Backer Board Installation
Backer boards/backing boards have been on the market for around 50 years. As the name suggests, this is a surface ready for tile installation and can be used on floors, ceilings, or walls, so is very adaptable to most situations. There are various types of backer boards which will suit different installation locations. Most backer boards come with manufacturers’ recommendations as to supporting layers, board fastening, and treatment of seams. As not following these may void any warranty, this work is always best carried out by a professional service such as Broomfield Tile Installation.
This is the most commonly used backer board. Its main advantages are that it is very affordable and that it works well on floors and walls. It is available in different sizes which makes it efficient for fitting in bathrooms. While it isn’t waterproof, it can sustain wetness and remain intact. A professional tile installer will usually coat a cement board with a waterproof sealant to avoid any issues. Major cons with cement boards are that they are difficult to cut and quite heavy. Unless care is taken during installation, these boards may leave sandy residue which can potentially damage your bathroom suite.
The major advantage of foam boards over cement boards is their weight. Compared to a similarly sized piece of cement board, foam board weighs around 1/6th of the weight. Also, because it is made of foam, it is infinitely easier to cut to any required size or shape. A third advantage is that unlike cement boards, foam boards are waterproof and do not need a waterproofing membrane added, though a professional will ensure that seams and fasteners are all waterproofed. These factors make foam boards very versatile and popular for installations in bathrooms and kitchens.
A variation of cement boards, fiber cement boards are made from sand and compressed cement which has been reinforced with wood fibers. Like cement boards, these backer boards are heavy and can be very difficult to cut to different sizes. In fact, this version is even more brittle than traditional cement boards so installers have to be careful when fitting these. They come in either ½ or ¼ inch thickness, with the latter normally being found on floors or on countertop installations. Choosing between these boards and normal cement boards normally comes down to price differences or even which one is in stock at the time.
Often better known as the most common brand names of Ditra Mat or Bal Rapid Mat, these offer a great way of keeping any height build-up to a minimum. These mats are very simple to install and offer a highly durable and waterproof backing for your tile installation. The mats have an anchoring membrane on the underside which only requires a thin coat of adhesive, and cavities on top to create a cushioning support. Our team of professionals can talk you through all these options to help choose the ideal solution.