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Ken524 04-19-2008 02:48 PM

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?

gjbingham 04-19-2008 07:06 PM

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.

RTflorida 04-19-2008 07:42 PM

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.


vincent 04-20-2008 05:04 AM

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.

RTflorida 04-20-2008 06:26 AM

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

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.


vincent 04-21-2008 04:36 AM

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.

Ken524 04-23-2008 06:59 PM

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 :confused:

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).

RTflorida 04-23-2008 09:12 PM

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.


gjbingham 04-23-2008 10:59 PM

Re: Cement Board, Hardiebacker, Durock... Which one?
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!

Dutchoven 04-24-2008 05:56 AM

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

Originally Posted by gjbingham (Post 30442)
They were pretty uneducated in the other products.

An acronym we came up with for LOWE'S...Lack Of Well Educated Staff...

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