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-   -   Anybody recognize this material? (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=130592)

tom31415926 02-22-2021 04:36 PM

Anybody recognize this material?
2 Attachment(s)
I'm doing demolition on a shower we had installed in about 2005. This was motivated by the discovery of mold at the bottom of a wall (in the hallway outside the shower).

I took off a layer of tile, and found this gray material on top of greenboard. There are 4 layers on top of the greenboard; each layer is about 1/8 thick. In the photos you can see the thinset between the greenboard and the gray stuff and between the gray stuff and the tile. The layers of the gray stuff do pull apart and there is no obvious adhesive between them.

Does anyone recognize this stuff? What is it?

Since this was installed in 2008, I'd think that there's no asbestos in it. But, I don't know. I checked on the internet and the guy who installed it died of cancer early in 2012.

All the work I did was with an N95 mask on, the exhaust fan on, and a window open. I've seen asbestos removal and what I did was surely not up to that standard. But at least the little bit of work I did was with some protection.

If the material does fall into the realm of "safe" I can continue but I'm going to use a respirator and goggles, at least. Other recommendations welcome.
If there is not a positive ID, I suppose an asbestos test is needed.


BIGPHIL 02-22-2021 04:46 PM

To my eye that material appears to be a fiber cement board like Hardiebacker.

tom31415926 02-22-2021 05:19 PM

Thanks, Phil!

It seems too flexible to be like hardiebacker, with which I am familiar (well, 1/4 inch hardiebacker anyway). But maybe somebody else's product is a little different. Yes, cement board would make sense.


smifwal 02-22-2021 05:57 PM

usg fiberock

tom31415926 02-22-2021 07:18 PM


thanks! I looked up usg fiberock and it matches.

tom31415926 02-22-2021 07:24 PM

I note the absence of any waterproofing in the old shower, although the usg fiberock says it is "water resistant." I take that to mean that the product is dimensionally stable when it gets wet and is resistant to mildew. But it does not seem like the fiberock should take the place of waterproofing. Was that shower missing something?

Dave Gobis 02-22-2021 07:45 PM

It is unaffected by water but not waterproofing.

tom31415926 02-24-2021 03:00 PM

Thanks Dave and everyone else.
I used a respirator and other ppe and started tearing it out. The board was wet and I have some mold, but not bad (so far).

Thanks again!


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