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
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?
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.
Keith Williams wrote:
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. ;-)
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.
Keith Williams 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
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
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.
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.
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