Backerboard screws don't work?

In making a flat surface for a portable grill area, my plan was to attach Hardiboard backerboard to a sheet of 3/4" melamine/chipboard. That way, I could tile one side and when we were not grilling, I could turn the top over over and use the smooth white surface of the melamine as a table top.
I cut a sheet of melamine to size, an exact fit over the Hardiboard. I purchased the box of backerboard screws, as recommended by the clerk at Home Hell. Now I find it nearly impossible to screw the sheets together. The backerboard screw really doesn't grab the material, the screws are a little long anyway but were supposed to be self-drilling. Even if I hammer it in a bit and then try to lean on the drill, the screw makes dust, not holes. After a year or two, it finally penetrates the Hardiboard and then more or less pushes the melamine away. Clamping the sheets together didn't help much.
Should I use roofing nails instead? I don't want to ruin the melamine surface, these screws seem a bit long anyway. It'd be a drag to snip screw tips and have to refinish the surface. Is this just not going to work? Should I try some sort of bigtime construction adhesive instead of nails or screws?
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sounds like it might be easiest.

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You want to use something like Dritac 7500 Urethane adhesive, or an adhesive that is made for bonding concrete to wood, and is weather stable. http://www.dritac.com / ----------------------------------------
On 14 Aug 2004 15:18:17 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com (mbrooks) wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com says...

considered pre-drilling some holes in the hardibacker (with carbide bit or masonry bit) then using your scres to dig directly into the melamine?
Good luck
Marc
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The screws are meant to go into wood (studs). Melamine is not a good choice. It doesn't hold screws well and is very sensitive to moisture on unsealed edges. It's surface is not that tough for a table top. It is more of a shelf material. If you are going to use melamine why not just stick the tiles to the melamine. There are adhesive for this (setting tile over Formica).
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In my experience, the backerboard screws are meant to affix the backerboard to substrate, such as plywood. They are not meant to attach material to the top of the Hardibacker. Used adhesive for that, IMHO. Seems the screws on top would defeat the purpose of having a smooth cooking prep surface, anyway.

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