I recently had old tile backsplash removed down to the studs. Is it ok to use drywall instead of cement board on a kitchen backsplash behind the cook top, there is no running water in the area, the drywall will dead end into the countertop and be covered with tile.enter image description here

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    As long as you absolutely certainly for sure make sure water never gets to that drywall from incidental spills etc. If the tiles start bowing and falling off…. You get to do it again.
    – Solar Mike
    May 14 at 20:54
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    Note that water splashed onto the countertop will tend to seep through the seam with the wall. You need to take extra care to seal the seam.
    – Hot Licks
    May 14 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


Is it "OK" - yes, plenty of tile is installed on drywall (assuming you are planning to retile? If not, well, you don't even need a "backsplash as such.") Plenty of kitchens with painted drywall there that do just fine.

Is it a good idea - I would say no, because backer-board is a superior base for tile .vs. drywall, and tile is an expensive material involving expensive labor (if DIY, you can count that part as time rather than money) as well, so saving a few bucks (a tiny fraction of the cost of the tile, thinset or mastic, and grout) by using an inferior substrate for it is a poor choice in the overall project cost / longevity tradeoff.

But sure, it's "OK" according to any number of houses built by people who don't plan to live in one of them, just have them hold together until a not terribly long warranty expires. Various tile associations approve methods of doing so. It's not considered unacceptable to them.

Do follow a recommended procedure for tiling over drywall, if choosing that route. One thing I glanced at mentioned not using drywall compound on drywall intended to be tiled, for instance, as it may reduce the tile bond to the drywall.

  • Was not sure if old or new building codes required it. Just wanted to say plain drywall will last 40+ years
    – crip659
    May 14 at 20:00
  • very well said!
    – FreeMan
    May 16 at 13:28

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