How to Install Hardibacker on a Bathroom Wall

Hardibacker is a cement-based building material typically used in bathrooms and kitchens as a subsurface for tile on floors, countertops and walls. It is durable, easy to work with and relatively inexpensive. Hardibacker comes in 3-by-5-foot sheets that must usually be cut to accommodate pipes, faucets, light switches and sockets, and other fixtures on a bathroom wall. Installing Hardibacker requires a bit of strength because of it weight, but it can be done by a competent do-it-yourselfer.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Thinset
  • Power drill
  • Screws


    • 1

      Ensure that wall framing is structurally sound and compliant with local building code. Request an inspection by a municipal building inspector if you can't make this judgment yourself.

    • 2

      Measure the area you wish to cover with Hardibacker, and cut the boards to fit. Measure the distance from wall and corners to any intrusions -- switches, fixture or lights, for example -- and mark the distance on the appropriate board. Cut the boards by scoring the board with your utility knife and snapping them in two by hand along the score line.

    • 3

      Hold the fist board against the wall, a quarter inch above the floor, tub or shower pan. Drive screws around the perimeter of the board and through all supporting studs at 8-inch intervals. Perimeter nails should be two inches from the corners of the board and three-quarters inch from the edge of the board. Nail heads should be flush with the surface of the board; do not overdrive.

    • 4

      Butt each subsequent board against the prior board. Alternate beginning new columns with full and half sheets so that seams of adjacent rows are staggered.

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  • Photo Credit David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

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