When installing tubs I've mostly used cementboard. I find it a bear to work with though.

A guy I know uses the water resistant greenboard; he claims that for home applications it is entirely adequate. I've asked at the home center about the difference in reliability, etc. and just gotten shrugs.

Has anyone encountered tub or shower damage where greenboard was used? Can I switch completely from cementboard to greenboard or are there some applications where I should hesitate?

  • Cement board is a lot harder to cut than greenboard for starters. Use a tile knife and score along a straight edge. Jul 28, 2010 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


Greenboard is water resistant, but should not be used in areas that are going to stay damp, such as tub surrounds.

Once water gets into it (especially if it's not sealed correctly, and there's not the requisite gap between the tub and the wallboard), it will slowly deteriorate and/or mold -- it's water resistant, not water proof.

Yes, cement board is a pain to work with, it's better than having to tear out the whole wall because something was off in the installation of the greenboard.


All that being said, I believe I've seen some home improvement shows that used greenboard and then waterproof membrane over everything to add an extra layer of water protection when they were doing a shower install (tiling the walls and floor; and there was no tub they were joining up to).


You might also want to check with your local government -- it's possible that there might be codes that dictate what you're allowed (or required) to use in shower/tub areas.

  • 1
    There are definitely code(s) which prohibit use of greenboard in wet areas. Also, I would never use a gypsum based wallboard (special treatment or not) in a tub or shower surround, just my .02
    – kkeilman
    Nov 8, 2010 at 19:38

Use cement board for the tub area, especially if tiling.

for the rest of the bathroom you can use a mold resistant drywall like these.

  • U.S. Gypsum (Sheetrock® Brand Humitek®)
  • National Gypsum (Gold Bond Brand XP)
  • Temple-Inland (Silent-Guard™ TS)
  • Georgia Pacific (DensArmor® Plus
  • U.S. Gypsum (FiberRoc® AquaTough™)

After a quick Google search it sounds like greenboard is just drywall with wax on it, and I could not find one source that said it was good for anything.

*Take a look at this product Schluter®-KERDI for tile on walls. and Schluter®-DITRA for floors.

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