What are por's and con's of Wonderboard vs Hardybacker

stash-hdyFebruary 14, 2009

I want to redo the shower with tile, will take it down to the studs and remove the pan. I see both Wonderboard and Hardybacker at the big box stores. Is one perfered over the other as the substrate or are they basically the same. The new pan will be built over concrete. Thanks for your input.

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- a true cement board with a mesh facing for integrity
-brittle. Cut it into thin strips and the strips can easily break
-cutting, score the surface and cut the mesh reinforcement with a handheld carbide cutter and snap, or cut with a diamond blade. Diamonds make dust.
-no surprises when you use it, it's an honest product
-can be tough to screw unless you use the proprietary high/low screws. If you screw close to the edge and overdrive the screw you can break off the edge of the board (brittle, remember?)

-fibercement versus just cement (has cellulose fibers in it)
-not brittle like wonderboard. Much more structural integrty, can cut into thin strips.
-Not a score and snap like cement board due to the fibers in it. If cut with an abrasive blade, again it's dusty. You can actually score it with utility knife and then "fold" it back and forth a couple of times to break it on the cut line. It'll give a raggedy edge. sort of
-sheets are lighter and easer to handle than cement board.
-easier to screw, but driving the screws to deep can cause the face to mushroom.

So, with all that, guess which I prefer?


Personally I prefer true cement boards, Wonderboard and Durock, over fibercement. But I'll use each. Typically cement board to cover large expanses of wall, and if I need long thin strips to line a niche, thin enough where I think wonderboard will snap or fracture either when cutting or fastening, I'll consider changing over to fibercement for those thin pieces.

When working solo I'll sometimes use hardie on ceilings. I can hold a sheet up with one hand and drive screws with the other. And due to it being more flexible, it's less likely to snap in two like cement board would. I could use supports to hold a sheet of cement board to a ceiling and fasten it with no problems, and I've done that many a time...but hey, I'm giving you a pro/con here.

Cement board, you mist it, and you know when it's wet. With fibercement, sometimes it just keeps sucking up water. It seems more thirsty than cement board.

Both good products. As far as getting physically hurt or "working safe", wonder can hurt you in more ways than hardie. Wonder is heavier, has sharper edges, and is more brittle.

My opinion.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 2:15PM
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I'm with Mongo on this-- I prefer the original cement boards, such as Wonderboard, Durock, etc.. But you'll find just as many pros who will swear by Hardi over cement boards. Both will do the job.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 10:23PM
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Thanks, needed to know if there were any major con's on either of them. 90% sure I will go with Wonderboard. Appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 12:04PM
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