How to Nail a Hardie Board

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Hardie board is a type of cement board that is installed under tile before the floor is laid. It is also found in areas where there is potential for moisture, such as behind the tile of a bathroom shower. Hardie board comes in 3-by-5 foot sections. There are many different installation methods, including using mortar to secure it to the sheathing underneath. Another option is to use screws made specifically for the cement board. A final option is to attach it to the sheathing with nails. Installing Hardie board with nails can be completed by following a few simple steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Hardie board nail
  • Hammer

Measure the length and width of the area where the Hardie board will be installed. Multiply the two measurements together and record the total square footage of the room. Divide by 15 (the square footage of one sheet of Hardie board) and write down the total number of sheets needed for installation.

Lay the first piece of Hardie board down on the sheathing, beginning at any bottom corner of the room. Leave a gap of 1/8-inch from the wall on all sides to allow for expansion. Position a Hardie board nail two inches from the bottom corner of the piece and hammer it in place.

Insert a nail every eight inches around the entire piece. Leave a space of 3/4-inch on all sides and 2-inches at each corner. Hammer the nails around the perimeter first and then along the inside of the sheet. Hammer them so they are flush with the surface of the Hardie board.

Set the second piece of Hardie board next to the first and leave a gap of 1/8-inch on all sides. The gap allows for expansion just like between the walls and the board. Install the second piece and all of the remaining pieces just like the first was installed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hardie board can also be nailed to studs in the wall by following the same basic procedures. Insert a nail every eight inches up each stud the Hardie board touches.

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