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Thread: Cement board or DensShield??

  1. #1
    Geotechnical Engineer Fistor's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    48

    Default Cement board or DensShield??

    Hi -

    Looking for opinions on the usage of cement board vs. DensShield behind tile for a tub enclosure.

    My understanding:

    cement board:
    - durable
    - allows moisture through, but provided that you have waterproofing behind it, it won't be a problem.
    - more difficult to work with than DensShield
    - worse looking finish if you wish to paint portions of the cement board (outside of the tile extent), even if you prime then place drywall compound over as a base for the paint

    DensShield:

    - light
    - water resistant - provided that the surface covering remains intact
    - easy to work with and finish (compared to cement board, that is)
    - can degrade if moisture gets in

    My inclination is towards the cement board, despite the finishing issues I may face later - after all, if the DensShield ultimately gets wet and degrades, then the finish doesn't matter anyway), but I wanted to hear what all of you had to say.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,412

    Default

    I'd use the cbu...no mold food, won't degrade if it does get wet. You could apply a surface waterproofing like RedGard if you wish. CBU will absorb moisture if it gets to it, but will not degrade. Make sure to use the special mesh tape on the joints. You can apply this while tiling, it's for strength, not for show like on drywall - you don't want a hump there, so installing the tile while it is in the soft/pliable thinset prevents 'speed bumps'.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fistor View Post
    Hi -

    Looking for opinions on the usage of cement board vs. DensShield behind tile for a tub enclosure.

    My understanding:

    cement board:
    - durable
    - allows moisture through, but provided that you have waterproofing behind it, it won't be a problem.
    - more difficult to work with than DensShield
    - worse looking finish if you wish to paint portions of the cement board (outside of the tile extent), even if you prime then place drywall compound over as a base for the paint

    DensShield:

    - light
    - water resistant - provided that the surface covering remains intact
    - easy to work with and finish (compared to cement board, that is)
    - can degrade if moisture gets in

    My inclination is towards the cement board, despite the finishing issues I may face later - after all, if the DensShield ultimately gets wet and degrades, then the finish doesn't matter anyway), but I wanted to hear what all of you had to say.

    What do you think?
    I would use a product called Wedi board. It is 100 percent waterproof and very lightweight. Easy to work with. Won't degrade.

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