HardieBacker® 500 cement board

HardieBacker® 500 cement board

Hardie® Backer Board

At TradesPro, we love Hardie® Backer Board for both walls and floors. Designed to reduce inflexion and provide a perfect sub straight for tiling.

Hardie® Backer Board is made better to install better and perform better. That’s why it was named the most preferred brand of backer board by tile installers and contractors, according to the 2019 Tile and Stone Report conducted by ClearSeas research in partnership with the National Tile Contractors Association and TILE Magazine.

Pros

  • HardieBacker® 500 cement board is designed for walls, floors and countertops.
  • This product is 6mm thick and is the strongest and lightest cement board on the market, holding 200kg/m² (as opposed to 32kg/m² for plasterboard).
  • The product’s thinness ensures minimal additional build-up to the floor, maintaining ceiling heights and smoother transitions between rooms.
  • Featuring the unique, recessed EZ® grid fastener pattern, it’s simple to cut and install.
  • Formulated with James Hardie’s proprietary cement formulation and featuring Mouldblock™ technology, it’s water resistant and has a mesh free construction, ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and steam rooms. 
  • This backboard contains no paper facing, which can become mouldy, or gypsum, which can disintegrate with continuous exposure to moisture.
  • The HardieBacker® manufacturing process ensures dimensional stability even when exposed to water for prolonged periods.
  • Its unique formulation ensures a strong bond with all the leading tile adhesives.
  • Boards measure 1200 x 800 x 6mm.

Cons

  • Hard to cut and Snap
  • Blunts cutting tools
Knauf AQUAPANEL

Knauf AQUAPANEL

Knauf AQUAPANEL

At TradesPro, we have used Knauf Aquapanel for both walls and floors for many years, and it has performed brilliantly. Designed to reduce inflexion and provide a perfect sub straight for tiling, you need to prime this product with an acrylic primer before tiling.
The downsides of Aquapanel are that it will very quickly blunt any cutting tool, so your hole saws and hand saws won’t last long; use old ones. You can snap it as you would plasterboard, and it does crumble easily. The high price point may also be an issue for big projects.

AQUAPANEL® Floor Tile Underlay is made from tough Portland cement and has a coated fibre mesh embedded in the core. At only 6mm thick, room height is not compromised. It will not rot or warp nor will it deteriorate in water. AQUAPANEL® Floor Tile Underlay offers very high impact resistance.

Pros

  • Knauf AQUAPANEL® Cement Board Floor Tile Underlay is a light, highly stable dry floor panel, perfectly suited for ceramic, mosaic or natural stone
  • The thickness of only 6mm allows you to maximize floor to ceiling height
  • Can be installed over existing wooden subfloors
  • It will not deteriorate in water and is resistant to mould and mildew
  • Cut using the score and snap technique which means you can install the boards quicker and without specialist cutting equipment, as well as reducing the amount of dust created
  • As part of the Knauf AQUAPANEL® Cement Board range, it is resistant to water or mildew and thus an ideal solution for wet and humid areas
  • Ideal for floor refurbishment in bathrooms, wet rooms and kitchens
  • Install using Knauf AQUAPANEL® floor tile underlay screws and Knauf AQUAPANEL® Jointing tape
  • Suitable for indoor use only

Cons

  • Crumbles easily
  • Blunts cutting tools
  • Expensive compared to alternatives

Tiling a suspended floor

Tiling a suspended floor

Tiling a suspended floor

The TradesPro way when tiling a suspended bathroom floor

There are several considerations before tiling a UK bathroom floor, and the first is in the UK. Unless you live in a bungalow or a modern apartment, the chances are your bathroom is upstairs and therefore has a suspended floor with timber joists. The problem here is you get a lot of movement. The technical term is inflexion. It is described as a bounce in the floor, and although you can’t completely stop this movement, several things can be done to minimise it and mitigate it from causing problems.

You should always strip the floor of all substrates and revile the joists. Believe me, many filters don’t do this, and there is a practice of cutting sections out, patching up and then going over that with a tile backer board. When we say the TradesPro way is to install our substrates, we mean it. A patched-up floor will never be as good as a newly screwed down structural ply floor.

Another good reason for removing the old floor is to inspect the pipework, and we suggest wherever it’s economically affordable to replace plastic waste pipe as this becomes brittle and full of residue.

When dealing with copper pipe, always clean off the green oxidisation with wire wool as this is corrosive and caused by previous plumbers not cleaning the flux off properly.

striped out bathroom
aquapanel cement board

You can connect on to coper with most modern push-fit systems TradesPro prefers is JB Speedfit.

With all the first fix plumbing done, you are ready to fix down an 18mm or 22mm softwood structural ply. Don’t use hardwood ply. This is screwed down to the joists avoiding services every 25mm.

Once this is done, you have a choice of three Tile backer boards that can be used.

Pitstone Bathroom

Pitstone Bathroom

Modern designer bathroom, starting with a compete strip out and replaced with an entirely new bathroom. This installation was for a customer in Pitstone Buckinghamshire, with detailed features of a tiled wall Synergy, freestanding bath and Crosswater freestanding bath mixer tap.

This was a high-end bathroom installation with quality fittings like Saneux wall-hung WC, Crosswater taps, shower and quadrant shower tray. The vanity unit, basin and mirror cabinet are all from HIB.

Before work started on this bathroom, the customer was provided with a floor plan and design visualisations. This is all part of the bathroom design and installation service we provide. Below you can see the designs for this bathroom.

To find out more about our bathroom fitting service click here or complete the form below.