I recently redid my kitchen, which included removing the back splash and putting in new tile, but when I went to remove the old tile, I found that the tile is only attached to drywall. Knowing this was weird, I cut a small hole in the drywall and on the other side was only insulation which led directly to the plastic siding on the outside of my kitchen wall!? I could push the insulation and my brother could see the plastic siding move on the outside.

I know that my neighborhood was build by a cheap contractor, but no plywood or anything? I pulled out all the sheet rock on the wall below the hanging cabinets (above the counter) and found nothing but the occasional stud, which weren't even properly spaced, (they were too far apart.) The summary is this, the only thing keeping the outside for getting in, is plastic siding, insulation, and drywall with tile on it. And the plastic siding isn't water proof.

What do I do? I have owned this house going on four years and I haven't noticed any problems, and the heating bill isn't outrageous. Am I okay or disillusioned. Do I have walls put in before a major incident occurs or do I do nothing?

Edit My concern is with what I need to do, if I need to do anything. Do I put in walls myself because I have been lucky thus far because the water hasn't made it past the siding, or is this system going to hold. I relaize the obvious nature of the question, but has anyone encountered a similar problem, and if so what was the outcome of either side?

  • 1
    Is this the only "Wall" like this? I would go around poking at the siding looking for soft spots to make sure. Is the whole wall like this, or could it be just a small section where a door or window used to be (and was improperly covered up)?
    – Tester101
    Mar 21, 2011 at 16:31
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    It's not at all uncommon to see wall tile over drywall. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, as the tile is really no different than paint or wallpaper. The lack of exterior sheathing is a real head-scratcher, though. I'm baffled that the siding isn't all buckled and gaping.
    – isherwood
    Mar 1, 2018 at 2:05
  • I know some siding dosent require sheeting but I have always used at least 1/2" osb or better. As far as vinyl it has no strength and I would expect sheeting to be required for wind and sisemic reasons. What year was the home built?
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 1, 2018 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


It depends partly where you live whether it is up to code or not. In Mass., for example, exterior bracing (plywood is required).

Where is the house? I could probably dig out the building codes for you.

As far as what to do? I'd call a lawyer if it isn't up to your city/county/state building code. You probably don't want to fight that battle yourself.


If your entire house is like that, it's missing a few layers to the wall structure.

Given the tiles were put directly onto sheetrock, my guess is the contractor was cutting every corner he could. Which is bad news.

  • I've heard of contractors cutting corners, but not installing walls?! how did it ever pass inspection?!
    – Tester101
    Mar 22, 2011 at 1:29
  • Right, but what do I do next?
    – allindal
    Mar 22, 2011 at 17:37
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    I'd get a inspector out to the house to give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem.
    – DA01
    Mar 22, 2011 at 18:45

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