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29 March 2007

Installing Hardibacker for the Tiled Walls

The next step in tiling the shower is to put the cement board up. You can find all you need in the tile section of your local home improvement store. I was able to use 1/4" thick hardibacker and I love it. I also picked up a scorer while I was there to aid me in the cutting of the hardi backer. Putting up cement board is just like putting up drywall. You cut it to fit, and then screw it to the studs. I left a 1/8" gap between panels. I also used a hole saw to cut the holes where my shower head and handles would come through. I found that a saber saw also worked well on he hardibacker allowing me to cut an oval for the body jets that I was installing.

The first problem I encountered is that I needed the cement board to finish flush with the tile lip of my shower pan so that I could come back and tile over it later. I used shims again behind the hardibacker to bring them out to the desired thickness. Here you can see a quick sketch of how it should look when mounted.

The space between the hardibacker and the stud is what I needed to fill with shims. Once this was done and the boards were screwed into the studs through the shims, I used 100% silicone caulk to seal the seems between the hardibacker panels. Here you can see all of the hardibacker installed.


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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the illustration for the hardibacker but i have one question. What did you for the area where the hardibacker meets the ceiling (which in my case is still drywall)? Do you tape it with joint tape, mesh tape or tape it and then use thinset?


Anonymous said...

Good instructions, except I really don't think that silicone caulk is the right material to seal the seams. If you do use caulk you should DEFINATELY have a 10mm vapor barrier between the hardibacker and the framing of your house. A better choice would be to follow the MANUFACTURER'S (the people who know!) instructions and tape the seams with fiberglass or synthetic mesh tape. Hardibacker, I think, sells both the mesh tape and some sort of sealant. I've had good luck wit regular yellow mesh drywall tape and a premixed thinset (they're usually much thinner and smoother, easier to work like joint compound)I like one with a high LATEX OR ACRYLIC content for this application.

Anonymous said...

You also used the wrong size Hardibacker. 1/4" is used for floors, not walls. You should have used the 1/2" especially for a shower or tub. I wonder if shims would have been necessary if you had used the 1/2" As someone stated before, following the manufacturer's instructions would have been a good idea.

Louie said...

I was told in a building inspection class that all building products must be installed according to manufacturers specs, your tub/shower should be fairly tight to the studs (1/16 of an inch), and screwed to the studs, than the hardi baccker should be shimmed out from the walls about 1/4 inch so that it can come all the way down and over the lip of your tub or bath

Anonymous said...

silicone sealant
polysulfide sealant
butyl sealant

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Anonymous said...

your CBU should have went over the shower pan lip, and you shoulda used a vapor barrier (not sure if you did or not). The way your CBU sits, when you get leaks or moisture behind the CBU it's going to drain outside of your shower pan and into your walls. Yuck.