Backer board for tile backsplash

thew60October 12, 2013

Greetings. Thanks to all for replies to my previous posts. Granite now installed, and looks great. Next phase will be the appliances then the backslash.

We will be getting a travertine tile with mosaic border. My installer (same as the granite fabricator) took out (better reference would be ripped out) my old tile backsplash. This left the Sheetrock a bloody mess in many places and unusable. (photo attached). My installer mentioned using a 1/4" backer for the new tile. I see there is a product called Hardiboard.

My question is, will properly mounted 1/4" Hardiboard, provide enough support for my travertine tile backsplash and border. Only other options would be for me to repair the existing gypsum as best as possible, or replacing it entirely, something I do not want to have done with the new granite in place.

You can see a few areas that I "spackled" in.

And as always your responses are very much appreciated.

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Sophie Wheeler

Rip out all of that mess and use 1/2" backerboard. It's the same depth as the drywall, and provides a much superior flatter surface. It's not really required for a backsplash install like in a shower or other wet area, but it's so MUCH better than the thousands of holes drywall that you have that there is no point in trying to salvage that patchwork.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:49PM
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thew60

Question is to save to labor in ripping out that drywall can I install a 1/4 backer OVER the crappy drywall and achieve a similar flat and stable surface, albeit a bit thicker than replacing ?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:00PM
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EAM44

The granite looks nicely cut and installed - I'm surprised a competent contractor would suggest this. It would be less work for him but you're not going to love the result.

Your trav tile is going to have depth as well. If you build up your bs by adding 1/4" board over this drywall you'll end up losing 1/2" of counter depth. You'll also need a border to transition from your mosaic to the wall.

Removing the drywall above the granite will be relatively quick, inexpensive, easy (a little messy) and will not impact upon the granite at all. I agree with Holly - it's the best option.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 6:42AM
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jellytoast

If your drywall is still in tact and is only gouged, you can just repair it with drywall mud. If the drywall is broken or has holes clear through, it's best to remove it rather than building it up with additional backerboard. Otherwise, in addition to the problems mentioned above, you will have issues with the thickness on the ends of the installation where your trim goes.

This post was edited by jellytoast on Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 16:41

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 3:05PM
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thew60

Thanks to all for the excellent responses. I will likely remove and replace with green drywall.
I have some experience with drywall installation big have a question. Other blogs mention that after the drywall is replaced there is an inherent weakness between studs as the attachment to the drywall above and below is no longer present. They mention installing cross studs to secure the drywall top and bottom. This now add much more work.

Thoughts ??

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:20PM
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thew60

Thanks to all for the excellent responses. I will likely remove and replace with green drywall.
I have some experience with drywall installation big have a question. Other blogs mention that after the drywall is replaced there is an inherent weakness between studs as the attachment to the drywall above and below is no longer present. They mention installing cross studs to secure the drywall top and bottom. This now add much more work.

Thoughts ??

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:29PM
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deedles

My DH would suggest adding some horizontal nailing between the studs. You wouldn't want the wall flexing. It wouldn't be a big deal to toenail in some nailing.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:47PM
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thew60

What is your "DH" may I ask?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Sophie Wheeler

You're trying to overly complicate things. Cement board will be much stiffer, and you wouldn't really need the blocking if you used it.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 7:35PM
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thew60

Actually I'm trying to make things as easy as possible for myself. If that involves using something like Hardie backing board, and not having to use any cross bracing behind it. That then may be my best bet. At this point, I would presume I would need one half-inch hardie board. I have not used that product before and I'm curious on how difficult it will be for me to cut out the electrical outlets

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 8:26PM
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jellytoast

It's easy to cut the outlets with a Makita grinder and a diamond blade. You can have someone hold a vacuum hose close to the saw to capture the dust as you cut, or just use a wet sponge to drip some water onto the blade as you cut. To cut the pieces to length, you can use a saw or score and snap.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 11:55PM
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angela12345

Or, you could use this opportunity to replace your outlets with Plugmold

DH is Dear Husband

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:11AM
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