If you’re planning a new tiling project, you need to select the correct building materials to ensure that the final product is exactly how you envisioned it. It’s important to choose a tile backer board that will help in protecting your property from moisture damage, is strong, and does not contain any abrasive materials such as glass, gypsum, asbestos, or formaldehyde. And, that’s why you should be looking at HardieBacker installation for your home improvement project. 

After installing HardieBacker cement boards, you can rest assured that you’ve done everything possible to ensure your project lasts.

What is a HardieBacker board?

HardieBacker board aka hardiplank aka hardie board is a fiber cement board or tile underlayment manufactured by James Hardie. Its unique cement formulation and structure provide an optimum mix of strength, homogeneous composition, moisture-resistant qualities, and high performance. Moreover, it provides good tile adhesion.

Unlike typical cement boards, HardieBacker is a lot lighter. And, because there’s no glass or abrasive material in its composition, it’s a lot cleaner too. That’s why a Hardebacker installation is quick and easy – with little mess. What’s more, most HardieBacker boards come with a grid design. You can use this pattern as a guide for your HardieBacker installation. To help you get the perfect tile underlayment, you’ll need to ensure that the smooth side of the Hardiebacker board faces out.

What is HardieBacker used for?

HardieBacker is a tile underlayment or a tile backer board for walls, floors, and counters. When it specifically comes to flooring, the durable material can be used for tile flooring (whether ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone), vinyl floors, and wood floors. A HardieBacker cement board is made up of 90% Portland cement and sand. A Hardie board costs about $0.70 to $5.25 per square foot – depending on factors such as the thickness of the board, whether it’s a floor or a wall installation, etc. 

What do you put under Hardibacker?

HardieBacker specifies that you use thinset under their backerboard. Not using it will void the warranty on their product. The thinset layer between the cement board and the subfloor is used to cover any gaps or spaces between the two. It will prevent the cement board from rising and falling. Long-term flexing can cause complications in the future. Basically, the thinset helps create a solid surface under tiles and prevents flexing that could lead to cracking.

Read more: How good is fiber cement board for your siding?

How do you install HardieBacker on a wall?

hardiebacker install

The process of installing a HardieBacker is similar to that of installing traditional lapboards or wood siding. Keep in mind that if it’s a DIY project, you need to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions to the T. 

Even if you hire a professional tile installer, you must know some of the steps for HardieBacker installation:

  • Ensure that the framing is structurally sound and complies with local building codes.
  • Determine the layout of the HardieBacker board – either vertically or horizontally. Keep a 1/8-inch gap between the board edges.
  • Attach the board to the framing. Use a code-compliant waterproof membrane, vapor barrier or vapor retarding membrane for interior installations.
  • Install the boards 1/4 inch above the floor and caulk accordingly – fastening them with specified nails or screws.
  • Tape joints prior to tiling – filling all joints with mortar. 

What are the advantages of HardieBacker installation?

As mentioned above, Hardiebacker boards come with a lot of advantages:

  • They create a strong foundation for your home projects as well as commercial projects.
  • Are available in a variety of thicknesses.
  • Provide excellent tile adhesion.
  • Contain no fillers or abrasive aggregate.
  • Moisture-resistant board.
  • Can be cut quickly using a scoring knife or a utility knife.
  • Easy installation.

Last thoughts

Installing HardieBacker cement boards on your subfloor or wall before laying the tile is a great way to ensure the success of your renovation. This board is designed to add mold and moisture resistance to your tile installations. The best part is that such a tile underlayment is simple to install.

Experts believe that it even increases the resale value of your home. All in all, HardieBacker is undoubtedly one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your property.

Answering all your queries on HardieBacker installation was last modified: April 21st, 2023 by Ramona Sinha
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