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Unread 04-25-2006, 10:48 AM   #1
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Hanging Hardiebacker and tiling walls - leave 1/8 gap or not?

A lot of folks on the forum have been hanging 1/2 inch Hardiebacker in showers, and now I am about to do it also. But I have a question about gaps. When hanging, I know that the joints, corners, etc, will be filled with thinset and taped, kinda like you would do with drywall tape and compound. But it seems to me that the joints in the Hardieboard would have little strength unless a gap were intentionally left between Hardie pieces, say 1/8 inch, and then filled with thinset while laying the tape. What is the best practice - to gap or not? - Also should the thinset be mixed normally, or a little wetter for this taping? I want to do it right the first time. The Hardie folks don't leave a lot of info on this on their website, and I couldn't find a reference in other forum threads, so am I being overly concerned here?

Also, when tiling the shower area, how should I treat corners where walls come together. Should I tile to within 1/8 from the edge of each wall, then fill with silicone caulk after grouting the rest of the wall, or should I simply grout into all the corners?

All advise appreciated - Jim.
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Unread 04-25-2006, 10:56 AM   #2
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James Hardie doesn't say to leave a 1/8" gap between sheets on wall installations (they do on floors and countertops), but I don't think it's a bad idea to do so. Tape and mud as usual. Mix the thinset just like for setting tile, maybe a little on the wetter side, if you have to err.

All tiled corners are to be caulked. Tile into the corner, leaving a 1/8" gap, then caulk. In a shower or tube alcove, tile the back wall first.
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Unread 04-25-2006, 09:24 PM   #3
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Hardiebacker-how high above the preslope?

Ok for the gap, then. Anyone else have experience with this? Also,when I hang the hardy after the preslope and PVC, but before the final mortar bed how high off the PVC should the Hardy be? Various references have it between 1/4 inch and 1 inch. Methinks about 1/2 inch would be good, so it could drain ok, but still be held in place well by the bed. What is correct? Jim
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Unread 04-25-2006, 10:42 PM   #4
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1/2" will be fine
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