Direct to Stud

No, I’m not talking about race horses or the like, but bathtubs.

I recently discovered that there must have been a leak in the tile/grout surrounding one of the bath tubs in my house (purchased 2 years ago) when the tile came loose. When trying to fix the tile I discovered that the backerboard had turned to mush and that it was soaking wet back there.

As far as I know, my two options at this point are to:

  1. Rip everything out, put up new green board and re-tile


  1. Rip everything out and put in a tub surround, and most of the are advertised as being “direct to stud” Guess this means no dry wall - something that is a very attractive option at this point.
    However, I can’t just walk behind the studs to fix something in place because the rest of the house is there. Is it possible to put one of these direct to stud surrounds in as a remodel? How hard is it to do?

Anybody with experience in this area out there? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Option a should be: rip everything out and replace with cementious backerboard. Much, much more resistant to water damage than green board.

I’ve not had my hands on a direct to stud tub surround, but in general, one-piece tub surrounds are diffficult things to wrangle through a finished house and into a bathroom.

On the assumption that you eventually go with a regular three-pice surround:

As Finagle says, you want cement board behind it - it literally is cement between fiberglass mats. If you’re going to have shower/tub doors instead of a curtain, you’ll also need some studs behind the cement board in the appropriate places so the door frame has something solid to attach to.