In this article I will show you how to install cement board using methods that are simple and will save you time. I will also reveal many tips that will help you through the areas that most people struggle with. These tips will guide you passed these problem areas and you will have a much easier time installing cement board.
I also will show you how to avoid the #1 mistake people make when installing cement board. This mistake can cause a complete tile installation failure, causing loss of money and time! With the right guidance, learning how to install cement board is actually a pretty easy task.
6 Must Have Tools When Installing Cement Board
There are a few tools that you will need when installing cement board. Some of these tools you might already have. If you don’t, this is what I would recommend.
- Utility Knife (you could use a Carbide Tipped Knife click here for an example)
- Screw Gun
- Tape Measure
- 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 Ceramic Tile Trowel
Supplies Needed for Installing Cement Board
There are a few supplies that you are going to need when installing cement board. You can get all of these from any of the major Home Improvement Stores.
- cement board joint tape
- cement board screws
- thin set (must be latex modified, this could have several names just make sure it has latex additive in it)
- Cement board-Durock
I do HIGHLY recommend using Durock Next/Gen. This is a brand of cement board that I use for all my tile installations. It’s a great product and it cuts very easy. It’s also been around forever and I have never had an issue with it. There are many tools and supplies that are out there for you to buy. I know it can be hard to choose what you need . I have a guide that will show you everything I use and what I recommend.
4 Steps for How to Install Cement Board on the Floor
Step one -How to Install Cement Board on the Floor
First measure the area that you are going to need cement board. I always try to split the area into squares to make measuring so much easier. If you have a room that has a lot jogs in it, then measure those separately, that is what I mean when I split the area into squares. In My Project Planner- Tile Edition I have a section that explains this very well and there are diagrams in there for examples. You need to get a total square footage of the area and then add five percent to the total.
Step Two – How to install Cement Board on the Floor
You want to lay out the cement board (dry lay) before attaching it to the floor. I am going to show you exactly how to install cement board in the videos below. There are some tips in the videos that will help you for those hard to measure areas. If you make a mistake it’s okay. Cement board is very forgiving and you can always put a piece in where you have a miss-cut. You can also fill it in with thin set(I will explain this later in the article)
The #1 Mistake Most People Make When Installing Cement Board
Before we go any farther on how to install cement board, I am going to talk about a very common mistake most people make. It is very important to first spread thin set on the floor before placing the cement board to the floor. Then you attach the cement board with screws. This step is crucial because it strengthens the floor and it helps prevent floor movement. Which will help prevent the tile from cracking.
Step Three – How to Install Cement Board on the Floor
Now it’s time to start installing the cement board. In this step, I only take out a few pieces of cement board at a time. I do this so it goes back in the exact place that it was in before I moved it. Once it’s out, I then spread thin set onto the floor. Then, I put the pieces back into place and screw the floor every six to eight inches.
Check out the video.
Step Four– How to Install Cement Board on the Floor
In this last step you need to tape and fill the joints. It’s a good idea to use a tape that is meant for cement board, since it is designed for this application. I would only fill the joints that run in the length of the cement board for now. When you install the tile then you can fill the cross joints as you go. The reason for this is, the cross joints are not beveled and if you fill them now you could get a hump in the floor. This can then cause a tile to be higher than the other tile.
Here is another video on how to install cement board.
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