DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Building & Construction (
-   -   Cement Board on Concrete Wall (

donrbenson 06-10-2011 09:03 PM

Cement Board on Concrete Wall
Hello everyone. This is my first post and, after an extensive Google search with nothing close to an answer, I hope that you guys can help me.

First off let list the circumstances: This is not a basement. This is not concrete block. I live in a high-rise (26th Floor) Co-op that was built in the late 1960's. The walls a poured, solid concrete.

I am not a contractor, but I'm pretty OK with my hands. I recently gutted my kitchen and found that the walls for cabinets and backsplash are basically not flat at all. One side has a bulge that may offset the wall nearly a 1/2".

Knocking the walls down and building something else is not an option. As stated, I live in a Co-op and there are a ton of rules, plus It would be a tremendous expense.

My thought was to use Durock Cement Board on the concrete wall, 1/4", and mud behind it to get level and plumb. The walls will then be covered with cabinets and a glass mosaic wall tile. It's only the upper half of the walls on both sides, above the granite counter tops. It's a small, galley kitchen, covering about 40 square feet in total.

My question is, does it seem feasible or does anyone have a better idea.

Greatly appreciate any advice.


Ron6519 06-10-2011 10:10 PM

Wouldn't it be easier to stud the wall out and add blocking for the cabinet attachment?

Bud Cline 06-10-2011 10:40 PM


My thought was to use Durock Cement Board on the concrete wall, 1/4", and mud behind it to get level and plumb.
Probably not going to happen.:)

Wouldn't it be easier to stud the wall out and add blocking for the cabinet attachment?:yes:

donrbenson 06-12-2011 09:58 AM

The kitchen is a galley kitchen which is only 7' wide. If I stud both walls I won't be able to open the oven or dishwasher.

oh'mike 06-12-2011 10:04 AM

A plasterer could get that wall flat for you----Or furring strips ?

donrbenson 06-12-2011 10:19 AM

Thanks Mike, and by the way, I just took your advice on your signature to update my profile. I thought about the plasterer, but where I live all contractors cost more, and it's not just because it's New York City. The rediculous process that my Co-op requires for contractors to be allowed to work in my building, plus the invasive approval process, has made me use contractors only when necessary. Wheras I understand some od their reasons, it's really mostly to solicit a bribe for them to let you fix your house. The plasterer would need to be part of a licensed and insured company and that company would need to add like 5 insurance riders. This normally discourages companies to do work unless the charge is worth their while.

The furring might be an option, though..thanks.

donrbenson 06-12-2011 10:36 AM which do you think might be better, wood or metal? I plan on putting on concrete board, then upper cabinets and glass tile backsplash...thanks

donrbenson 06-12-2011 10:36 AM

These IKEA cabinets...thanks

oh'mike 06-12-2011 11:13 AM

I'm a wood worker,so I'd choose wood ,However the metal strips are a fine product.

There is no need for cement board for a tiled back splash---Drywall and tile work well together in a dry area like a kitchen.---Less cost---easier to work with,too.

Add extra furring strips--=or even 10 or 12 inch strips of plywood where the cabinets are to be screwed.---This will allow for a faster,easier install and the use of more (and shorter) screws to hold up the cases.

(My family goes back to Brooklyn long ,long ago) (1739 to be exact--farmers,imagine that!)--Mike--

Bud Cline 06-12-2011 11:43 AM

Let's think out loud for a minute...

If you choose to fir out the wall the wood strips will be 3/4" thick and will have to be shimmed at points to keep them flat and on-plane. Using wood that is somewhat flexible is a challenge in some cases.

There is a metal product known as a "hat-channel" that would serve the same purpose but would not flex. The hat-channel would be easier to shim and will also take up 3/4". Any drywall supplier that sells metal studs would sell hat-channel I think.

I wouldn't use cement board, it is too hard to work with and serves no useful purpose in this case. I would use drywall.:)

Ron6519 06-12-2011 11:43 AM

With furring strips, you will need to screw through them into the concrete to secure the cabinets to the walls.

donrbenson 06-12-2011 01:33 PM

Thanks guys, you have been very helpful and saved me a GREAT DEAL of time and effort here. It's very difficult to get DIY advice when you have concrete walls in a co-op. I must say that I don't believe there is 45 degree angle or plumb wall in this place. When I bought it, I was niave in thikning that concrete would be flat and straight. I whould have rememebered what my ex-father-in-law used to tell me, "concrete is heavy. build a crappy form, get a crappy outcome"(He was a cement mason for about 40 years). Thanks again averyone!

Gary in WA 06-13-2011 09:47 PM

Curious as to the insulation or vapor barrier/retarder on this exterior concrete wall? Something to stop the condensation on the cabinet backs.......


donrbenson 06-14-2011 09:04 AM

Gary, my kitchen is a galley with concrete walls on both sides. Neither of these walls go to the outside as this is an apartment building (29 floors), all of my walls are concrete. One one side of the kitchen, if went all the way through the concrete, you would come into my foyeur. One the other side, you would eventually come into my neighbors apartment.

For the concrete walls that actually do face the outside, I honestly don't know how they are insulated, I've never cut into them. The walls in the kitchen, I have cut into. They are solid concrete and electric is run through steel conduits in the wall. In areas that go outside my apartment, there is concrete, a steel mesh and then some sort of plaster wall finish.

If anyone did know how these buildings are insulated and such, I would be curious, though.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:26 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1