Wallpaper and 2nd sheet of drywall

zardthebuilder

Senior member
Feb 8, 2012
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my house has a lot of wallpaper. i love wallpaper, but my wife doesn't. my contractor removed the wallpaper in the first bathroom. looks great. for the second bathroom, instead of removing the wallpaper, he wants to add a second sheet of drywall. is this normal practice?
 

shabby

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,760
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Most likely because there will be too much damage from tearing the wallpaper off, you'd have to plaster the whole wall.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
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Sometimes it's just easier to rock over the old wall paper. You need to look at the finish details though. If there is a door in the wall being drywalled you'll need to pull the trim and pack the jambs, if it hits against tile there might not be a good way of finishing it.
 

NetWareHead

THAT guy
Aug 10, 2002
5,854
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What Greenman said. Finish details are everything. Keep in mind that your bathroom will get slightly smaller from the now thicker walls. In addition to details, you need to keep in mind toilet rough-in and sink clearances.

Some people take this to an extreme and instead of gutting the bathroom, they just keep adding walls when they want to change the look. I counted 3 layers of drywall (with layers of wallpaper) plus a layer of hardibacker with tile. I needed far more time to demo just the bathroom as well as more dumpster space than I had planned for. But, the bathroom felt noticeably bigger after the reno, plus I uncovered crown-molding that was buried.

Are you handy? Find a way to remove the wallpaper or just remove the drywall. You are paying your contractor to hang drywall anyway so to hang it over existing drywall or screw it to the studs should be the same price.
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
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Mar 5, 2001
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Why not remove the existing drywall, then replace? I cannot comprehend how the job would be easier or faster to just drywall over the existing drywall, since that has ramifications for the door jambs, window jambs (if windows), all the electrical outlets would need to have those little extension pieces, etc. Crown molding or any other molding would need to be trimmed to fit, etc. Is the toilet roughed in far enough from the wall - do you have a 1/2" gap between the back of the tank and the wall? You still have just as much mud work to do, so why not gut and replace?

And, given that bathrooms are prone to lots of humidity, it's likely the wallpaper was applied with a paste that doesn't come off very easily, and/or the drywall wasn't primed prior to putting on the wall paper. So, I do agree, often times it is much quicker and easier to just gut and put up new drywall, vs. attempting to remove very stubborn wall paper. Materials are cheap - no more than $200 in materials for a typical sized bathroom, green board (or purple these days) being only a tad more less cheap than regular drywall.
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
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Why not remove the existing drywall, then replace? I cannot comprehend how the job would be easier or faster to just drywall over the existing drywall, since that has ramifications for the door jambs, window jambs (if windows), all the electrical outlets would need to have those little extension pieces, etc. Crown molding or any other molding would need to be trimmed to fit, etc. Is the toilet roughed in far enough from the wall - do you have a 1/2" gap between the back of the tank and the wall? You still have just as much mud work to do, so why not gut and replace?

And, given that bathrooms are prone to lots of humidity, it's likely the wallpaper was applied with a paste that doesn't come off very easily, and/or the drywall wasn't primed prior to putting on the wall paper. So, I do agree, often times it is much quicker and easier to just gut and put up new drywall, vs. attempting to remove very stubborn wall paper. Materials are cheap - no more than $200 in materials for a typical sized bathroom, green board (or purple these days) being only a tad more less cheap than regular drywall.
I like the way you think :)

Plus it gives you an opportunity to upgrade the wiring if needed, insulate if needed and basically start fresh.
 

zardthebuilder

Senior member
Feb 8, 2012
211
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after talking with my contractor, i got the sense that he doesn't particularly enjoy removing wallpaper and prefer to just add drywall. in prior conversations, he did mention disposal costs, so maybe that is why he doesn't want to remove the drywall. yes, there is sufficient gap between the back of the tank and the wall. i think we convinced him to make a good attempt to remove the wallpaper.
 

tracerbullet

Golden Member
Feb 22, 2001
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I cannot comprehend how the job would be easier or faster to just drywall over the existing drywall, since that has ramifications for the door jambs, window jambs (if windows), all the electrical outlets would need to have those little extension pieces, etc. Crown molding or any other molding would need to be trimmed to fit, etc. Is the toilet roughed in far enough from the wall - do you have a 1/2" gap between the back of the tank and the wall? You still have just as much mud work to do, so why not gut and replace?
This!!!

i think we convinced him to make a good attempt to remove the wallpaper.
Good. Honestly, if he still decides it should be sheet-rocked over top of I would recommend a new contractor.
 

RagingBITCH

Lifer
Sep 27, 2003
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after talking with my contractor, i got the sense that he doesn't particularly enjoy removing wallpaper and prefer to just add drywall. in prior conversations, he did mention disposal costs, so maybe that is why he doesn't want to remove the drywall. yes, there is sufficient gap between the back of the tank and the wall. i think we convinced him to make a good attempt to remove the wallpaper.
Surprised he's that lazy, unless you gave him some budget number and he has to stick with it. It's all labor involved with removal - having removed it from my old bathroom, it sucks and was time intensive, but the damage can be repaired with a quick skim coat and texturing, depending on the severity of it.
 

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