Can You Tile Over Greenboard in a Shower

Can You Tile Over Greenboard In A Shower? An 8-Step Guide For Beginners

Can you tile over greenboard in a shower? If you are remodeling your shower stalls or bathrooms, this is the first question that you might have asked yourself. Greenboard is a form of drywall that is widely used in bathrooms for shower waterproofing. Furthermore, the green board prevents water seepage due to its waxy surface which helps to limit the …

Can you tile over greenboard in a shower? If you are remodeling your shower stalls or bathrooms, this is the first question that you might have asked yourself. Greenboard is a form of drywall that is widely used in bathrooms for shower waterproofing.

Furthermore, the green board prevents water seepage due to its waxy surface which helps to limit the growth of molds and algae in the bathrooms. So if you want to mount some stunning tiles to your bathroom and shower stalls you must be wondering how to do it.

In this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to tile over green boards like a pro. Moreover, we’ll also discuss whether it’s better to tile over green boards or concrete backer boards, so without wasting any time, let’s get started!

What is Greenboard?

Can You Tile Over Greenboard in a Shower

Green board is a form of drywall that has gypsum, a type of rock, sandwiched between the boards. Gypsum helps the board to withstand moisture and prevent the growth of algae and molds. Greenboard is called so because of its green surface.


  • Due to its water-resistant properties green board is a better installation choice as compared to other types of drywall like sheetrock. 
  • Limits the growth of molds or algae unlike other types of drywall and withstands steam and excessive moisture in the bathroom.
  • Provides a sturdy base for tiling that adds aesthetics to the shower stalls or bathroom.

How to Tile Over Greenboard – 8 Simple Steps

Tiling over the green board is a little tricky because waterproofing shower walls is important before mounting tiles in the bathroom. Here is a simple 8-step guide that can help you carry the tiling process like an expert! 

Step 1

Examine the wall for any issues and scrap the old paint from the wall. Once done, you can do green board waterproofing by coating it with a sealing primer. RedGard is an excellent waterproofing membrane that can be used on the green board. Make sure to let it stay for 24 hours before mounting the tiles. 

Step 2

First, draw a horizontal line on the green board that is ¼ inches from the floor. Mark the height of the tile with the help of a pencil on the green board. 

Step 3

After that mark the middle of the horizontal line and then draw a vertical line from floor to ceiling to divide it into two portions. 

Step 4

Later you can use the trowel to spread the adhesive on the green board. Make sure to use the trowel with notches so that a combed pattern is created for better adhesion. 

Step 5

Can You Tile Over Greenboard in a Shower

Next, put a thin set on the back of the tiles and hang the tile’s verticle on the green board. Use a tile cutter to cut the ends and cover the green board completely with tile.

Step 6

You can start working from the bottom and then eventually move up. Make sure that the tiles do not look uneven and have proper spacing between them. 

Step 7

Use a spacer between the tiles and before grouting let the tiles set for 24 hours. Later you can remove the spacers. 

Step 8

Lastly spread the grouting from top to bottom while pressing the grout between the spaces. Use a wet sponge to clean the residual grout and leave the tiles for 2-3 days to set properly. 

Potential Issues While Tiling Over Greenboard

Even if you have carefully done the tiling procedure there are some potential issues that you may encounter during the process. 

Water Seepage

The most common issue that is encountered by most people is water seepage. Most of the time water seeps into the grout lines of the tile which can result in damage to the green board at the back. This can in turn decrease longevity and protection against moisture. 


Make sure to carefully spread the grouting between the tiles and let it dry completely. You can also use grout sealant to make it more water-resistant. 

Poor Adhesion

The green board has a waxy surface that creates a non-porous barrier for the adhesives. This in turn lets the waterproofing material settle down as it can later result in tile detachment.


Use waterproofing primer and sealant to properly coat the green board. Also, let the coat settle and if needed do a double coat so that the tiling becomes durable.

Can You Tile Over Greenboard in a Shower

Uneven Surface

If the surface of the green board is uneven it can also hinder the tiling process. This can cause small defects and left gaps on the board. 


To avoid this make sure to examine the green board and scrap the old paint to make the surface ready for tiling. If there are any loose parts you should secure them before tiling.

Green board vs. cement board for showers – What’s the Better Option?

Both cement and green boards are used as a base for tiling the bathroom and shower stalls. However, both of them vary in their resistance to the moisture. 

  • A green board has an average moisture level and can be used in places where there is less water exposure like the kitchen.
  • On the other hand, a concrete or cement board is the best option for places like showers and bathrooms. It has excellent durability and is impenetrable to water and moisture.

Even though the green board is great for preventing moisture from seeping into walls however cement board is way more durable having the highest level of protection against water seepage. 
Now it’s your decision whether to go with green board or cement board. However, many people also tile on sheetrock in the bathroom, check our guide for “Can you put tile on sheetrock in bathroom?” to learn more about it!

FAQs on Can You Tile Over Greenboard In A Shower

Can you tile over greenboard in a shower?

Yes, you can tile over green board however it’s not a durable option. The green board might have moisture-resistant properties but cement boards are better.

How do you waterproof a green board in the shower?

Shower tile waterproofing is necessary if you want to mount tiles over the green board. You can use the waterproofing membrane to seal the joints and create a barrier. Later you can tile over the green board by using adhesive or grout. 

What happens if the greenboard gets wet?

Even though the green board is very much water resistant, however, in places like bathrooms and showers, the green board is more likely to get wet. In case of constant humidity and moisture the green board can deteriorate and cause structural damage. 

What tiles should not be used in a shower?

Non-Vitreous tiles are not very suitable for areas with high moisture exposure. Similarly even though ceramic tiles are a good choice for shower but these tiles get slippery when wet, which is quite dangerous.

Does the green board need waterproofing?

Yes. Green board is a water-resitant type of drywall, however it is not completely waterproof. It can be used in the areas like kitchen where there is little moisture exposure. However, if you want to tile over it then greenboard waterproofing must be done.

What is the cheapest way to waterproof a shower wall?

You can use liquid waterproofing membrane to make the shower wall water resistant. Waterproofing shower backer board must be done before tiling so that water doesn’t seep between grout or tile lines. Sealant or waterproofing primer are less expensive and can be readily available at hardware store.

What type of tile is best for shower walls?

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are the most use tiles when it comes to shower walls. When glazed, these tiles are non-slippery and are resistant to water. 

Are all tiles suitable for showers?

No, there are only certain type of tiles that are suitable for shower walls. Porcelain, ceramic and quarry tiles are suitable choices for showers and bathrooms. However, the tiles made up of natural stones are usually porous and are not ideal for areas with high water exposure.

Final Thoughts

Even though it is possible to tile over green board in shower walls, but we suggest you not to do it. Unlike other types of drywall green board is water-resistant but it is not waterproof. The surface of the greenboard is waxy that causes the tiles to detach easily.

Unlike cement board it does not provide a solid foundation for tiling. But if you still want to tile over green board make sure to use waterproofing materials, otherwise it will end in molds and serious structural damage. Furthermore, it’s your decision to go with the base that is durable enough to stand the test of time!

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Hugo is a knowledgeable writer in the field of vacuums, cleaning supplies, and washroom products. He has a wealth of experience in this industry and is always up-to-date with the latest cleaning technology and techniques. Hugo's writing is practical and informative, and he provides useful advice and recommendations to help his readers make informed decisions about which cleaning products and equipment to purchase. He has a deep understanding of the importance of maintaining a clean and hygienic environment, and he shares his expertise to help his readers achieve this goal. Hugo's writing covers a wide range of topics, including vacuum cleaners, cleaning chemicals, washroom supplies, and more. His writing is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to keep their home or business clean and well-maintained.

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