My understanding is that when tiling a shower wall, the standard preparation process includes:

  1. Install a vapor barrier
  2. Install cement backer board
  3. Apply a waterproof membrane

(This comes from https://www.lowes.com/n/how-to/prep-shower-wall-tile)

Is an acceptable alternative to do the following?

  1. Not use a vapor barrier
  2. For the walls, use DensGlass instead of backerboard; only apply backerboard at the shower pan and about 1.5 feet up from the floor
  3. Coat the walls with Red Guard; use a waterproof membrane at the bottom of the shower pan.
  • Your plan should work but you need to consider compatibility of Redguard to Densglass and how to treat the joints between dissimilar materials (wall-to-pan). Also you did not give any useful information about the pan in your question, normally the waterproofing on the walls laps over the waterproofing of the pan to allow water to seep down into the pan and into the drain. Dec 19, 2019 at 5:51
  • with a few coats of redguard, it doesn't matter much what the walls are made of, even dryway works fine, for 10-20 years. use it like a tar method.
    – dandavis
    Dec 19, 2019 at 19:04


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