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What's The Difference Between "Cement Board" And "Cement Backer Board"?

What's The Difference Between "Cement Board" And "Cement Backer Board"?

Old 08-01-14, 04:30 PM
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What's The Difference Between "Cement Board" And "Cement Backer Board"?

I'm redoing an old house and will be ripping out the current bathroom surround walls. I know not to use sheet rock, of course, but I have received a bunch of conflicting information on how to build the tub surround.

First. I see two different products in use. Some is called "cement board" and some is called "cement backer board". I initially thought that this was just two different names for the same thing, until I saw that the home stores label and sell both "cement board" and "cement backer board".

Which one do I need for a tub surround?

To further complicate things, some people say to put up some kind of plastic barrier on the studs prior to hanging the panels. Other folks swear that this is a bad thing to do, and that it causes mold problems behind the wall. And yet another person told me something about some sort of felt strips.

Lastly. Another person on YouTube, who is very much against moisture barriers, swears by a cement board/backer board that has an integrated moisture barrier. The name of the product is DensoShield, but I can't seem to find it in the United States.

Any help clearing some of this up for me would be greatly appreciated.

Old 08-01-14, 04:48 PM
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1/2 backer board or cement board for walls. Different names for the same thing. Yes, you need a moisture barrier behind it or on top of it (Redgard is one type). People that say you don't are dumb. Backer board is water permeable, so studs and such can rot. Most walls are not ventilated, so where is the moisture supposed to go? Hmm dark and warm...sounds like prime mold conditions to me.

DenShield or similar is what you should look for. Similar products by several companies I believe.
Old 08-02-14, 04:39 AM
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Denshield is a great product, but money wise, 6 mil vapor barrier and cbu will keep the wallet fatter. Vapor barriers are absolute. More bad advice on YouTube than ants to a picnic, so be wary.

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