Many homeowners are switching to cement boards for their shower wall construction. This material has excellent drying properties, so many people think it can go over the lip of their shower pan. However, this is not always the case.
A cement board should not go over or touch the lip of the shower pan. I recommend that you maintain a space of 0.25 in (0.6 cm) between the edge of the cement board and the lip of your shower pan. By doing so, you can make sure that your building project is structurally sound.
For the rest of this post, I’ll guide you on how to install cement boards for a shower. I’ll also discuss the advantages of cement boards and how you can choose the right one for your building project.
How To Install Cement Board for a Shower
Cement boards can be heavy, so be sure to have enough help when installing them.
Before starting, you’ll also want to ensure the installation area is clean and free of water or moisture.
Here’s how to do it:
- Measure the size where you want the backer board to go. Mark out the perimeter of the desired area with a pencil. You can place your backer board vertically or horizontally. You can use a level to make sure that your marks are accurate. After making your markings, remove any excess wall material using a utility knife or saw blade.
- Use plastic sheeting for the wall studs. Doing so will keep the walls behind the cement board moisture-free. The edge of your sheeting must cover the lip of the shower pan.
- Cut out the desired piece of the backer board using an electric jigsaw or manual saw. Clean up any cuts made in preparation for applying adhesive and screws. Don’t forget to cut the backer board to fit your fixtures, as well.
- To attach the backer board piece to the wall studs, drill pilot holes through both pieces at equal distances. Attach one screw into each hole on either side of the cutout, being careful not to over-tighten as this could cause damage. Caulk the area sufficiently and cover it in drywall tape as a finishing touch.
Is Cement Board Suitable for Shower Walls?
Are you looking for a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing shower wall material that will stand up to the wear and tear of daily use?
If so, a cement backer board may be a good option for you.
Here are five reasons why using this type of board can be beneficial:
1. Cement Boards Are Easy To Clean
Unlike other construction materials for shower walls, which can become stained with soap residue and water droplets, you can easily clean cement backer boards with a damp cloth or sponge.
They are much more resistant to staining, as well, so they’re low-maintenance.
2. They Are Affordable
One common downside of many other shower wall materials is their cost.
You can easily spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on a single shower renovation project.
However, cement backer boards typically cost less than other options without compromising quality or durability.
3. They Look Sleek and Modern
Cement backer boards provide an esthetic advantage over traditional plastic-coated metal panels in most showers today.
They look more modern, sleek, and aesthetically pleasing compared to these older style panels and resist staining and fading due to exposure to moisture.
4. They’re More Durable
Unlike traditional shower panels made from plastic or metal, which can wear down over time due to water droplets hitting them directly and abrasions caused by users brushing against them while taking showers, cement backer boards are more durable and will stand the test of time.
How To Choose a Backer Board for Your Shower Wall
When planning your home construction project, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right backer board for your shower wall.
Before deciding to get a cement board, here are some key factors to consider:
1. Calculate Your Budget
According to Porch, the cost of cement board installation can range from around $4.33 to $6.90 per square foot ($0.40 to $0.63 per square meter), depending on the size and type of board.
If money isn’t an issue, you may choose a more expensive option like fiberglass or metal.
2. Think About Design
There are various styles of backer boards to choose from, including wood-look boards, textured boards, and recycled boards made from old timber pieces.
Some finishes include natural stone look or glass look options that can make a difference in the overall appearance of your shower wall.
Cement boards are available in various materials and finishes, including rough-sanded and smooth surfaces.
3. Consider Functionality
Another thing to think about before making your purchase is functionality.
Do you need extra insulation against cold showers? Do you need a waterproof sealer to protect your walls from water damage?
Knowing the functional aspects of what you need in your bathroom will help you make the right choice from the beginning.
If installed correctly, a cement board can provide years of reliable use in your shower room.
By following the steps and advice I’ve mentioned above, you can ensure a successful and trouble-free building project.
Cheers, tools owners!
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