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onyx shower wall installation

patrick rabbitt

Posted 3 years ago

salesman told me that I could put these walls up directly on the studs.. looking at videos, it appears I need to some sort of backer board or drywall in place.  Can you clarify this piece for me?

1. Can I install the walls directly to the studs or should I install backer board?
2. If I need backerboard, can I use drywall or does it need to be cement board?



Posted 3 years ago


Unfortunately your sales person is wrong. Onyx panels are always installed over a backer board. Ideally, a 1/2" board. 1/2" sheetrock is totally acceptable. If you were doing tile on the walls you would use a concrete backer. The reason for the backer is that is 'firs out' the shower panel out to be installed in front on the tile flange. The tile flange would sit behind the shower panel. The only purpose of the tile flange is in case of a leak the flange would prevent water damage. I hope this answers your question. 



Dave Shaklee

Posted 2 years ago

A quick question for you guys. Can onyx panels be installed directly over cinder block walls or do I need to sheet rock the block walls first?

Adam Harpe

Posted 2 years ago

Dave, Yes the shower panels can be installed directly to cinder block walls. However, when installing shower panels on a shower base or a bathtub you would have the issue of the tile flange. The shower panels must be installed in front of the tile flange ensuring a proper seal in your shower. That is one of the main purposes of the sheetrock behind the panels. Because the 1/2" sheetrock is thicker than the tile flange - when you install the shower panels they would rest in front of that flange. See the image below and replace the 5/8" stone with (3/8" shower panel) and replace existing framing with (cinder block wall). Shower pan cut away viewCheers! Adam  

Debra Black

Posted one year ago

I'm no contractor, and I'm still not clear as to whether backer board is necessary.  In one answer you say "Onyx panels are always installed over a backer board."  Then, in the next answer you say "Dave, Yes the shower panels can be installed directly to cinder block walls."  Either they ALWAYS are installed over backer board, or they aren't, with cinder block walls being the exception.  My contractor doesn't want to use backer board, I have studs.  What's he gonna glue the panels to if there's no backer board?  Please help, as I have already ordered the panels.  I have 2 weeks to get the question of backer board settled.  Thank you so much

Adam Harpe

Posted one year ago

Debra, You need to have you contractor install a backer board (wall board) before he installs the shower base. The process goes as follows: 1. Install shower base2. Install backer board (1/2" thick sheetrock, concrete board, etc)3. Install shower panels with adhesive provided with your Onyx Collection shower kit The reason why you need backer board installed after you shower base is installed is because the shower panels need to rest on the base in front of the tile flange (water dam). Show him the following picture. If you or your contractor have any questions regarding this please give me a shout and I can walk you through it. installing-shower-pan-water-damHave a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Cheers! Adam 

Pat Martin

Posted 9 months ago

How do you install the wall panels and allow the 1/8th of an inch required.  In a previous message you said to rest the panel on the shower base in front of the flange.  That would leave no 1/8th of an inch.  How does the panel stay in place (1/8th above the base) while curing?  Seems the weight of the panel would make it slide down before it adheres tightly.

Adam Harpe

Posted 9 months ago


The 1/8" clearance is in between the back of the flange and the wood framing. The shower walls can install directly on the shower pan with no gaps (tight). Some will tell you they like to leave an 1/8" extra for colormatch silicone but I find it unnecessary and not very aesthetically pleasing with the larger silicone joint. I hope this answers your question. 


Bill Karkula

Posted 8 months ago

Does the wallboard / backer board need to be taped and painted or primed?


Posted 7 months ago

Regarding the backerboard behind shower seams need to be taped and mudded?   Is waterproofing necessary?  Thx

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