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Community and Q&A

Durock vs. Hardiebacker?

Jason McLooney | Posted in General Questions on

I have heard various people say Durock is far more superior than Hardiebacker, but it seems to me that hardiebacker doesn’t chip as much and particulates don’t break off.

Hardiebacker seems to be tougher but I’m not sure.

Also, regarding water, a friend of mine swears that if you leave the two, durock doesn’t fall apart and hardiebacker does. I haven’t found any anecdotal data for this with anyone else.


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  1. Zdesign | | #1

    Depends on the intended use. For a backer on a fireplace either works. For a shower, I wouldn't use either, Schluter, Wedi, or Laticrete products are far superior. Personally I like Hardi Backer as its far more rigid and easier to work with. The Durock with Foam added in the 4x8 sheets scare me how much they can bend before they break.

  2. Expert Member
    Peter Yost | | #2

    Did a lot of tile setting in my day and really liked Durock, but then I did not use Hardiebacker to compare.

    The last tile job I did on my own house (2011) was the first time I used the Schluter system - I agree with Z - it was really good to work with and a far superior water management solution.


  3. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #3

    Both products are tough, in different ways. Durock is lightweight concrete with fiberglass skins just below each face. It has high compressive strength but it's brittle, resulting in edges being crumbly, and it flexes, especially if it gets bent too far and the interior concrete cracks.

    Hardi Backerboard is more like layers of cement-coated paper, so it's a bit lighter and easier to work with, and the edges tend to dent instead of crumble. Neither one contributes to the strength of a floor system, and either one can span studs on a wall. I've used both products 10-20 times and have not heard of any problems on my projects.

    Best practice for both products when used in a wet area is to apply a full waterproof coating, such as Redguard. Either one can be used on floors or walls that will be dry most of the time. Neither one is really meant to be used outdoors except in protected locations.

    I would definitely consider one of the modern systems such as Schluter. But cement boards are a time-tested solution that may be easier, and likely less expensive.

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