How to Install Cement Backer Board to Metal Studs

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Cement backerboard, often referred to as “tilebacker,” is a substrate material for stone, tile, terrazzo or other wall finish materials. Cement backerboard is perfect for wet and high-moisture applications, such as kitchens and bathrooms, where you'll typically install the panels over a moisture-resistant drywall or plywood sheathing. Cement backerboard mounts to metal stud framing using the same procedure as wood framing.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Cement backerboard
  • Builders level
  • Circular saw and masonry blade
  • Power screwdriver
  • 1-inch sheet metal screws
  • 2-inch fiberglass-webbed joint ribbon
  • Construction adhesive (optional)

Layout the position of the cement backerboard panel on the wall. Cut the sheet, if necessary, using a circular saw mounted with a carborundum masonry blade to ensure that both vertical edges of the backerboard align with a metal stud for stable backing.

Position the backerboard sheet against the wall surface and use a builders level to level the panel.

Secure the backerboard sheet into place with sheet metal screws through the panel into the metal framing using a power screwdriver. Space the sheet metal screws about 6 to 8 inches apart. Be certain to drive them to flush with the backerboard surface to prevent interference with the subsequent wall materials.

Repeat the previous steps to install the remaining backerboard panels. Complete the installation by covering all of the vertical and horizontal joints between the sheets with adhesive fiberglass-webbed joint ribbon.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you desire additional connection of the cement backerboard to the wall, add a continuous bead of construction adhesive to the back surface before screwing the panel to the wall.

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