Hardibacker for kitchen tile backsplash?

Hello,
I typically see kitchen tile backsplashes attached to drywall with mastic. Is there any reason not to use Hardibacker and regular thinset for a tile backsplash?
Walls are 9' tall, meaning I'll have three horizontal rows regardless. So it's no extra trouble to just use Hardibacker for the middle row instead of gypsum board veneer plaster base.
Cheers, Wayne
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Any reason _not_ to? No. It's perfectly fine and a more durable installation. Most people use mastic on the drywall which is a small bit easier and cheaper. A backsplash is the one instance where I don't have a problem with using mastic. A backsplash is not subject to much in the way of water, weight or wear.

That's a good way to do it. A nice trick, on a related topic is to cut one sheet of drywall in half the long way and to use that at the top and bottom with a full sheet in between (8' ceiling) when you're doing a kitchen cabinet wall. It hides the horizontal seams behind the cabinets so there's hardly any taping to be done. But you probably already knew that... ;)
R
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Thanks for the tip, that makes a lot of sense.
On a related note, with 9' ceilings, I am tempted to get 9' sheets and run them vertically on the walls without cabinets. I understand that with normal drywall, the vertical joints this makes are more difficult to tape and make disappear. However, I'm going to be using veneer coat plaster, where all of the wall is coated with a thin coat (1/16" to 1/8") of plaster. With this product, is there any reason to avoid vertical seams?
Cheers, Wayne
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As long as your framing is reasonably straight, no, have at it.
I've never understood the "no vertical sheets" thing. People say you'll see the seams more, but I have had zero problems hiding a tapered-edges-meeting seam, regardless of orientation. Then again I always hold a straightedge on the framing and have no qualms about stapling up non-corrugated cardboard or thin paneling strips to make things straight. On rare occasions I've used a power planer on the studs, but that's a bit drastic.
R
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Thanks, Wayne
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wrote:

What's so hard to understand? Would you put on your exterior sheathing vertical? Would you sheath your roof verticaly ? Sheetrock is part of the structure as well and the same rules apply...
Back on topic...Hardibacker not needed for kitchen backsplash...

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Well, if you are in a high wind or seismic zone, then you might--it reduces the need for intermediate blocking.

No, but in this case the plywood is spanning between rafters, and you always want the "strength axis" to be perpendicular to the supporting members. For most plywood the strength axis is the long direction: the face grain runs in the long direction, and as the outermost fibers, the face grain contributes most to bending resistance.

That's not so clear: I don't think sheetrock has a strength axis. It seems like it should be pretty isotropic.
Cheers, Wayne
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Drywall is part of the structure in much the same way the doors are. When designing a building the drywall is ignored - it does not enter into the calculations for ultimate strength, deflection or anything else. It does add strength, but that's a bonus, not calculated.
I was saying that it's not hard to hide tapered seams, and you're apparently free associating on building components. I still don't understand what your point is.

You don't need to run sheetrock horizontally.
R
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