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Unread 02-03-2010, 10:49 AM   #1
gorgiasred
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1/4" cement board meets 1/2" drywall

Hi, Everyone.

Looks like I got a problem...

I put up 1/4" cement board on the wall for my tile. I am planning to put 1/2" drywall up (it's not up yet). I thought this was okay because the tile would make up the difference. But, I read somewhere that the cement board and the drywall need to be on the same plane.

This seems particularly problematic for me because I wanted to put tile around my window and along the baseboard. The tile around the window and along the baseboard was going to be on top of the drywall. If so, then it would be a 1/4" higher than the tile on the cement board and would be a problem where these border tiles meet the tile of the bathtub.

What are my options?

1. Can I add another layer of 1/4" cement board?
2. Must I take down the 1/4" and put up 1/2"?
3. Can I add a layer of 1/4" drywall over the cement board?
4. Is the easiest solution to put up 1/4" drywall instead of the 1/2"?

Attached is a picture of the window in question. Notice how part of the window goes over the tub area. So, I can't help having the tile around the window meet up with the tile of the bathtub area.

Another consideration is that I was planning on tiling the ceiling above the tub. I have 1/4" cement board there as well. But, I read somewhere that 1/4" drywall would not be thick enough for the ceiling. Do I at least a 1/2" of cement board and drywall on the ceiling?
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Unread 02-03-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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Welcome, Red.

I would recommend taking down the 1/4" board and putting up half-inch CBU of some kind.

Don't know what kinda board you installed, but the only manufacturer who specifies their 1/4" board for use on walls is James Hardi, and some of us disagree pretty strongly with that application. Some of the half-inch boards are a little softer than I'd like to see over 16" centers, truth be known.

And you certainly don't want to use any sheetrock thinner than half-inch on the rest of your bathroom walls.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 11:22 AM   #3
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Red, 1/4" backerboard is for floors. 1/2" is for walls. There's some board manufacturers that claim their 1/4" board will work on walls, but we aren't buying it. 1/4" board flexes too much when mounded on studs 16 inches apart.

You can try install another layer of 1/4" backerboard over what you have, but it may be more bother than it's worth. The real work will come when you try to keep the new board flat and well supported by the board behind it. If you've already taped and mudded the joints, your work becomes that much harder.

You don't need cement board on the ceiling. 5/8" drywall will be fine.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 01:02 PM   #4
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Sorry to tell you this but I agree with my comrades, it would be far less aggravation and a far better product to remove the 1/4 and start over.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 01:09 PM   #5
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Looks like 1/4" wonderboard to me.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 01:17 PM   #6
gorgiasred
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Thanks, guys, for your advice--despite the bad news.

The cement board I have up is 1/4" Durock. The lighting makes it look lighter than it is.

I guess this is an instance of beginner's bad luck!
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Unread 02-03-2010, 03:53 PM   #7
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It wasn't a mistake, it was a learning experience!
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Unread 02-03-2010, 04:13 PM   #8
gorgiasred
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A heavy learning experience! I am not a strong as all of you are too.

Any secrets to apply 1/2" cement board without breaking my back. I am not likely to have a helper.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony
It wasn't a mistake, it was a learning experience!
Ah, yes, now I recconize it. Wazzan AFGO. Friend of mine 'splained those to me some years back. Means another growth opportunity, if y'all are not familiar.

No secrets to share, Red, don't use the stuff. But I would suggest you measure and fit carefully so's you only hafta lift each piece one time.

Those of us who work alone 99% of the time learn to make judicious use of ledger boards, clamps (several kinds), temporary supports, wedges, pneumatic nailers for temporary attachments, pre-started screws or nails, etc. You'll learn to use such crutches, too.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 07:09 PM   #10
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-That's what I call a cheap learning experience Those are always nice, although I've had some costly ones.

-Did you already start to tape the seams (hard to tell from the pic)? If not, and if you need to tile the floor, then use the 1/4" sheets for that.

-I'd remove the fiberglass batt from around the window and use low expansion foam.

-What will your waterproofing be for the cement board?

-You can use 1/4" on the ceiling as long as you have 12" O.C. support, IIRC.

-Hanging 1/2" sheets alone is no fun, but CX's suggestion of cutting to fit the first time is the best tip that I could give. And, of course, don't bump into anything with the sheet
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Unread 02-03-2010, 08:24 PM   #11
gorgiasred
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The biggest cost of this learning experience is that I have been living without a shower in my house for the past six months!

I have taped and mudded most of the seams. Can I just cut off the edges and use the small pieces for the floor?

I was going to use Redguard to waterproof the cement board.

What are the advantages of low expansion foam around the window?

Thanks for addressing issues outside my immediate problem!
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Unread 02-03-2010, 08:35 PM   #12
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You could probably reuse the cbu as long as you didn't goop the thinset on, but a bit of scraping and sanding could fix that.

Redguard is okay. The instructions say 2 coats for waterproofing, but to be sure you get the proper mil thickness, I'd do at least 3.

Batt insulation does nothing to stop air infiltration which is a problem at window/door openings, but the spray foam will. Plus compressing batts to stuff them in between the jamb and R.O. reduces the r-value significantly, and doesn't stop the air from coming in.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 08:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn
-You can use 1/4" on the ceiling as long as you have 12" O.C. support, IIRC.
Share with us the name of the manufacturer who indicates his product for that application, wouldja, Shawn? I'm not familiar.
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Originally Posted by Red
Can I just cut off the edges and use the small pieces for the floor?
I would not. You really want the biggest pieces you can fit on a floor (or wall, for that matter) application. CBU is too inexpensive to fool with piecing it together where a full sheet will fit.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 09:17 PM   #14
Shawn Prentice
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CX, Now that I've thought about it, I remember where I heard that. I never read it anywhere, but a few years ago a tile setter I ran into said he had done it quite a few times before using larger tiles (12x12) with no problems. I also remember that he glues his cbu to the framing with construction adhesive. But, I also recall he liked to make up his own installation instructions. But he did give long term warranties and still does work for the high end remodelers around here (not me though, I do my own tile work following the manufacturer's instructions .) I've never used 1/4" on a ceiling myself though.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 09:52 PM   #15
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OK, Shawn, thanks.

Please keep in mind we're in the shallow end here and we try not to give the visitors advice we can't find somewhere in the industry standards or manufacturer's recommendations. 'Least not without a disclaimer, eh?

We do appreciate all the help we can get answering questions here, though.
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