Will Vary

Brand Will Vary

Brand Will Vary

Used to reinforce and finish arched passageways, radius windows, and other curved wallboard constructions. Size: 1-1/4" x 1-1/4".
•Lgth Ft=10

ready mix

ready mix

Brand May Vary

1/2" x 5' x 3' Cement Board

*Cement board exceeds tile industry standards for resistance to bacteria and fungus growth
*Cement board will not rot, warp, delaminate, or disintegrate when exposed to water
*Cement board uses mastics on smooth side for bonding material economy and thin set mortars on the rough side
for improved resistance to tile slip during installation
*Cement board panels are fire safe...

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Re: What Problems Have You Regularly Encountered, On Steel Stud & Drywall Installations?


- Other trades all / their equipment / materials all over the place and in the way

- Other people jackin your power

- Doing high up piece in work....sometimes layin on your belly on a piece of osb layed across some junk up in the air

- Other guys wipin their boots off on / walking across your stack of board

- Having to fit board in behind ductwork and crap that leaves you with not even enough space to fit your screwgun

- GC forgetting to have things run through walls/ceiling requiring you to remove a bunch of board and rehang

- Running out of fuel on a scissor lift 50 ft high when its off balance and wont drop down.

- (i personally am not a huge fan of heights so i hate when the work is 30ft+ and your on a big lift that is not quite big enough to close up...

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FLOOR FRAMING & SUBFLOOR for TILE - CONTENTS: How to frame and install subfloor to support ceramic tile, stone, marble, granite, and similar finish floor materials. Floor Deflection Problems in Tile Floors Lacking Stiffness. Subflooring Requirements for Tile Floors. Two-Layer Subflooring System for Ceramic Tile Floors. Floor Substrates for Ceramic Tile: Concrete, Cement Backerboard, Plywood, Drywall, Plaster. Plywood Underlayment Specifications for Tile for Floors or Countertops: plywood type, fasteners, isolation membrane, etc. POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about floor preparation for tile installation: framing, subflooring, underlayments, stiffness specifications or allowable deflection, and how to stiffen a floor that needs that improvement. REFERENCES

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