Hardie Backer Installation

We keep plugging away at our bathroom! We’ve finished all of the plumbing for the bath and are working on the walls now! I had to go under the house in order to finish the drain for the tub, and there isn’t much room under there.
Chaucer wasn’t quite sure what he thought of the weird noises coming from under his feet, but he felt reassured when he was able to see my face through the tub drain.
After finishing the plumbing it was on to installing a moisture barrier to go behind our wall where the tile will go. We used heavy duty flooring moisture barrier with a sticky seal at the bottom. It made it easy to connect the sheets together and we added some staples to hold it on the wall.
Most recently we have been installing Hardie Backer. Apparently named after James Hardie the inventor? It is basically waterproof concrete board that doesn’t mold that goes under the tile. It is also very heavy and hard to cut. Each 3×5 sheet weighs over 30lbs and is a very awkward shape.
In order to cut this stuff you need to be Super Man. A lot of people use circular saws or grinders with carbide blades, but the problem is you have to throw the blades away afterwards. I went for the labor intensive “score BOTH sides using a utility knife, put the score on a 2×6 and kick it till it breaks.” This works pretty well, but I had to use a hammer for the cuts that were 1.
To create the holes for the shower faucet, handle and spout I used a masonry bit and a jigsaw. This is the aftermath of using the metal jigsaw blade to cut out an 8″ in diameter circle. Pretty tough stuff.

We are now finishing up the sheetrock and preparing to mud and paint the ceiling. We need the whole bathroom ready for tile by early next week. A contact from our church is going to install the tile, so we are excited to move towards finishing touches.

The sad news we discovered is that we did not get enough mortar under the back of the tub, and it is making a slight cracking noise when stepped on. We put the mortar under the tub to avoid this in the first place! That means this weekend I am planning a trip back under the house to cut a hole and add more mortar under the tub. I’ll try to avoid the black widows and send you another update soon!

Comments are closed.