I know variations of this question have been asked dozens times and it seems like there is no real consensus. Each post or website I look at seems to advocate something different. I understand that some of this is because of different scenarios in regards to the build, products, locations, etc.
I'm getting ready to re-tile a small bathroom and here are the particulars:
It has a common bathtub and I'm planning on re-tiling just the bathtub surround. 1 of those walls is an external wall (with a window). The remainder of the bathroom I plan on painting.
- The tile will be glazed ceramic/porcelain.
- I will probably use hardie-backer as the cement backerboard (Lowes is the closest big box store, so I'll be making my common supply runs there and they stock this and the reviews are all pretty solid on it.)
- Location is central Indiana (Indianapolis)
I have not begun the demolition yet, so I'm not positive on what the insulation situation is on that external wall. I know some types of insulation have a vapor barrier on one side, and I know that can/should impact the decision here. I may also replace the insulation if need be, to ensure a good quality job here (also in case of any water damage or mold found obviously).
So, do I need to put a vapor barrier on all 3 sides of the tub surround in this scenario? If the insulation already has one, should I only put a vapor barrier on the other 2 walls of the surround (the non external ones)? If I put my own insulation in, should I opt for some without a vapor barrier side and just add a full vapor barrier to all 3 sides instead?