Things To Do Before Installing Tile Backer (VIDEO)

What do you absolutely need to do before installing tile backer? A veteran tradesman shares his thoughts.

In this video, tradesman Sal DiBlasi shares his checklist of things to do before installing tile backer in a shower.

Sal DiBlasi 

Slavatore “Sal” DiBlasi has been in the flooring trade since 1984. He started out installing ceramic tile, VCT tile, Carpet, hard wood, and many other types of flooring surfaces. In about 1989, he decided it was time to work for himself and started out on his own. Sal has been self-employed in the Boston North Shore area ever since. He is a believer in doing things right and never cutting corners or rushing to finish a job.  

Sal originally uploaded videos to his YouTube channel so that he could embed them onto his website, to show off his work and attract new customers. At some point he saw that he was getting quite a few views and decided to go with it and create some how-to videos. That was about 5 years ago. Now he has just shy of 700 videos.   

 Thanks for sharing your videos and experience, Sal! 

Foam Board

Tile-Backer Advice: Use Foam board

Foam-core tile backing board has two big advantages over other backer boards. First, it’s super lightweight compared with the rest. A 1/2-in.-thick, 3 x 5-ft. sheet weighs just 7-1/2 lbs. compared with 45 lbs. for a similar size sheet of cement board. And second, since it’s foam, the board is super easy to cut with just a utility knife. Another advantage is that the polyisocyanurate foam core is waterproof. You don’t have to rely on a surface membrane or worry about the board failing if the core is exposed to water. However, you do still have to take care to waterproof the seams and the fastener penetrations to create a waterproof assembly.

The main drawback to foam-core board is the high cost (about $22 per sheet), twice that of other backer board. But considering the light weight, ease of installation and waterproof core, this backer board is a perfect fit for most DIY applications. GoBoard and Kerdi-Board are two common brands of foam-core backer board.

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