Q:

What are some common uses for Hardibacker material in commercial and residential settings?

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Quick Answer

In both commercial and residential settings the primary uses of Hardibacker board are as an underlayment in showers and bathrooms, under countertops and backsplashes, and under floors to prevent mold growth and moisture damage. Hardibacker 1/4-inch cement boards are ideal for countertops and floors, and Hardibacker 500 cement boards, which are 1/2 inch thick, work well for walls, matching up with 1/2-inch drywall, and floors. Hardibacker cement boards replace drywall, gypsum boards, glass-mesh cement boards, and floated walls and floors.

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Full Answer

Hardibacker boards, which are for interior use only, contain no paper facing, eliminating mold's food source; nor do they contain gypsum, which disintegrates when exposed to continuous moisture. Accordingly, these cement boards rate perfect scores on the American Society for Testing and Materials industry standard tests for mold resistance and mold growth. Commercial and do-it-yourself builders often prefer Hardibacker because it tends to be lighter and more durable than similar products with up to 2,100 pounds per square inch flexural strength and 6,500 pounds per square inch in compressive strength. Hardibacker users also note its fine grain, which reduces the release of particles when cut, though installers must wear a mask when cutting Hardibacker because it contains crystalline silica, which is potentially harmful.

Composed of 90 percent Portland cement and ground sand and 10 percent cellulose fiber, Hardibacker cement boards are paintable and amenable to wallpaper and come with a limited lifetime warranty.

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