Hardibacker vs Fiberock [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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09-28-2005, 06:28 PM
Whick is better and who uses what? Only difference between the two that I know of is that I can get FR $2/board cheaper.

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09-28-2005, 06:32 PM
The only difference I have ever noted is that Fiberrock is a little thicker that Hardi and the Fiberock is lighter.

09-28-2005, 09:03 PM
I don't use either so I couldn't tell ya. :D

Mad dog
09-29-2005, 06:28 AM
I thought the main difference is that Hardibacker is a cement based product and Fiberock is a gypsum based board. The other difference is it's easier to cut the gypsum board but which one would you rather have for a wet area?

09-30-2005, 02:30 AM
Fiberock is a gypsum based product and the Hardie is cement based. Mad Dog is right, despite what USG might want you to think, the Hardie will hold up better in a wet area over the long haul. But, if you're doing the job right, neither of them should ever see moisture, right?

09-30-2005, 06:22 AM
I hate Fibrerock. It's too fragile to support even it's own weight. I've had a couple of instances where I was holding out a piece horizontally to set it in place and the thing just falls apart. I seriously don't have any problem cutting Hardibacker with hand tools.

09-30-2005, 11:43 AM
My preference is also hardibacker. It is durable stuff and I have tested it by leaving a piece outside my house for a month in rain and adverse conditions. It was as good as the day I bought it. Go with hardibacker. If you use a scoring tool it will be a perfect cut. Not hard at all.

10-08-2005, 01:48 AM
Cutting the HardiBacker500 G2 is a little more work, but still not bad. :loaded:

rspainhower...the guys in the marketing dept. did something really neat with the hardi...they put 4"x4" square samples of it in these plexiglass containers full of water and used them as displays. I saw one that was several years old and the water was still clear as a bell. What was cool about it was that they weren't done up special or anything. Just some guys with some plexi, glue, water, and some backer. They did it right there in the office with no tricks.

They did take some risk though. What we found out was that if you shook the container really hard for a while, you could bash the hardi against the container enough to make the edges break down and cloud up the water a bit. Still, even then the water didn't weaken it at all.

07-23-2007, 02:10 PM
LuvinLife is right---the contents of Fiberock are very similar to Drywall. I ran into a Hardibacker rep at a Home Depot in Chicago and he had said that eventhough they look similar, there is zero cement in Fiberock. Hardibacker is 90% cement. He took his utility knife and scored it and snapped it right there. I have been a loyal Hardie customer since.

07-23-2007, 02:30 PM
To me, it would have to boil down to application. You never said what you were using it for. I use ( on occasion ) FR 3/8" panels for ceramic flooring. I agree the stuff can, and will break on it's ownself when caution is not exerted, or over-exerted truthfully.

It's cheaper, a lot cheaper, installs faster, a lot faster, easier to cut, a lot easier, but would I consider using it for vertical applications ? NO. USG makes another product called AquaTough, and it's tough like Hardi.

07-23-2007, 03:00 PM
I go through several pallets of aquatough every week. The shop we do work for uses it. So, I have been using it for years and years. The whole "its gypsum based" is crap, once the process is done it is an inert. It shouldn't even be considered gypsum. It doesn't break down when it gets wet. We have had no failures related to the board itself. It is more fragile than hardi when it comes to flexing.

I personally think hardi is a better product that comes out of a facility that has better quality control.

I wouldn't hesitate to use aquatough in my own house.


07-23-2007, 04:34 PM
But wait now, there are a number of different panels USG makes under the two names Fiberock and AquaTough. The board I'm talking about is a 3/8" thick 3 x 5 panel used only for flooring. It says both names on the panel, I forget now but it may say Fiberock with AquaTough. Very strange.

A ' green architect ' had me install a Kerdi shower over regular mud floor and 1/2" AquaTough wall panels, I think those were 4 x 8 and they are tough ! :bang: Hopefully we are not confusing products.

07-23-2007, 06:06 PM
I guess we're not allowed to say "none of the above" ?

07-23-2007, 06:10 PM
we're allowed :)

07-23-2007, 06:16 PM
The 3x5 fiberrock aquatough are the ones I am talking about.

Also, I think when they are used correctly they are all good products. I do feel there are better options out there but....


Northwest Tile Guy
07-23-2007, 06:23 PM
I use the fiberrock aqua tough just for floors and it seems to work good for me. I would probably not use it for anything else though.

07-24-2007, 08:32 AM
I am usually the odd man out in this debate, but I would use Fiberock Aquatough over Hardlybacker (<--funny) almost every time. For no good reason really, but when I was young in the trade, I ripped out many hardi jobs that failed. However, now that I am more knowledgable, I know that there were other factors involved, and that it was an installer issue, not a product issue. For flooring, these two products are equals.

Fiberock seems much stiffer to me, although I know that ultimately means not much of anything.

In a shower application, I still revert back to good ol wonderboard or durock. You know your not going to have problems, although both the fiberock and hardi reps will boast about the reasons why you should use there products in a shower too, I have heard reports of issues with both.

- Bob

07-24-2007, 10:11 PM
You guys ever hear of Denshield? I've used it several times and like it a lot. Its a gypsum based product, but if installed correctly... :tup2:

07-28-2007, 03:41 PM
We have switched to Easymat. The installers love it.