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Old 05-21-2015, 09:28 AM   #1
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Another hardibacker vs durock thread....


Greetings all, this is my first shower remodel and I have it all torn down to the studs. I've gotten mixed responses/search results from my basic questions.

I'm going to be using synthetic/engineered marble slabs for the shower walls.

Remember this is for shower walls, not tile floors:

1)Hardibacker or durock under the slabs?

2)Will the eng marble adhere better to one vs the other? One thought of mine is the cement board is only as strong as the paper attached to it, will the weight of the syn marble pull at that over time?

3)studs/vapor barrier/hardi or durock/slabs OR studs/hardi or durock/thinset over seams/slabs

Those are the main questions I have at this time, I'll add as I think of them

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:10 PM   #2
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Cement board does not have paper---either one will bond well with the slabs--your choice---I use Durrock or Wonder Board--I do not use Hardi--so cement board would be my first choice.
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:02 PM   #3
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Oh ok...thanks for the clarification I didn't realize it didn't have paper.

Just curious since I'm still in research mode...why do you not use hardibacker? Any particular reason?
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:19 PM   #4
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It is difficult to cut--hard to sink the screws or nails below the surface--it is less than 1/2" thick, so it does not mate up with 1/2" drywall and if you do not wet the hardi before applying thinset--it will suck out the moisture from the thinset,causing bonding issues.---other than that,I guess it's okay.
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:50 PM   #5
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Gotcha. How about vapor barrier? I try to avoid listening to Lowe's employees......one of the guys there told me it's no longer recommended to use a vapor barrier as they actually keep moisture in and create mold issues.

Should I use a vapor barrier between the studs and durock, or just use thinset over the seams?
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:55 PM   #6
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Your slabs should not need a vapor barrier against the studs----they are a vapor barrier--you don't want to make a vapor sandwich.
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:51 PM   #7
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What should I used to seal the seams from the durock?
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:45 PM   #8
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So I've decided on and purchased the cement board. I've shimmed the studs and made sure they're plum. The only remaining thing before putting the slabs up is how to waterproof it.

1) studs/vapor barrier/cement board/slabs

or

2) studs/cement board/mesh tape and thinset over the seams/slabs

If I do #2, I know generally with tile, you put the thinset and meshtape over the entire surface of the cement board...but with full slabs that have no chance of leakage in the center, would I need that much, or would just doing the seams be sufficient?

Keep in mind all walls are inside walls
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:38 PM   #9
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Durock is not a vapor barrier need either plastic behind or taped red guard on the fact to ensure water proof. Ron
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:22 PM   #10
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Would the redguard need to be on the entire face or just over the seams?
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:32 PM   #11
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Entire face and seams. It is way less eensive to put the six mil poly behind it before you put it up. Ron
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:29 PM   #12
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Ok...just so I understand, if I do the 6 mil poly behind the cement board I don't have to do anything to the face or to the seams of the front of the cement board correct?
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:18 AM   #13
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No, you should still fill the seams. I'd just fill them with thinset.

I did not use a vapor barrier on my shower. I used a liquid membrane. I did full coverage 6 inches up the shower and all the seams. This way the shower will hold water until it gets over the curb (then it doesn't matter).

I've done several showers on rental properties and honestly never seen a vapor barrier behind durock, or issues with not having one.

A steam shower is another issue...
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:28 AM   #14
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Oh and to chime in one hardiebacker, I agree with O'mike. For walls you want a substrate that with be flush with drywall.

I do like to use hardiebacker on the bathroom floor though since it is slimmer. I also believe it stands up better to water which is a good thing on flat surfaces.
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