Cement board help needed!

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by uptownbecky, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. uptownbecky

    uptownbecky New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    minneapolis
    Hi, I am new on here (and to bathroom remodeling) so please bear with me.

    I have recently moved into an industrial (meaning REALLY raw) loft space that needs a bunch of work.

    The last tenant built a bathroom but didn't finish it. He put up cement board around a claw foot tub ( i figure he was planning on tiling the whole area measuring about 50 sq. feet), so basically what I have is cement board walls. This is my problem, I would rather not tile the space since I have never tiled before and it is an expense that I would rather avoid.

    Can I paint the cement board, if so is there a way to prep it so it is smooth-ish?
    Could I perhaps throw up some greenboard OVER the cement board?
    Should I tear down the cement board (seems like a huge waste) and put up greenboard?

    Thanks in advance
    -In over my head-
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,481
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    board

    You could "plaster" the cement board with perfatape cement, then paint it. Around a leg tub, there will be almost zero water contact with the walls, so humidity would be your only concern. And even that would be minimal since you also do not have a shower to create the humidity.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,888
    Location:
    New England
    Are you planning on using that area as a shower or only as a tub? Greenboard is basically a waste, and code has been updated (but maybe not adopted) to require cbu in wet areas, and drywall others...in other words, greenboard is not recommmended for damp or wet areas...use cbu (cement board).

    But, if you aren't using the thing as a shower, you could skim coat it with drywall compound to smooth it out, and then paint it. Or, get some 1/4" drywall if you don't feel competant enough to skim coat it smooth. You'll still have to tape the seams and make those look good. You may want to use the alkalai resistant mesh tape meant for use with cement if going over the cbu, but regular drywall tape would work if you aren't tiling and using mortar.
  4. uptownbecky

    uptownbecky New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    minneapolis
    It has a shower head installed (coming directly out of the ceiling above) but in other rentals that I have lived in we surrounded the entire claw foot tub/shower with a plastic curtain when we showered. Humidity will dissipate quickly in the area since it isn't really all that enclosed.

    So am I hearing you guys right that I should be able to tape all the seams and then smooth/"plaster" drywall compound over the whole business and paint?...probably sounds easier than it will be but I have fixed BIG holes in drywall before and I think I can make it smooth.

    Any paint suggestions?

    Thank you thank you thank you!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,888
    Location:
    New England
    You want to use a good primer, then any decent paint after you smooth it out. Semi-gloss handles humidity better, IMHO, than a matt finish; cleans easier, too.
  6. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    FYI: Setting-type drywall mud (comes as powder, you mix with water) is a lot more moisture resistant than pre-mixed (comes in a bucket).
  7. thebigsee

    thebigsee DIY Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Southern California
    I know you want to avoid any expense, but I'd encourage you to install tile for durability and aesthetic value. Just be patient, shop around for bargains on tile, and do it -- slowly -- yourself.

    Barring that, have you considered beadboard? Might be a less contemporary look, but I just installed some Georgia Pacific Ply-Bead panels in my bathroom (available at the big blue and grey box store, essentially higher-grade plywood with beads cut into it) and it looks great! I ran the panels from floor to ceiling, put trim around the edges, put a couple coats of primer on it and a couple coats of acrylic and it's really nice. You can also get it in MDF. You can even just glue it right on the wall, but I screwed/nailed it in. About $20 for a 4'x8', 1/2" sheet.
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