Old 06-24-2009, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1
Default Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

Actually, any of the gypsum fiber/cement based boards like Hardi and Dragonboard are not good for exterior applications since you have to apply special mortar to seal them. Once they are cut or even scratched they do begin to slowly take on moisture. They're best used indoors under wood floors where it's easier to guarantee a moisture seal. Otherwise, use the cement/fiberglass backer boards like Durock, Permabase, or my new preference SelectCrete.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:01 AM
mfiore's Avatar
Master Builder
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 919
Default Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

Hardie Backer contains no gypsum fiber (according to it's website).
Mike - Saginaw, MI

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Old 02-08-2013, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1
Default Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

In response to your acronym; Lack Of Well Educated Staff.
If you are going to Lowe's to find out how complete a construction project from an $8.00 an hour floor attendant, I would say you are sadly mistaken on your expectations of Lowes staff. Does your shipping clerk know the metalurgical qualities of all the metals you use in construction of your ovens?
I believe you owe Lowe's and ALL their staff an apology.
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:33 AM
mongota's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 38
Default Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?

Products like Durock and Wonderboad are true cement board products. Think of them as just "cement". Nothing in the sheet can be damaged by repeated wetting and drying cycles.

Hardie is cementitious-based like the two products above, but it also contains cellulose fibers, or "paper" fibers. With its different formulation, Hardie has mixed use limits and mixed warranty coverage.

Hardie divides the country in half, into a northern and southern section. Run an east-west line along the northern boundaries of Arizona, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. North of the line is considered a "cold" climate. There are restrictions on it's use in cold climates in the north.

Recommendations for exterior use? Durcok and Wonderboard are both fine products, but I give Durock the edge because it's easier to handle.

For interior use all three are fine, but I still prefer Durock.

There are quite a few other tile backer boards out there, but be careful of anything that comes from the same manufacturers that market gypsum board, or "drywall". The latest/greatest tile backer boards come with an impervious waterproof skin that protects a modified gypsum core. The gypsum core, while "water resistant", can still be damaged. Great care needs to be taken to detail every fastener penetration through the board and every cut edge.

So for exterior use? I recommend sticking with a true cement board; Durock or Wonderboard.

Edit to add: 1/4" or 1/2" has already been covered, but I'll repeat it: Use 1/2" on walls where it will be fastened to studs. 1/2" is stiff enough to not flex between studs. On flat surfaces that have full support (on a counterrop, over a subfloor, etc) 1/4" or 1/2" can be used.

Best, Mongo

Last edited by mongota; 09-29-2014 at 03:50 PM. Reason: added info
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