The differences between construction techniques and materials can induce confusion. For instance, “floating wall” refers to a type of wall, and "cement board" refers to a type of board. However, floating wall refers to the technique used to manufacture the wall, not the materials that make up the wall. Cement board, on the other hand, refers to the material used to construct these boards. Understanding the differences between floating bath walls and cement boards requires a look at each.
A floating wall in a home constitutes one of three things. Floating interior walls constitute walls built on small platforms. The design of the wall hides the platform so that the wall appears to float. Floating basement walls constitute walls connected at their bottom to a mechanism that provides a gap between the foundation slab and the basement wall. The space created by this mechanism allows the basement slab to rise during periods of soil expansion without impacting -- and potentially damaging -- the walls of your home. Floating basement walls anchor at the ceiling, rather than the floor. As a style of design, floating wall refers to walls containing design elements such as shelves, sinks and cabinets that attach directly to the wall at the back, so they appear to float.
Floating Bath Walls
Floating bath walls can refer to any type of floating wall found in a bathroom. Floating design elements such as floating cabinets, floating shelves and floating sinks often appear in bathrooms. A floating bath wall may also refer to walls in bathrooms built on small platforms, which appear to float. A bathtub with walls that extend farther than the base of the tub can resemble the design of floating interior walls -- you may refer to the walls of such a tub as floating bath walls.
Cement board is exactly what it sounds like -- boards made of cement. These boards commonly appear in home construction projects, particularly tile installation jobs. When installing tile, builders use cement boards as the backing material -- the boards serve as an anchor for tiles. For instance, when tiling the wall around a bathtub, a builder may install cement boards over the frame of all the walls around a tub. An adhesive material applied as a coating to the cement boards helps the tiles create a bond with the boards. Cement boards exhibit resistance to moisture damage, and as such commonly appear as a substitute for drywall in bathrooms.
Cement Board Versus Floating Bath Wall
Cement boards and floating bath walls are fundamentally different things, the former a building material, the latter a type of wall. However, the two may overlap in certain applications. For instance, if you install tiled floating walls in the bathroom, you can use cement boards as one of the materials in your wall. Or, if you put floating wall cabinets, shelves or sinks on a bathroom wall, a cement board may serve as an anchor for these materials. However, never forget during building projects or discussions that floating bath walls and cement boards are ultimately different things and should not be directly compared.
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