Cement backer board is the required sub-surface below tile. If you have a good, smooth cement board surface, your tile work should be a piece of cake.
Time Required: 3 hours
- Buy your cement backer board. HardieBacker, Durock, and Wonderboard are the three main types you will find at your local home improvement store (I prefer Durock). Bring gloves and a friend. The edges are sharp, the boards are heavy.
- If you have any obstructions to work around, cut the cement board with a SkilSaw outfitted with a carbide blade. Safety glasses are not optional--cutting cement board is a messy process. An alternative, cleaner way is to score the mesh side with a utility knife and snap off.
- Apply thinset mortar on the surface where you will be affixing the cement board. Using basic tiling techniques, "comb" the thin-set mortar with your notched trowel.
- Lay down the cement boards, keeping them 1/8" to 1/4" apart. With your cordless drill, screw the cement boards down with the cement board screws along the edges, every 8". Screw heads should be slightly below the cement board surface. You do not want screw heads protruding, or you will have problems when you lay down the tile.
(Buy Direct - Gilmour Cement Screws)
- Cover seams with fiberglass seam tape. Fill in and smooth with mortar. Let dry.
What You Need
- Cement Backer Board
- Thin-Set Mortar
- Notched Trowel
- Fiberglass Seam Tape
- Cordless Drill
- Cement Board Screws
- Safety Glasses
- Utility Knife (optional)