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Appling Tile Backer Board Tape


Taping Cement Backer Board Joints and Corners is a Must before Tiling


By Mark J. Donovan


When installing ceramic tile over cement backer board it is important to first apply tile backer board tape over the joint and corner seams, followed by a skim coat layer of thinset mortar. Tile backer board tape helps to reinforce the joint seams of cement backer board.


Do not use drywall fiberglass mesh tape and joint compound to seal cement backer board seams. It will not hold up. Over time it will breakdown and fail.


Tile backer tape, on the other hand, is specifically designed for cement backer board applications and it is engineered to resist cracking. It has an anti-corrosive polymer coating and is alkaline resistant. Portland cement mortars are high in alkaline and will quickly breakdown standard drywall fiberglass mesh tape.


Tile backer board tape has a sticky surface. To apply tile backer board tape simply cut it to length, and press the sticky side firmly up against the cement backer board and centered over the seams. Use 2” wide tile backer board tape for interior applications and 4” wide backer tape for exterior applications.


Next, apply a skim coat layer of thinset mortar over the tile backer board tape. When applying the thinset mortar over the backer board tape you don’t need to be extremely neat, however it is important to not leave any ridges or humps.


Tile Backer Board Tape

  Taped cement backer board seams using specially designed tile backer tape and thinset mortar.

Photos by Mark Donovan


If you do, make sure to scrape them down after the mortar has cured or you will have a difficult time installing the ceramic tiles. The tiles have a tenancy to not sit flat and rock over humps, so make sure you remove any high spots in the thinset mortar before starting your tiling work.


See My Shower Pan Installation Ebook to Learn How to Install a Mortar Shower Pan:  For a detailed set of instructions on building a shower pan, including pictures and a detailed cross-sectional view of the make-up of a shower pan, see my “Shower Pan Membrane Liner Ebook”.


For more information on tiling a custom ceramic tile shower, see the How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Ebook from HomeAdditionPlus.com.  It provides detailed instructions for every step in the process of tiling a custom ceramic tile shower and is loaded with instructional pictures!




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