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What is this? Cardboard??

I am in the process of redoing my bathroom. I started to pull off the old wallpaper and to my horror, I realized the ceiling was wallpapered as well when I pulled on the paper on the wall, the ceiling came down too. :eek:
Behind the wall paper is a thin cardboard like wall...the ceiling is the same material.
Anyone have any idea what it could be? :confused:
I can take a picture later and post it, if that is allowed on here.
The nails they used were not covered and the rust was coming through on the wall paper. The corners were not finished out, just big gaps...the ceiling also has huge gaps where they did not take the material to the edge of the room.
It looks like a mess!!!
I wanted to paint, but not sure if the "cardboard" will hold up to the moisture of showers the 5 of us take in there.
May just have to repaper it, not sure what to do!

Re: What is this? Cardboard??

It could be a lot of things. Cardboard? masonite? but it's immaterial, because I suggest to rip it out, down to the framing, then drywall new. Green drywall for the walls, regular drywall for the ceiling, using drywall screws.
Once your new drywall is on, tape, mud, sand, clean, prime and paint or wallpaper.

A. Spruce
Re: What is this? Cardboard??

Without pics, it's hard to say what you're dealing with, though I suspect it's just the paper layer on drywall that you're seeing. It is not uncommon for wallpaper to pull the top layer from drywall, especially unpainted/sized drywall.

From the sounds of it, DJ is probably right, replacement will be better and easier than trying to repair what you've got.

As for pictures, new members are restricted in posting pictures and links until they've got 10 posts. This is due to a spam problem that we've been plagued with. The way around it is to upload the images directly from your computer using the "manage attachments" button or to host the images somewhere else and link to them here. While the link may not be hot, the address will be there for us to use to be able to view them.

Re: What is this? Cardboard??

What they said plus,

I'd go with all white drywall. No need to spend the money on the green stuff as you can get as good or better results with a quality paint job, which I am sure you were fixin to do anyway. ;)

Re: What is this? Cardboard??

Two possibilities:

If the cardboard is thin, just a little thicker than a cereal box, it's a heavy paper that was fastened over wall boards (not wallboard, but actual wooden boards) in the old days to act as a smooth substrate for wallpaper.

If the cardboard is thick, like about 1/2", then it's a product called "Firtex" that was a precursor to sheetrock. It turned out to be a disastrous product for building walls, but it's still used for bulletin boards, cubicle partitions, and as an acoustic panel to absorb sound.

Re: What is this? Cardboard??

back in the 50's or around that time bracket it was an alternative to drywall. You probally noticed on the one side it said something like all weather sheating. it looks like cardboard with out the expanded parts. it was about 1/2 of an inch thick. no it won't paint well and shouldn't be exposed to bathroom moisture. so like mr. spruce and the others are saying rip it out and replace it with something that is more appropriate for bathrooms.

Re: What is this? Cardboard??

I just ran into this myself. My home was built in 1918. Ive ran into many things like cardboard and newspapers used as insulation in other renovations. But this was clearly cardboard wall paneling. And then the previous home owners must have covered it up with drywall.  In this pic youre seeing my view from the other side of the wall. I can add more pics later as i have removed some of the material.  Did yours look like this? 


   My main concern is does this stuff carry asbestos. Looks like a fine layer of hard material in the middle

Re: What is this? Cardboard??

Here is a second picture. Can take more if anyone is curious. This stuff is surprisingly pretty durable. 

Re: What is this? Cardboard??

hey everyone, glad to hear there are some cool house heads like me out there who be peakin in them walls.
my friend/electrician, derek, pulled out some of my wall, advising me to replace it with white duct tape. where the story  gets real good is that this honestly sounds like a safer solution than our current situation. the pieces of the wall he pulled out are straight up pieces of mail, which is silly since he's a mailman by day, but the fact remains there's fuckin stamps in my wall. i am a renter and i feel like my lord should probably do something about this... there is also a gutter running through the cardboard/mail/stamps wall DIRECTLY OVER the main circuit breaker. if anyone has any advice on surviving the night please comment. 

Re: What is this? Cardboard??

I used cement board around my tub. I used green-board on the wall with the sinks. I put sheetrock around the toilet. Is it acceptable to put subway tile directly on the sheetrock around the toilet or do I need to tear it out and put cement board? The toilet is not adjacent to the tub or sinks and does not run the risk of water splashing from the shower.

Re: What is this? Cardboard??

There is no problem installing tile on drywall in those areas that are not subjected to water. You will want to put a good primer on the drywall first.


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