We're redoing a wall in our kitchen because it was too uneven to lay our countertop-to-ceiling tile backsplash.

The base cabinets and countertops have been installed already, and there are no upper cabinets, so we decided to only redo the part of the wall from the countertop to the ceiling. We're going to install cement backer board directly on the studs.

To even out the wall, we'll need to shim the backer board up to a 1/2" in places, including along the horizontal cut line along the countertop.

I understand we should tape cement board joints with alkali-resistant fiberglass mesh tape, but I'm not sure how to treat the joint between the cement backer board and the existing drywall because they won't be flush with one another.

Can we tape the joint with an uneven rift? Or is there something else that should be done?

I'm not worried about it being visually correct because the recessed existing drywall will be hidden behind the countertop and base cabinets. I'm more concerned about anything that might cause cracking in the tile grout down the road.

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  • I'm just slightly confused - you've cut the drywall out between the countertop and the ceiling and are replacing it with backerboard, yes? And you want to know how to resolve the seam between the drywall behind the cabinets and the backerboard (which it looks like will sit more "on" your countertop? – Chris M. Apr 24 '17 at 21:36
  • That's correct. – S.S. Apr 24 '17 at 21:38
  • You should be fine to tape and mortar that seam. Your tile shouldn't be affected since it's all going to adhere to the backer board and not across the seam. Personally, I'd caulk the seam where the backer meets the countertop as well, to keep any water from getting in there. – Chris M. Apr 24 '17 at 21:44
  • Thanks! I was concerned about moisture, too. Is there a particular type of caulk that I should use? – S.S. Apr 24 '17 at 21:52
  • I like silicone caulk. You'll usually find the major brands like G.E. and DAP have ones labeled for "kitchen and bath". I think it usually has red packaging. Use that. Color won't matter so much since it'll be hidden. I also recommend using colored caulk (to match the grout) between the bottom of your tile and your countertop - it's more flexible and resists cracking and moisture. Wherever you buy your grout probably carries color-matched caulk for it. – Chris M. Apr 24 '17 at 21:58

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