Do I need RedGard over Durock?( Yes! But do this)

Do I need RedGard over Durock?

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Do I need RedGard over Durock?

RedGard is a new product on the market offering homeowners protection from termites.

RedGard provides a natural and environmentally friendly solution with no harmful chemicals or dangerous pesticides with innovative technology.

While most people think of termites as a minor nuisance, they can cause significant damage to your home.

Termite infestation has adversely affected about 76% of all homes in the United States in their lifetime. 

Do I need RedGard over Durock?

Yes! RedGard is a water-based epoxy paint lining system. It’s specifically designed to improve the durability of the tile surface in showers and tub surrounds.

If you are working with fiberglass or other nonporous materials below grade, I recommend RedGard.

However, if you use Durock as an interior shower wall surface, it doesn’t need protection from humidity below grade. Thus, there is no need for RedGard.

Is Waterproofing Durock Necessary?

No, waterproofing Durock is unnecessary. It’s a lower-cost solution, but it creates more issues.

Waterproofing Durock would cause the finish level of the concrete to rise approximately 1/8″ or 3mm. Thus, making it harder for tile to adhere as expected.

The top layer of concrete usually has minor imperfections that are beneficial for proper adhesion because it allows the adhesive something to grab onto.

If you decide to use Durock or other cement products, then use “Hydro ban.”

Hydro ban adds an additive into your mix that helps prevent mold and mildew growth within your shower walls.

The best method for creating a tiled shower area is first waterproofing with “Weber Membrane #11”.

This provides a durable waterproofing membrane for use as an exterior-grade waterproofing underlayment.

Can You Tile Over Drywall In A Shower?

Yes, but there are some things you should know before trying to tile drywall.

If you wish to put tiles in your bathroom, it’s best to put up cement board or fiberglass mesh over the nearest wall with no sheetrock.

Installing the waterproof material on top of drywall is beyond risky since water will run behind the tiles and is likely to reach the wood framing.

A guaranteed way to rot out your partitions is laying wall liner too close to tubs or showers.

When this happens, water soaks through lightweight finishes with ease like wainscoting or paper-faced paneling, which can present problems for walls painted with latex paints.

A better solution would use a backer board, a thick layer of fiber-reinforced cement or clay backer that’s resistant to moisture, over the drywall.

It’s available in 1/2-inch and 5/8-inch thicknesses, smaller than standard tile backing.

The cement board comes in 4×8-foot sheets with the paper facing to ease installation.

When measuring for cuts, be mindful of joints where two boards meet since they must overlap by at least one inch.

Also, note that water can get behind all wall tiles, not just those installed on top of the backer board.

Thus, always use an approved adhesive designed for wet areas when grouting between tiles to ensure your shower walls won’t come apart later on down the road.

Do I Need To Prime Drywall Before Tiling?

Yes. When water flows down shower walls and reaches the grout line, it will dissolve the mortar that holds the tiles up.

Eventually, the weight of too many tiles (or even one) can cause them to separate from the wall and fall off.

This is a big deal because not only is replacing a broken tile expensive ($5-$10+ each), but it leads to leaks that rot wood framing and ruin drywall.

Water-proofing shower walls before starting a tile job is a do-it-once-do-it-right situation.

If you cannot waterproof your shower walls first, all you have done is add another step at the end of your project after installing things. 

Do I Need A Backer Board For The Kitchen Backsplash?

No. You do not need a backer board for a typical backsplash installation unless used on a nonporous surface.

A backsplash tile installation does not need a backer board.

This is because the process involves applying a thin-set (a mixture of adhesive and sanded grout) to the entire wall, then adding shower glass tile (which sticks to anything).

You only need a backer board for this type of installation when using porous tiles or placing tiles in two successive rows along an inside corner.

Both of which are unusual situations for most DIY homeowners. If you’re attaching tiles with drywall screws, drill pilot holes first.

If you don’t use the backer board under your tile, you must protect the walls where the tile meets the backsplash itself (tile should not be on the edge of the countertop).

For this, use a flexible tile underlayment material like FatMat or Rondec.

Does This Set Stick To Redgard?

No, you don’t. You can install tile directly onto drywall or paneling.

However, this is a less-appropriate finish for the backsplash area because of the high moisture levels present in that room.

When installing a tile on an existing wall without a backer board, you must wipe any excess water immediately before it has time to soak into unprotected drywall or paneling.

To do this, use a clean, lint-free towel moistened with clean water only. The surface should be completely dry before applying grout and setting crystals.

The Backer board protects against humidity by creating what’s known as a “drying barrier” between the tiled surface and the wall itself.

When an extra moisture barrier is present, the chance of damage to the wall decreases.

This makes completely drywall or paneling an appropriate surface perfect for installing tile.

If you install the backer board, install your backsplash as planned. No other changes are necessary except an increase in joint grout size from 1/8″ to 3/16″.

This is mainly if there is no other protection against direct contact between grout and wall.

A typical application for the backer board over drywall is when the backsplash behind a stovetop or other area gets exposed to high humidity levels.

Here, you should install it before tiling begins. This is because you must keep moisture levels at safe levels until the establishment of the drying barrier.

If you are installing tiles in a highly high-humidity environment, then a backer board may be necessary.

This type of tile installation would involve placing the tile directly onto a cement or stone surface without special adhesives.

Backerboard is needed in higher humidity areas where water can pool in grout joints and soak wall surfaces. This causes damage.

Whether using the backer board in lower humidity areas makes sense depends on your tolerance for dealing with moisture issues and the potential long-term consequences if damage occurs.

You don’t need extra preparation beyond providing backing protection against water infiltration if you use drywall or paneling as a substrate material.

If, however, you plan to install tile onto concrete or over drywall.

It’s worth considering backer board installation to avoid potential problems with grout delamination and water infiltration.

Some tile installers recommend using Ditra underlayment or another product that ensures moisture doesn’t penetrate the mortar bed below the tiles.

However, this varies by brand and may not be for your specific application.For example, Grout Shield has no moisture protection capabilities.

Thus, if you put grout joints in an area where there’s a risk of water intrusion (such as near tubs or showers), moisture would likely accumulate in the wall cavity behind the tile.

Which Is Better, Redgard or Aquadefense?

Aquadefense is by far the best pipe lining material available today compared to Redgard. Some differences distinguish the two, which include:

Aquadefense is a single component, whereas Redgard requires mixing before use.

Aquadefense has a much longer pot life allowing you plenty of time to work with it.

For example, if estimating a 4′ x 2′ area, the mixed Redgard would only give you 20 minutes before it starts to set up.

In contrast, Aquadefense allows up to 45 minutes or more before setup begins. The main reason for this is that Aquadefense contains three times the amount of resins as Redgard.

Its components do not harden as quickly, such as calcium sulfate hemihydrate (CHSH). CHSH holds moisture and stops further reaction between other components in Redgard.

This is why it has a limited pot life.

Aquadefense is not as hot and stays workable for longer than Redgard.

More time to effectively line the pipe means less chance of mistakes and greater ease in working with Aquadefense versus redgard.

Aquadefense does not shrink or crack like redgard resulting in a much stronger lining once cured.

The more complex components within Redgard cause more shrinkage than the softer Aquadefense resins, which results in cracking.

This is true when dealing with soft polyethylene pipes where shrinkage can be a factor.

Flat bottomed cracks than with Redgard due to their lower rigidity compared to Aquadefense, which resists cracks.

With that said, Redgards slumping capability is better than Aquadefense, which tends to crack with repeated slumping.

Redgard requires special cleaners and solvents for cleaning equipment and hands and surface preparation before use.

Aquadefense does not need the same. This lets you wipe down the area with water and dry rather than using expensive cleaners and hand wipes before applying Redgard.

Aquadefense works underwater. It eliminates the need for dewatering or shutting off your main line like required during Redgard installation.

Shutting off either one causes unnecessary freezing due to cold weather, backflow from rain/snow, and cost.

Aquadefense is a one-component product. So there is no pot time or chance of it set up on you during installation compared to Redgard.

This needs many components mixed before use and has limited pot life.

Aquadefense cures faster than redgard. It requires less drying time, and you can walk on it immediately after application.

In contrast, steel trowels need too many for several days before walking on the new lining. This means less downtime and greater profitability.

This is because you can tie right into the pipes and begin producing revenue immediately instead of waiting several days with Redgard.

These hardened steel tools will damage your new Aquadefense pipe liner; but, use a soft backup pad if not careful.

Aquadefense is more forgiving when applying the product. This makes it easier to achieve success on your first try, whereas, with Redgard, you only get one shot.

If done incorrectly, there is no coming back.

This is because Aquadefense boasts reworking in 30 minutes or less either by adding extra material or wiping down the area and allowing several tries before completely curing.

Once dried, Redgard does not allow for this same procedure due to its limited pot life and shorter working time.

I say Redgard is more unforgiving than Aquadefense.

This is because of its highly long cure time requiring over 24 hours before cleanup and recoating can occur, versus with Aquadefense, where it can boast relocation in 30 minutes.

Does 100% Silicone Stick To Redgard?

No, provided you follow the directions and put a small amount of RedGard on the tile first, then spread it out. You must let it dry before applying silicone or any other sealant.

Excess silicone will ruin the job if not cleaned up well.

If you use too much, it may bond to your flooring surface so bad that removal becomes nearly impossible without damaging the coating underneath.

So, ensure you follow the application’s directions printed on each package or tube of Redgard.

RedGard can also seal grout between ceramic tiles before installation/sealing with 100% solids. Epoxy terrazzo grinders are for unsealed tiles.

It would be best if you only used a sentry safeguard grout sealer on sealed tiles.

It would be best if you used sentry SafeGuard before the installation of any tile.

You cannot use it after installation unless it’s replaced, along with the grout you are sealing, ensuring protection against liquids.

Use Redgard or Sentry Safeguard to seal unsealed tiles since you cannot use 100% solids epoxy terrazzo grinders on unsealed tiles because of the dust they create.

Which will discolor your flooring surface.

If you need a high gloss finish, then use Teflon sheeting over the whole floor (approx six mils thick), then go back and install your epoxy terrazzo grinders, etc.

After applying this sheeting, make sure you remove all the residues, including any silicone sealer or grout you used before this installation.

Using 100% solids epoxy terrazzo grinders on unsealed tiles will create dust that discolors your flooring surface. If you need a high-gloss finish:

  1. Use Teflon sheeting over the entire floor (approximately six mils thick).
  2. Go back and install your epoxy terrazzo grinders.
  3. After applying this sheeting, make sure you remove all residues, including any silicone sealer or grout you used before this installation.


It’s essential to make sure you are waterproofing your walls well. RedGard is an excellent option for drywall, but it won’t work with any other surface like tile or metal.

If you’re looking for an alternative that will also be good for tiling, then Aquadefense would be the best choice since they both have different benefits and weaknesses.


Hi! I I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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