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Thread: Cement Board Screw Spacing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Cement Board Screw Spacing

    I'm making a ceramic tile countertop for the kitchen. I'm using 3/4" pressure treated plywood with 1/2" cement board applied overtop, with a skim coat of thinset between the plywood and cement board. I'm wondering about spacing of the cement board screws...I've read that 8" spacing is recommended, but at the price of the cement board screws, this seems like alot.

    What about backsplash tiles...do I need to apply cement board first, or can I apply the tile directly to the existing painted dry drywall. If cement board is recommended, do I use the same spacing?

    Why are special cement board screws required? Why can't you just use drywall screws?
    "If you think education is expensive - try ignorance." (Bok's law)


  2. #2


    The Code requires you to install per the manufacturer's installation instructions. If you vary from those rules your inspector can reject the inspection. If you have no inspection such as the type job you are talking of just building a counter top not affecting the integrity of the structure then if you vary from the material they call for and secure as they suggest it is buyer beware.

    Remember if you have a gap between the plywood and the cement board that cement board will break as you tighten down the mounting screws. Also remember if you gap out too much with the mounting screws you invite movement then breaking of the cement board then cracking of the tiles layed as the finished surface.

    There are many methods of laying tile. Blue board where in wet location [moisture resistant drywall] or cement board or many other products. You have a method going why not stay with the same design on the back splash as the counter top?

    Hope this helps


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