Plaster board for showers

I have finaly been pushed into renovating our tiny upstairs shower room knowing that it will be a bigger job than my wife thinks, removing the hideous tiles has been the first problem as half the wall has come away leaving huge gaps in the green plasterboardthe green board appears to be water resistant is there a better board to use i have heard of hydrofuge placo but never come across it

Nothing wrong with lathe an plaster, so long as you don't get it in your eye, tricky when doing ceilings and of course the time it takes to dry thoroughly (cure). It can get wet and dry and wet and dry, it's only problem is when the nibs break off and the wall becomes blown. Everyone is in such a rush these days lathe and plaster has fallen by the wayside.

Brian, no more dusty than plaster board really, Marmox etc and short life? please explain and the gas used for the foaming is more Eco these days I believe than the old boards, regulations and all that.

Although applauding the knowledge of the informed, how did lathe and plaster survive?

That is the job in hand at the moment the upstaires shower room the tiles are hideous so my intention was to remove and retile, the first 4 came off en block bringing the plaster board with them that was the how it went on eventually 60% of the wall was missing to much to repair so the lot was taken down, from a small retiling job to a total rebuild ,its green board and a small amount of water has been seeping past the tiles in one cornner by the signs on the wall but no damage to the actuall board can be seen so green board going back, the shower piping was wrapped in neswpaper dated 1997 some some unknown reason, does the board react with the copper so after 20 years there wasnt a sign of damage if this lasts another 20 it will do for me

Very timely. We have been looking at Fermacell because we intend to dry line and modernise our bomb site of a bathroom this year. It is apparently extremely dusty and messy to install and releases some a bit of SO² gas if it gets too hot. One German site says to insulate any hot water or heating pipes going through or attached to it, although normally it would need about four times the maximum heat of most central heating pipework. However, once in and all of the mess is gone, tiling it is much the same as normal gypsum based plasterboard and also insulates better than that or the so-called green plasterboard, but most importantly it is far less likely to be damaged by steam, humidity, overflows or outright flooding. Some other boards like Marmox being extruded polystyrene are ecologically less friendly and have a shorter life.

Until I started looking I had no idea about any of these things but choosing which to use is not the easiest either given availability is often the key. Fermacell can be ordered through the German headquarters who pass it on to the next nearest supplier. Mind you, if that is 120km away my heart skips a beat thinking about the delivery charge.

Yes you can use what ever you want and may get a way with but like anything there are degrees of risk. The aquatic centre at the London Olympics rejected all plasterboard for strength and durability and of course water tolerance. They used Fermacell board. On swimming pool builds using something totally water proof like Wedi, Marmox or the Brico shed version makes an obvious choice and bathrooms and wet room can be constructed entirely from the board which is much lighter than handling placo. You have to try it to understand how much easier and better it is.

The required norme here in France is to use hydrofuge (green) plasterboard for bathrooms and for other places that may get wet (like vaulted ceilings), however, we've found that as long as you cover the area with good quality tiles and use decent quality grout and adhesive (and apply them well) then we've never ever had a problem using normal plasterboard even in showers. The choice is yours to make if it's your own place.

I have just purchased 6 sheets of green plasterboard from Brico depot as they were the only place open around here Saturday afternoon having a remorque is a must here with delivery charges sometimes more than the product

There are loads of produits hydrofuges, as you'll find if you search for them. They might, however, be just as hard to source as the green plasterboard, and may even cost you more than the supplement for the green board, depending on how many sq. metres you're doing. OTOH, a can or two of product might be easier to transport than sheets of placo, unless you already have a remorque.

Isn’t there an approved paint to coat “normal” boards prior to tiles? We had a builder in last week to put in our new window in the en suite. During discussions about remaining works, and there’s a lot, I mentioned the next union run for green plasterboard. He said why bother, just give it 2 coats of blah blah. Missed the name.

Or even better Wedi board Polystyrene board reinforced with glass fibre and polymer cement coating (coating is by BASF chemicals), it's light weight, incredibly strong, doesn't take on board moisture of any form unlike Hardie backer which still takes on board some water but doesn't expand much. It also provides some additional insulation making the tiles feel warmer. Other brands from Brico depot etc are also available.

The backerboard is better it is a cement covered

I saw it in Leroy Merlin

Or a Calcium Silicate board is best it is suitable to use even outside

Thanks Kate...who could argue with such precision ;o))

For info - Green is hydrofuge (water -resistant), blue is insonorisé (sound-resistant).


Thanks to all for your imput, Peter that place is half an hour from us that is a superb bit of research, having been on a few uk sites there seemed to be a disagreement whether green was or wasnt Hydrofuge board though all i could find were posts from 4/5 years ago, the shower was ok just the tiles were a bit naff and the tray wasnt angled correctly always leaving a pool away from the drain, removing the tiles has made a mess of the board on one wall so will have to replace that wall , dont like doing it but may leave the other walls and tile over the tiles if they are anything like those around the shower they will be a pig to remove as he must have bought adhesive by the lorry though i could just rip out the whole boards and start again

The hydrofuge board should be fine, sounds like the grout had failed allowing it to get wet.

A bit more research suggests that this place might be helpful. It doesn't seem very far from you & is part of Big Mat.

Try to find " Hardy Backerboard " it's a " take-no-prisoners" board for tile work.

When we built our current house, we used the hydrofuge placo where the showers & baths were going to be located, and the panels were definitely coloured, but they might have been blue rather than green. After 20 years, it's not easy to remember and things change anyway.

Ours came from builders' merchants rather than brico places. Examples would be Big Mat, & Gedimat. In the Tarn, Big Mat are in Albi & 81290 Labruguière, whilst Gedimat is a chain of independents & are in 81230 LACAUNE (called TERRAL) & 81400 CARMAUX (called Francois Materiaux). I don't know how near you any of these might be, but it's a start.

no correction Robert, you're right! It is hydrofuge.