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Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

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  • Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

    Can anybody elaborate on the differences between Durock, Hardiebacker and several other of the brands that are commonly used?

    Pros and Cons of each? Which is recommended to use over the steel studs of our ovens?
    Ken H. - Kentucky
    42" Pompeii

    Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

    Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
    Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

  • #2
    Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

    Great question Ken! I've been wondering the same thing myself!

    I think the other posts pretty much agree with what I read at Lowes. Hardi backer for vertical (and horizontal) use. Durock for horizontal. The finishes are virtually identical. I'd be surprised if their physical properties varied much.

    I did read on the Durock website that it was only rated for something like 30 cycles of freezing to warm when wet (from memory). That put me off of my original use that I intended as a drip stopper underneath an upstairs deck over a downstairs slider/porch.
    GJBingham
    -----------------------------------
    Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

    -

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

      Personally, I prefer the Hardi - I used both several times.
      When I did my outdoor kitchen cabinets I used Durock over steel studs along with the recommended screws -had a serious problem getting the screws to start straight and drive flush without chewing an egg shapped hole, I ended up predrilling. Durock doesn't cut as clean either, in my opinion.
      Never had any problems driving screws through Hardi, whether vertical or horizontal. I also like the "score and snap" cutting properties (just like drywall); Also using a backerboard saw blade on my circular saw gives a much cleaner edge on the Hardi than the Durock...Hot/cold cycling is not an issue for me here in FL, when I lived in northern Ohio Hardi was considered the "high end" siding alternative to vinyl and aluminum. I'm pretty certain there are no issues with hot/cold, freeze/thaw when it pertains to weather conditions with Hardi...Durock, I don't know.

      RT

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      • #4
        Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

        It seems to be a matter of personal prefrence whether to use Durock, HardieBacker, 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch. Ask 10 different people and there will be 10 varied opinions. Thats part of what make things interesting. However Durock is acceptable for exterior applications where HardieBacker isn't.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

          Agreed,

          Hardi does not specify in any of their literature that it is not suitable for exterior use...nor does it say that it is; merely states that it is suitable for all wet applications.
          In any case, nearly every outdoor island and grill enclosure company uses Hardi (don't know why). With their experience with siding, I would have no problems using their board outdoors.

          All things considered, Hardi, Durock, Wonderboard will all do the job very well. Use whichever is least expensive or more readily available.
          One last point about the Hardi - be careful using the 1/4" product, it can break easily.....the only downside I can think of, probably inherent to most 1/4" sheet goods.

          RT

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          • #6
            Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

            RT; I have to agree with you that any of the products will work. They are all cement based products that will be covered with something whether it's tile, stucco ect. But on the HardieBacker sire i did find the following. In accordance with National Evaluation Service Report NER-405, HardieBacker board is recognized only as an interior substrate. I probably should have put it in my previous post and been more clear. I just felt it was good info to pass along.
            Vincent

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            • #7
              Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

              I've started attaching my backer board. To make things fun, I bought 4 sheets of HardiBacker and 1 sheet of Durock Cement board. Both are 1/2" thick. I would definitely use the 1/2". 1/4" will be too thin.

              Note: Hardibacker seems to be spelled 2 ways. I have found references on the James Hardie website for both "Hardibacker" and "Hardiebacker". The sticker on my board is spelled "Hardi", but the stamp on the board says "Hardie". I haven't figured that out yet

              I have pretty much the same observations as RT made a few posts up.

              1. Cutting: The Hardibacker does a really nice job with "Score and Snap". I scored the board twice with a utility knife and it usually snaps clean. I used the utility knife to make an occasional trim.

              The Durock also "Scores and snaps" but not nearly as clean. It's a true cement/aggregate product so it can't snap as cleanly.

              2. Drilling: I had no problems using Hardibacker brand screws to attach the Hardibacker board. No pre-drilling required. Screws countersink nicely. They have a sharp area under the head that allows them to bore right into the board. Pretty cool.

              I was also able to attach the Durock with the Hardibacker brand screws. Because of the texture of the product, the screws didn't go in as cleanly, but I still got good connections and countersinks without pre-drilling. Again, I think the Hardibacker wins this category (by a hair).
              Ken H. - Kentucky
              42" Pompeii

              Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

              Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
              Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

                I will throw my two cents in on a third product - I believe it is WonderBoard - another glass mesh cement aggregate product carried by either HD or Lowes. I truely hate this product, maybe it is just me, don't know; this stuff doesn't cut worth a damn (unless using a circ saw) and predrilling is an absolute must when using steel studs (light gauge, i might add). I guess my problems could have been user error or possibly the screws (they were not manufactured by Wonderboard, but were recommended for use with Wonderboard and Durock).
                Again, a personal prefference thing....I just have not had the best of luck with Durock and Wonderboard. All 3 are pretty indestructable in a wet environment, so you can't go wrong with your choice.

                RT

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                • #9
                  Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

                  Funny,
                  I was in Lowes yesterday and there's a Georgia Pacific product as well - I forget the name, that is intended for attaching tile to in wet applications.

                  I questioned the men in the department about the qualities and applications of the three boards. They both said "use Hardiboard", regardless of the application. They were pretty uneducated in the other products. Probably a sales rep. had his way with them and now they tout the Hardiboard above anything. God forbid I question what the rep. told me!
                  GJBingham
                  -----------------------------------
                  Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                  -

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

                    Originally posted by gjbingham View Post
                    Funny,
                    They were pretty uneducated in the other products.
                    An acronym we came up with for LOWE'S...Lack Of Well Educated Staff...
                    "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                    "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

                      Hahahah! I'd love to share that with the staff. I'm there almost every day as its only a mile away. Kind of a man's toy store.
                      GJBingham
                      -----------------------------------
                      Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                      -

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

                        George
                        Yours in WA may be better than ours...what am I saying it has to be better...ours has lots and lots of just out of high school kids working in the departments as "specialists" or so they say...when I lived in NY there were a lot of retired tradesmen that were working both HD and Lowe's and they were a FANTASTIC resource...we are in ours just about as often getting things for the building remodel we are doing...we have to resize some photos and post them
                        Best
                        Dutch
                        "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                        "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

                          No, not much better. A few years back, both HD and Lowes seemed to have a lot of experienced people working their who knew their stuff. Now they either BS you or walk you around to find someone who knows better than they. Of course, they don't wait around to hear the answer and actually learn something.
                          GJBingham
                          -----------------------------------
                          Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                          -

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

                            Agreed, James Hardi has done a much better job of marketing and YES they still have an active group of reps. servicing the big retailers - thats why the store associates seem to "know" (more like promote) the product - there IS a Hardi rep that makes his presence known in the store.
                            I've been managing the big retailer (Lowes, HD) for my company for 10 yrs. A LOT has changed. Most major manufacturers had their own representatives who service, promoted their product, conducted training classes, and worked special sales events. Both Lowes and HD have chosen to go with marketing directives that add to the bottom line...without sales growth. They have taken control of in store service, charging manufacturers a % of sales, then hiring 3rd party rep agencies to maintain the products.....example: HD charges between 3% and 9% (depending on product category) for managing the service, but only pays the rep agencies 1.5% (they pocket the rest); at the same time they reduce their own in store staff putting the workload on the rep agencies. Lowes started this practice roughly 8-9 yrs ago, HD followed suit. Currently both are in the process of changing again...they both realized sales were lagging and are now starting their own merchandising teams, supposedly to have greater control - while still charging the manufacturers for the service.
                            The bottom line - manufacturers have let reps go (my group released 25 reps in the past 3 yrs), resulting in very few reps in the stores to promote and more importantly - train associates on the products. At the same time, they have cut staffs in the stores and hired mostly part timers.....hence, no one knows Durock from garden fertilizer. They both are telling us their "new" initiatives will make a huge difference.....we will see.

                            RT

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

                              RT
                              I for one will hope...it is tough when you go into a store and you don't want help from the staff...not just don't ask for it
                              Dutch
                              "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                              "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                              Comment

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