Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to: Hardiebacker

After ripping up the old linoleum, then prepping the floor, we were ready for Hardiebacker. This is the step you do right before tiling. Your floor needs a strong base to support your tile and this gets the job done. Everything we learned came from this very informative book:

We purchased 5 Hardiebacker sheets from Home Depot that were 1/4" thick. They have thicker sheets that are 1/2", but those are used for walls (we used those in our shower).  

The first step is to measure and cut your sheets to the space.  All of our sheets had to be trimmed to go around corners, vents and the toilet.  Greg used a scorer specifically designed for this job and it made life easier.

find it here

After all the sheets were cut and every inch of the floor was covered, put them off to the side (remember where each one goes). Now it's time to mix the mortar.  Read the directions and mix correct amounts of mortar and water together. Use something that looks like this on the end of your drill.

After mixing, it sits for about 10 minutes before you can begin.  This is a great time to shop-vac the floors. There is probably lots of dust and small pieces of Hardiebacker everywhere if you did your cutting in the room. Even if you didn't, you want to make sure to get everything up. Spreading thin-set with your trowel and finding 'crumbs' everywhere is not fun. 

Once the mortar is ready, use a 1/4" notched trowel to spread.

Greg spread enough on to put down one Hardiebacker sheet at a time. Spread it around, pushing it into the floor, then with the notched side, pull at a 45 degree angle. You should be able to see groove lines as shown below.

Grab your Hardiebacker sheet that was cut for that spot. Line it up on both sides, slowly lower it and then Greg would jump/shove to make sure it was in place.

Use the proper screws that are meant for cement board. There are small grooves on the Hardiebacker so you know where to place them. A whole sheet takes about 60 screws.

Last step... seal the joints. Grab tape similar to the picture below. We used Drywall tape because it's the same stuff and is cheaper. Run a strip along each Hardiebacker joint. Place a line of mortar on top with a putty knife. Allow to dry.

If you followed the above steps, you are ready for tile, which is exactly what we will be doing tonight! So excited for the finished product!

xo, Erin

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