How to Install Hardibacker on a Bathroom Wall

How to Install Hardibacker on a Bathroom Wall. Hardibacker is a cement-based building material typically used in bathrooms and kitchens as a subsurface for tile on floors, countertops and walls. It is durable, easy to work with and relatively inexpensive. Hardibacker comes in 3-by-5-foot sheets that must usually be cut to accommodate pipes, faucets, light switches and sockets, and other fixtures on a bathroom wall. Installing Hardibacker requires a bit of strength because of it weight, but it can be done by a competent do-it-yourselfer.

A successful tile installation begins with Hardibacker.

Things Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Thinset
  • Power drill
  • Screws

Step 1

Ensure that wall framing is structurally sound and compliant with local building code. Request an inspection by a municipal building inspector if you can't make this judgment yourself.

Step 2

Measure the area you wish to cover with Hardibacker, and cut the boards to fit. Measure the distance from wall and corners to any intrusions -- switches, fixture or lights, for example -- and mark the distance on the appropriate board. Cut the boards by scoring the board with your utility knife and snapping them in two by hand along the score line.

Step 3

Hold the fist board against the wall, a quarter inch above the floor, tub or shower pan. Drive screws around the perimeter of the board and through all supporting studs at 8-inch intervals. Perimeter nails should be two inches from the corners of the board and three-quarters inch from the edge of the board. Nail heads should be flush with the surface of the board; do not overdrive.

Step 4

Butt each subsequent board against the prior board. Alternate beginning new columns with full and half sheets so that seams of adjacent rows are staggered.


  • Tiling 1-2-3; The Home Depot
  • Hardiback Installation Guide