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Can Formica be applied directly to bare drywall? If it can, which adhesive is best to use? We want to apply it to the walls around a toilet in an unfinished basement setting.

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  • I don't know why you couldn't. But note that you can often get wall panelling with waterproof designs already applied.
    – DA01
    Feb 1 '15 at 3:43
  • I don't know if you can or cannot, but I don't recommend it. When it comes time to remove, having something even primer will allow the paneling to be removed without as much damage to the drywall.
    – diceless
    Feb 1 '15 at 6:28
  • This is in a small corner area of the basement, which is unfinished with concrete floors. It is a rental, so would be easier to clean, and if we needed to remove it in the future it will be a simple removal. Thanks.
    – RET
    Feb 1 '15 at 17:31
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Sure you can. It will be a better water deterrent than painted drywall and will certainly be easier to maintain and clean.

Is it recommended? Probably not. But not everything has to be approved.

I would adhere Formica with the same mastic for applying vinyl tile. It is easy to apply and work, and has more than adequate adhesion.

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  • That is our exact concern: easy to clean ~ this is in a rental house. It is only a small corner area so it seemed reasonable to us. If we have to remove it in the future it won't be a big expensive removal job. Thanks.
    – RET
    Feb 1 '15 at 17:29
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Know that drywall has a chalky core and is clad both sides with paper. Once you adhere anything to drywall you are adhereing it to paper. If there is a shift in ambient humidity there is a chance the material will buckle and rip the paper away from the drywall core. A professional would remove the drywall and adhere the Formica to a substrate like particleboard and install the panels.

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