Best Backer Board for Tile
Why It Is Used:
Cementitious vs. Organic:
Troweled On Base vs. Sheets:
Types of Tile Backer Board
Manufacturer: James Hardie Industries
- Composition: Unlike pure cement board, the fiber is almost invisibly integrated into the board, making for cleaner cuts. HardieBacker comes in both 3′ x 5′ and 4′ x 8′ sizes. But unless you are installing as a team, you will find the large size too heavy to handle on your own. HardieBacker is 90% Portland cement and sand, along with patented MoldBlock technology.
- Details: If you expect to apply fiber cement board in areas of high water volume (tiling a bathtub, for example), you will want to install a barrier of 4 mm plastic behind the backer board.
- Review: For DIY tile installers, HardieBacker reigns supreme. Available at Home Depot, HardieBacker’s 1″ x 1″ grid makes measuring easy and cutting a snap (literally).
- Composition: This glass mat is up to 5% continuous filament glass fiber along with gypsum–the main ingredient in drywall.
- Details: DensShield is denser than even HardiBacker. Glass mat is waterproof, eliminating the need for a plastic barrier. The DensShield product also claims to be mold resistant.
- Review: If you are comfortable working with drywall, this product is for you. DensShield scores and snaps with a standard utility knife.
Manufacturer: Custom Building Products
- Composition: Wonderboard is a very fibrous material, its cement core heavily interlaced with long fibers designed to help hold the board together.
- Details: Available in 36″ x 60″ sizes (either 7/16″ or 1/4″ thick), Wonderboard can be cut with a utility knife.
- Review: I find Wonderboard difficult to work with, as it tends to crumble easily and needs to be treated gingerly. Screws do not grab very well, tending to pull straight through. On the good side, Wonderboard is cheaper than HardieBacker, so will be more cost-effective with large installations.
4. Go Board
`GoBoard™ 1/2″ x 3′ x 5′ weighs only 7.5lbs and is easy to handle
- It can be quickly cut right where it is installed with a basic utility knife without crumbling or disintegrating
- Simply attach with backer board screws or roofing nails
- GoBoard™ is waterproof
- Seal only the board joints and fastener locations with urethane sealant for a waterproof tile assembly as per GoBoard™ installation instructions
- For tile installations – showers, wall, ceilings, and floors
- On concrete floors, GoBoard™ will act as thermal insulation under the tile.
- Can improve the efficiency of radiant heat by up to 40%
- Acts as an uncoupling membrane, reducing the risk of transfer cracks in tiles.
Weight: 7.5lbs for 1/2″ and 6.0lbs 1/4″ thicknesses
Wedi Panel Panels are so much more than a simple tile backer board and offer endless installation opportunities. Available in a wide variety of thicknesses and sizes, they are compatible with virtually any substructure. wedi Building Panels are lightweight, internally waterproof, and dimensionally stable, making them fast, clean, and simple to work with. The blue waterproof core is CFC-free, made from waterproof extruded polystyrene foam, reinforced with fiberglass mesh on both sides, and coated with synthetic polymer resin mortar which fully embeds the mesh layer resulting in the panel’s strength and the ability to develop the highest adhesion strength to virtually any type of thin-set mortar. The embedded mesh eliminates the risk of delamination of installation layers.