HardieBacker Cement Board & How Chivalry Died at Home Depot

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hardiebacker-cement-boardHardiebacker: this stuff is the single most useful material for applications where ceramic tile is involved; it can be used as a sub-floor, a base for counter-tops and all over the bathroom as a more durable, waterproof alternative to greenboard. It’s water resistant, non-flammable and mold resistant, making it a DIY home owner’s dream material. I know this for a fact. I put a piece of Hardiebacker to the test.

First I left it outside in the rain for a week, then let it dry out and started piling trash on it. Then I set the trash on fire (don’t ask, it’s just another typical day on my driveway). After the ashes cooled, I pulled the HardieBacker out – and aside from some black soot, it was still as good as ever. At our local Home Depot they had a little display – a small square of Hardiebacker in a plastic box full of water, hanging on a chain from the rack where the boards were displayed. According to the date on the container, it had been there since 2001. That means that the little sample of board had been submerged in water without disintegrating or crumbling for years before my wife ran the buggy into it accidentally and smashed it. Whoops. I hurriedly exited the scene of the crime, pretending to be in urgent need of varnish and leaving her to hide the evidence. And they say chivalry is dead. I guess they’re right. I thought about taking the fall for her, but frankly I figured her cuteness would win more sympathy than mine with most Home Depot employees. My point is, Hardiebacker is the absolute best product out there for your money when it comes to prepping for tile. It won’t mold, rot or burn, and it beats Durock and greenboard hands down for interior applications. As far as I know, the only threat Hardiebacker can’t stand up to is a Home Depot shopping cart. You can find Hardiebacker (minus the 6 year old demo box), at any Home Depot.

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3 thoughts on “HardieBacker Cement Board & How Chivalry Died at Home Depot”

  1. I’m glad that got you figured out. I’m sorry it gave you so much trouble. If you want a good company that has a great installers that can do it for you in the future look at conservation construction.

  2. We are replacing 60 landings between staircase & condo entrances and replaced the rotten plywood with exterior grade plywood – then applied a primer and the 1/4″ Hardie Backer 500 cement board.with screws on 12″ centers.
    The top again was treated with E-Z Stone primerand the 3-step decorative coating.
    The landings are exposed to the outdoor conditions prevailing in Tucson Arizona with the known high temperatures in the summer, followed by sudden rains.
    Please advise me if you agree with the use of your product for his application being subject to foot traffic.
    I am on the board of directors and am looking after this project to assure that quality materials are used for the intended use.
    Please reply before February 24, we completed one test unit but are hesitating to commit more landings to this method of repairs.

    Thank you:
    Alfred Staub


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