Monday, November 19, 2007

Intalling Hardibacker! YEAH!

We spent Saturday installing Hardiebacker on the floors and walls in preparation for slate. This job went a little better than the sealing!

First, I had to uninstall EVERYTHING. Everything includes the sink and toilet and baseboard. This is the ONLY bathroom in the house... what was I THINKING?
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Our new kitchen chair
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Removing the sink
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This is what the walls look like underneath the baseboards.

First, we cut out the drywall six inches from the floor to accommodate the new cement board. I discovered an old mouse nest, complete with book order forms from the 1980's, a business card for a plumber, and the original floor to the next room, hidden under plywood and carpet.

Then, we cut the HardieBacker into 6 inch strips.
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Kirby helped cut with the utility knife
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The utility knife version of cutting HardieBacker (score and snap) was essentially useless and time consuming. We had much better luck with a diamond blade attached to our jigsaw. (I LOVE our jigsaw).

After cutting and dry-laying everything, we spread thinset with a 1/4 trowel, laid the HardieBacker on top, and then screwed it down every 4 inches or so, according to the directions. I'm reading directions more carefully these days.

We then replaced the toilet, flushed it, and... WAIT! There's water EVERYWHERE!
After a quick last minute trip to Home Depot 5 minutes before closing for a new wax ring, we have a working toilet!

The (somewhat) finished product...
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To be finished this week!

Tips and Hints:
  • Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis is the best tool. It does EVERYTHING! I used it to scrape caulk.
  • Don't cut the hardiebacker inside. The dust is caustic. It HURTS!
  • When a screw doesn't "screw", don't keep trying and strip the ONLY drill bit you have that fits those screws, forcing yet another trip to Home Depot.
  • Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketDon't force the HardieBacker into any tight spots. It will break. You will cry, since it is $10 a sheet. Then, you will pretend you never broke it, and lay it down anyway.
  • Always replace the wax ring on a toilet whenever you mess with the floor height. Even if it is only 1/4 inch!
Where is it from?
  • Hardibacker- Freecycle and Lowes
  • Thinset- All About Floors (a local tile shop)
  • Diamond blade- Lowes
  • Wax toilet ring and drill bits- Home Depot
  • HardiBacker- $20
  • Thinset- $18
  • Diamond Blade- $5
  • Wax Ring- $5
  • Drill Bits- $2


dan said...

at least you tested the toilet before using it...

i had a neighbor call me over because the toilet leaked after re-installing it. they hadn't done a test flush, before utilizing it for all it's worth.
one look at the mess and i walked out, glad it wasn't in my home : )

your house is coming along great! i can't wait to replace the peeling 80s vinyl flooring in our bathroom and kitchen...

Jennifer said...

True... I'm a worst-case scenario waiting to happen, so I ALWAYS test my work! I'm always afraid to turn the power back on after work, too... :)

We are truly enjoying wiping out the characterless builder's special vinyl the previous owners installed! Give me character of any sort!

becoming-home said...

Great job!!

We discovered the need for a new wax ring the hard way too.. acutally I think there was another flange that we needed to raise it up even more because we put down a floating floor in our downstairs half bath.

Jennifer said...

I'm sure hoping we can get away without a different flange... the measurements say we can, but I'm not holding my breath! The slate is pretty thick.