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After buying cement boards for my shower walls (using a base for the shower ) I am having second thoughts about using cement boars after seeing how friable they are. Also after briefly looking at kerdi boards is seems easier to work with but I have the slight feeling that this is not for DIYers.

Also it might need more expensive accessories like screws, sealing paper or similar and I am not sure if the same water proof membrane (redguard) can be used for it or it needs some special for kerdi boards only membrane

Also it might need some special thinset

When it comes to price to cover a quarter of a 4x8 with kerdi seems to be double that the full sheet of cement board

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    Never used Kerdi, but have done several shower/tub surrounds with cement board. Using cement board for this type of project is well within the skill set of the average DIYer, IMO.
    – SteveSh
    Sep 1, 2021 at 16:23
  • yes I thought so but I feel the cement board is flimsy and fragile. Not sure if there are other options
    – MiniMe
    Sep 1, 2021 at 16:27
  • I did cement board for my tub/shower surround nearly 30 years ago (before the internet had all the answers to life, the universe and everything). The hardest part I remember was cutting it - we went through tons of blades. I don't remember it being as fragile as you're indicating your is. Maybe quality has changed...
    – FreeMan
    Sep 1, 2021 at 16:30
  • Also, you want the easier and more expensive option? Based on Fredric's answer, it sounds like there isn't one - the more expensive option (Kerdi) is also more difficult.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 1, 2021 at 16:34
  • It seems that I will have to live with the 'pleasure' to work with cement board
    – MiniMe
    Sep 1, 2021 at 17:01

1 Answer 1

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Cement board is far cheaper and easier to work with, even considering the total cost of the solutions with waterproofing.

Cost - Cement boards vary in price a bit, but they don't include waterproofing so of course they're cheaper. Kerdi is a system with strict install instructions - more on that in the "ease of install" section.

Ease of install - Looking up install instructions or demos on YouTube will show the difference. As mentioned above, Kerdi is a whole system: wall boards, fasteners, fastener seals, edge/corner seals, plumbing penetration seals. It does a very good job but it's far from easy and this makes it expensive. It also has strict install instructions in order to qualify for its warranty and even if you're not interested in the warranty, you'll get best results by following its whole system to the letter anyway.

Cement board has its own quirks but is much simpler to install: keep it intact, cut to shape, use proper fastener schedule, tape seams and apply thinset, then cover with your choice of waterproofing (Redgard or similar brands).

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  • Kerdi schlutter system is far easier to work with than cbu.
    – Kris
    Sep 1, 2021 at 17:19
  • I disagree, but there's definitely a case to be made. Feel free to write your own answer. As a non-pro who's done 2 showers, a tub surround, a floor, and a kitchen backsplash, I would 100% rather do concrete than Kerdi. Pros who do Kerdi often might have some shortcuts to make it less work, but it's daunting. See youtu.be/9hPMWc22oK8 for an example Sep 1, 2021 at 18:04

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