It seems to me that some of the answers (not questions themselves) are too localized to the United States.

One example is When should a waterproof membrane be installed for shower tiling?, where a membrane is recommended with an assumption of a backer board present.

Backer boards, drywalls, lath and plaster walls are all quite uncommon in at least some parts of Europe - brickwork and concrete are materials of choice, with drywall occasionally installed for interior remodelling. As an illustration, I never heard of a wall stud until some reading on this site.

What is the general opinion on that?

3 Answers 3


When we started out, I had thought that the site would become more international in nature, but in retrospect I should not have been surprised that an English-language home-improvement site is dominated by people from English-speaking countries, with especially many users from the United States. It is important to keep in mind that many of those who will read and answer your question are from these countries.

Your question gave no indication of where you were from—and even if you had said, people cannot be expected to know that brick and concrete walls are common in your country. (I had no idea, even though I was born and raised in Europe.) So, an American and an Australian gave answers based on the kind of construction they are familiar with, hoping that it would be of use to you (as it would have been, if you had been from another part of Europe where wood framing is dominant)—or else to the next person who comes along and finds your question. Perhaps somebody else will post an answer that is particular to brick walls. If so, the system is working perfectly.

I understand that it may be hard to ask questions when you don't know what to describe about your situation and what can be taken for granted. It may help to post a picture with your question. Then, others may notice a detail that is pertinent even though you were not aware of it. It is also a good idea to fill out the Location field in your profile.

  • 1
    +1 for PICTURES!
    – Tester101
    Jun 20, 2012 at 16:00

These are terms that are common in the UK too. OK there may be some terminology differences - drywall (US) vs. plasterboard (UK), but generally the advice carries over.

I see quite a few questions from other parts of the world that get good answers, so I don't see a problem.

If you can offer another solution that works with different assumptions then please post it. It might not help the original poster, but it could help future searchers.


The problem is always local and individual, although the answer may have broad or even universal application.

I think Vebjorn's approach is right - we share the experiences we have and describe the resources we know and can get. Many tools and supplies have decades or centuries of history and are available in most developed countries. Globalization make newer/less established tools and supplies from many jurisdictions widely available, but not necessarily at your local home center, wherever that may be.

In addition to local practices and supplies, local building codes also require different approaches to problems. Again, many questions and solutions are not controlled by these, but we need to be sensitive to the fact that some readers may need to comply with a rule where we have none or which differs from ours.

It is a good idea to be sensitive to practices, resources and regulation that may differ, to raise that issue when it seems likely, and to try to focus on the particular problem presented and the specific circumstances and limitations that the asker describes.

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