How to Cover Bathroom Tiles

Bathroom remodeling involves intensive labor. Wall and floor tiles in your bathroom add an almost impermeable layer of moisture protection that you may not want to remove.

Removing tiles may not be necessary when remodeling your bathroom.

Although it is possible to paint directly on the surface of your tiles with the proper preparation, you'll still see the grout lines and know that it's painted tile. The proper way to cover your bathroom tiles is to install a thin layer of drywall over the tiles and secure it to the walls with adhesive and screws.

  1. Hold a stud finder against the wall. Press the "Locator" button on the side of the stud finder and move it slowly across the wall. Make a pencil mark on the wall every time the indicator light illuminates and every time it goes off.

  2. Hold your level against each line. Adjust the level so it's perfectly plumb at each pencil mark. Draw a line down the side of the level at each mark to show the edges of every stud in the wall. Continue these lines 2 inches onto the floor and the ceiling so you can find them when the drywall is installed.

  3. Place a line of construction adhesive 2 inches from each edge of each piece of drywall. Place a series of lines of adhesive 4 inches across the back of each piece of drywall. Press the drywall against the tile wall with the end of every board resting between a set of stud marks.

  4. Cut the drywall as necessary with a razor knife, then place a row of drywall pieces horizontally along the bottom half of the wall. Place a horizontal row of drywall across the top part of the wall. Stagger the breaks between the boards in the top row so they're in the middle of the boards below.

  5. Find your stud marks on the ceiling and floor. Place your level against the wall. Adjust it so it's vertically plumb. Draw your stud lines onto the drywall. Drill a hole every 6 inches along each set of stud lines. Be sure to drill a hole within 1 inch of each side of the seam between boards. Replace the drill bit with the Phillips bit. Drive a drywall screw into each drilled hole. Countersink the head of each screw.

  6. Pull the seal strip off the bottom lid of the bucket of premixed drywall mud. Cut the holes around the lid's perimeter. Lift each section of the rim to pop the lid off of the drywall compound. Scoop out some drywall compound and deposit it into the drywall mud pan. Continue filling the pan until it's three-quarters full. Scrape both sides of your drywall knife on the top edge of the pan.

  7. Apply compound to every screw head in the wall with the drywall knife. Apply a 1/4-inch layer of mud over each screw and scrape off the excess mud with the knife blade. Apply a 1/4-inch layer of compound over each seam in the wall. Press drywall tape into the mud to cover each seam. Cut the tape with the corner of the knife blade. Hold the end of the piece of tape and drag the flat of the blade along the length of the tape to press it into the compound, then pull the excess mud off the wall.

  8. Tip

    Let the drywall compound dry for 24 hours before sanding, painting or applying wallpaper.


    Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand tools.