Moisture Management With Drywall

How to prevent moisture damage in residential and commercial bathrooms

February 13, 2018

Installers can leave a gap of a few inches to protect the drywall from moisture.

Bathrooms are one of the areas most susceptible to moisture damage, which can lead to unsightly finishes, costly repairs or dangerous health conditions. Many special materials have been developed to deal with these challenges, from treated gypsum boards to plastic and vinyl fixtures and enclosures that won’t rust or mold. To protect the interior finish, install products designed to withstand the effects of moisture.

Framing and Drywall

Bathrooms are susceptible to mold growth and rust from excess amounts of moisture. To protect the walls, you can leave a gap of as much as 10 inches from the floor. To safeguard the lower portion of the wall, install cement board and then install tile or another moisture-resistant product. In areas less susceptible to moisture, installing moisture-resistant drywall will offer enough protection. 

Shower and Tub Enclosures

Traditional metal corner beads and paper tape solutions can’t meet the same requirements as specialty materials designed for damp environments. Be sure to find an option that eliminates the food source for mold. Also, when installing drywall around a window, it’s best to avoid lining up the sheet with the edge of the opening. This is because homes tend to shift over time, causing cracks, especially at the corners of windows and doors. Placing a joint at this location, even if it’s well taped, creates an area that’s weaker than solid drywall. A better option is to notch drywall around openings. 

Window Returns

Metal corner bead can rust when exposed to moist environments, leading to discolored drywall and costly repairs. To protect the interior finish of bathrooms, install corner beads made from materials that won’t rust such as non-ferrous metal, vinyl, and composite. To finish around window returns in bathrooms, install L Bead. The length of the return leg spans the distance between the window and the return edge of the drywall, eliminating the need to finish the window return with drywall. L Bead is available in a variety of sizes, and as long as it’s made from quality materials that are appropiate for the job, it should be easy to install.

About the Author


About the Author


Abe Dickison is marketing strategist for Trim-Tex, a leading manufacturer of drywall products for the residential and commercial market.

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