How Long After Installing Hardie Backer Can I Put on Tile?

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Hardie Backer board installs over plywood subfloor, vinyl floors,or on stud-framed walls as a backing to tile. During the installation, a few steps ensure a proper installation.

Installing Backer on Stud Frames

If you plan on installing the backer board and tile on stud framed walls, you have to seal the joints of the backer board before moving on to install the tile. In order to properly seal the joints, a mortar is spread over the seams between the boards and a fiberglass tape affixed to the mortar. This mortar requires up to 24 hours of drying time, depending on how wet the mixture is and the room's atmospheric conditions. Once the mortar is dry, you may begin to install the tile.

Installing Backer on Floors

Hardie board goes over all types of floors, including linoleum and plywood sub floors. Once the subfloor is reinforced for strength, mortar or thinset (a special type of cement) is spread over the sub floor for additional support. The Hardie board is set into this mortar while it is still wet and nailed into the sub flooring. In order to provide a consistent surface layer for the tile, fill the seams of the backer board with the tile mortar and let it dry. Drying times vary based on the type of mortar you will use for the tile. Normally, dry times range from 12 to 24 hours. After this time the tile can install on the Hardie board.

Vinyl Floors

When installing the backer board over a vinyl or resilient floor, no mortar surface layer is required between the backer and vinyl. However, after you mount the backer board to the floor you simply have to seal the seams with mortar and wait until the mortar dries. This is normally 12 hours but may be up to 24 hours in some cases. After the mortar is dry the backer board is ready to receive the mortar for the tile.

Installation Tips

Installing Hardie backer board on any surface requires a few simple guidelines. First of all, the backer board is always installed in a staggered pattern, so four sheets never connect at their corners. This improves the stability and consistency of the backer board. When installing the board over stud frames, use a high quality water barrier like plastic or roofing felt. This reduces water absorption in the frame boards and increases their life expectancy. Before applying the mortar for the tile, dampen the surface of the backer board with a sponge and make sure the entire surface is absolutely clean.

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