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Ceramic tile

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Just wrapping up a fantastic holiday weekend here, and I was looking over the paperwork for my inspection tomorrow. It seems the buyer is concerned with some sloppy tile work in the bathroom of this brand new condo and she wants to know if there are standards for tile work.

So I googled for some standards. Unfortunately, nobody publishes them for free. I did find one book, but the title on the cover (in bold white letters) read: "American National Standard Specifications for Ceramic Tile" followed in bold black by "Not an America National Standard"

Which brings me to my questions (listed here in order of importance):

1) Are there nationally recognized standards which are indeed nationally recognized, or at least ones that don't disclaim themselves in their very title?

2) Where can I find them?

Thanks in advance my friends,


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Here is the 2003 IRC Jim.

702.4 Ceramic tile.

702.4.1 General.

Ceramic tile surfaces shall be installed in accordance with ANSI A108.1, A108.4, A108.5, A108.6, A108.11, A118.1, A118.3, A136.1 and A137.1.

702.4.2 Gypsum backer.

Gypsum board utilized as the base or backer for adhesive application of ceramic tile or other nonabsorbent finish material shall conform with ASTM C630 or C1178. Water-resistant gypsum backing board shall be permitted to be used on ceilings where framing spacing does not exceed 12 inches (305 mm) on center for 1/2-inch-thick (12.7 mm) or 16 inches (406 mm) for 5/8 inch-thick (15.9 mm) gypsum board. Water-resistant gypsum board shall not be installed over a vapor retarder in a shower or tub compartment. All cut or exposed edges, including those at wall intersections, shall be sealed as recommended by the manufacturer.

702.4.3 Limitations.

Water-resistant gypsum backing board shall not be used in the following locations:

1. Over a vapor retarder in a shower or bathtub compartment.

2. Where there will be direct exposure to water, or in areas subject to continuous high humidity.

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Originally posted by pete

Why can't you use Water-resistant gypsum backing board over a vapor retarder in a shower? What about if it is a steam shower?


I would assume because it supports fungal growth and deteriorates. I always call direct tile application on wall surfaces as well. It is an inferior application which often lends itself to conditions that adversely affect not only the substrate but the underlying structural components as well.

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