Backer board is a material used as a tile substrate. It is an inexpensive, convenient building material that makes tiling projects go faster and look better in the end. Backer boards, in general, can be used for all your tile jobs for floors, walls, and counters. You can also use it for thin exterior brick and stone. Some companies manufacture backer-board sheets with a rougher side for use with thin-set mortar and a smoother side for use with ceramic-tile mastic while some like EcoPro manufacture them as hand-crafted bricks. Most importantly, backer boards contribute to a longer-lasting, more durable tile installation, with no chance of backing board rot and a reduced chance of rot with the underlying wall studs or floor joists. Usually, 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch thick and 3 feet by 5 feet long, It is made of cement, water, silica, limestone, flour and fibre for increased strength. The commonly used tile substrates such as plywood and others have a tendency to warp and buckle. However, the Backer board is hard and flat which allows it to remain stable even in damp conditions. This makes backer boards easily adhere to a tile with the use of a thin-set mortar forming a consistent tile surface.
Backer boards have been traditionally made in 2 varieties, viz. Cement and Gypsum, but both have their sets of pros and cons. A relatively newer variety called the Fibre cement Backer boards combines the best of Cement and Fibre leading to an upgraded material. Fibre cement boards are lighter and stronger as compared to cement only boards and are available in multiple thickness & dimension options. Fibre cement is naturally moisture resistant – a quality which can be further strengthened using waterproof coating – to make them perform excellently in damp areas such as bathrooms and laundries.
Fibre cement backer boards as the best base for tiling
Depending on their make, the applications of Fibre cement boards can range from a partition wall to bathrooms. The most appreciated application being for tiling purposes. Conventional tiling options such as ceramic and porcelain are highly vulnerable to moisture infiltration due to its seams which can eventually lead water to its base material. This dampens the studs resulting in the growth of mold and mildew. Fibre cement sheet also acts as sound absorbing panels to cancel out all the unwanted echoes in the room. Wood – another prominent material – also stands unacceptable in areas of constant water exposure such as bathrooms and wash areas as wood easily rots in the presence of moisture. Even regular drywalls are not appropriate as we will learn further. The best alternative then is the Fibre cement backer board which is built to perform well under these particular conditions. They are resistant to moisture, they don’t rot, and they don’t even let mold growth.
Before backer boards became mainstream, interior walls were finished with woods strips layered over wall studs. It was then plastered and had to be preserved for weeks until it completely dried out and settled. Then came the gypsum boards or drywalls which were manufactured in the factory and straightway installed in the construction saving amazing time and labor. Cement backer boards are even better than gypsum boards as they are a tile equivalent to these wallboards. These factory-made standard size tiles have an advantage of transportation as well as setting up as opposed to floating massive beds of mortar on the job site. Plus, being fiber enforced, these cement boards have strengthening qualities which make them far stronger and dimensionally stable than site-built mortar beds. The best achievement though has to be the on-site drying time as Fibre cement boards are factory dried and need no further processing.
If you are looking for the best quality Fibre cement sheet for your backer board applications, contact EcoPro on +91 20 2645 8888 – the number 1 manufacturer of eco-friendly Fibre cement sheets in India.