What type of drywall do you recommend for bathrooms in a hot/humid climate?

Asked by Catherine
Fairhope, AL

We are building a new house and are not sure what the best drywall for painted finish walls in bathrooms would be. There will be tile at the showers and cement board will be behind this, but on walls without tile we would like to use a non-paper-faced drywall...but what exactly is this?


Paperless drywall is very similar to traditional drywall.

  • Rather than having a paper covering on the surface of the drywall, fiberglass matting is used.
  • Paperless drywall is mold resistant, but not mold proof.
  • It can be used anywhere moisture levels are high. Installation and finishing is similar to traditional drywall.


It does look different if you are within 6 feet of the surface.

  • Areas finished with compound (nails/screws or corner beads) are smoother than the paperless drywall surface because the drywall surface has a slight stippling.
  • You can reduce the differences in overall texture by avoiding paints with a high-gloss surface.

Water exposure

Paperless drywall holds up to water much better than traditional drywall with a paper surface.

Where to use paperless drywall 

In my experience, you do not need to use paperless drywall throughout the bathroom as long as you use it on walls/ceilings in the immediate vicinity of the tub or shower.

I would also use it in finished basements in mixed humidity climates.


For more information:

Read "Is there such a thing as green drywall? If so, what alternatives to conventional drywall do you recommend?" a Q&A answered by Mary Cordaro.

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