Hardibacker board vs Cement board for Garage/Mudroom shower.

I am finishing a new bathroom just off my mudroom/garage. I am trying to decide if I should back ceramic tile with cement board or Hardi backer. This will be for a very heavy use shower.. wash out camping stuff.. push kids in when they come home from football practice all muddy... not a powder room for makeup.. but a heavy use shower/bathroom.
Cost: HB is about a buck more per sheet.. not enough to be a deal-killer if Hardi-backer is better.
I have cut and hung a few sheets of cement board to finish off another bathroom, it is heavy, but do-able. Obviiosly HB is lighter, and would be easier to handle, but is it as durable in a heavy use shower?
Do I need a special blade for HB? I picked up a 5 dollar blade at Harbor Freight that rips right through cement board, but at another place I saw a blade especially for hardibacker and it was 50 bucks. Do I need that special blade for HB?
Floor will be slate, is HB good to back slate floor tiles in a heavy use area? Or am I better off using Cement board?
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Jack wrote:

i like hb cause it's consistently thick hb is suitable for all stone type surfaces just get the 1/2" stuff
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

AFAIAC, it is. I'll never use cement board again. Though neither is indestructible.

I think it's more durable, over the long run. I worried abut cement board cracking with any repeated flex. I don't think I'd use it on the floor.

I just use a carbide blade in a 3-3/8" Makita 9.6V cutoff saw. Cuts like butter. You can also score and break it, like sheetrock (on steroids but I find it's easier to just cut it.

Is your subfloor solid? If so, I wouldn't worry about HB. Walls might need some reinforcement. HB over plywood ought to be good enough for a tank-wash. ;-)
--
Keith

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Hardibacker all the way -
I want to voice a note of caution however, you should NOT use a power saw to cut Hardibacker unless you are wearing a resperator, and you should wear a resperator when sweeping up cuttings as well. Hardibacker dust when inhaled can cause silicosis (a dangerous and sometimes fatal lung disease)- and it doesn't take long exposures over many years to get it either. It's better to just score and break it.
Jeff
Keith Williams wrote:

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

It's not all *that* bad. The size of the particles has to be just right and it does take a while for silicosis to set in. A mask is a good idea (there is a warning on the label), and I do all the cutting (backer and tile) outside because it does make a mess.

How do you "break" the hole for a toilet waste line or dryer vent? I use a RotoZip. ;-)
--
Keith

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It IS all *that* bad... just ask anyone who got it from 'casual contact' with silica dust and now needs oxygen to survive. Better safe than sorry, I'd say!
How to cut a circle or hole in hardibacker? It's EASY. Scribe the circle or shape you want to punch out of the hardibacker and then scribe an "X" in the middle. Use a hammer to lightly punch out the center (X marks the spot) then break out the rest by hand - see it's EASY and you won't die from the dust.
Jeff
Keith Williams wrote:

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jeffreydesign wrote:

What Jeff is saying is equally true for BOTH HB and cement board. Both contain cement. Cement dust is HAZARDOUS. Even if you are only EVER going to use HB/Cementboard in this SOLE project and NEVER again in your life, and you intend to saw it, then use a carbide tipped blade, do it outdoors, stand upwind of the dust ejected from the saw, wear goggles, and wear a dust mask too.
Scoring and hammering will NOT work with the other famous Hardie products, HardiPanel, HardiPlank and HardiTrim. I watched the pros do this on my house, and they were very cautious. Everyone was very careful to stand upwind, everyone had protective eyewear on and anyone near the saw had on a respirator
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Yes, and Hardi* no more so. People mix cement all the time. I'm not saying that it's not hazardous, just that people are going a little overboard here.

No goggles, but the rest is pretty much what I do. Three bathrooms, laundry, and a couple of closets, so far. Do you wear a dust mask and goggles when you mix the thinset too?

Did they do the same for fiberglass installation? My bet is that's the next "disaster" in the news.
--
Keith

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i did my shower with hardibacker, i cut it by scoring line per instructions...for other cuts i just used my angle grinder blade (use a good respiration mask as breathing the dust is bad)
I knew nothing about it when i bought it, i thought it was water proof (after seeing the displays in the store where it was in water) so it sat in my trailer bed for a few weeks and a few rains, I noticed it is pressed layers and if submerged long enough mositure will wick up a little into the layers from the edges and can de layer the edges....not that it is a concern just make sure you read the installation instructions part on avoiding wicking moisture at the wall to floor joint.
Anyways i liked it as tiling went fast on it nice surface, seems pretty durable...i dont think i'd worry about it.
dont know nuthin about floors i'm on a slab. Read hardi's online instructions and faq they're pretty complete.
Jack wrote:

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Jack wrote:

Before you make any decisions, check out Wedi board. I've used all of the other backer boards and Wedi is by far my favorite. It's a Dow foam board with a fiberglass mesh reinforced acrylic cement coating on both sides. It's very light - try walking up stairs carrying four or five boards of 1/2" cement-based backer board some time - cuts like a dream, just like drywall, is totally waterproof, adds insulation, is a vapor barrier and if the seams are caulked with polyurethane it's perfect for steam showers and such.
R
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