Hanging durock on 1940s construction
Posted by J. Blaine on December 19, 2002 at 22:53:20:
Hi Terry!

We're in the process of remodeling a WWII-vintage condo bathroom. Basic layering of materials before we started removing layers: 1) tile, 2) concrete-like sealent/underlayment, 3) 1 1/2" of heavy plaster (mortar), 4) steel ribbing, and finally 5) concrete. Of the four bathroom walls, one is completely gone (we'll stud out and put up cement backerboard); on the other three, we've removed the tile, underlayment, and heavy plaster. (Of the three, one is gutted floor-to-ceiling, the other two are gutted only to where the wall tile "stopped.")

My question is this: What's the best way to hang the cement backerboard on the three walls where the only "surface" is the steel ribbing and concrete (i.e., studs aren't visible)? (Space is at a premium, so studding out the remaining three walls ... at least on the bathroom sides of the walls ... isn't really a good option.)

A local contractor said that her solution would be to simply smooth the ribbing, apply thinset, and then use the thinset as the "glue" for the backerboard. Not attaching the backerboard to studs, however, seems to be inviting trouble. Is this a common practice? What are your thoughts?

Thanks much ... Jonelle

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