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Question:

How can I tell the difference between cement and backer board?

Sorry for the double post, this is an addendum to my previous question. I am planning to re-tile the downstairs foyer. Since it's on the 1st floor of a townhouse with no basement I think there's cement slab underneath, but if I need backer board I need to purchase and make arrangements to cut (I don't own a saw yet). I'd like to take a couple tiles off to check, but how can I tell the difference between the two?

Answer:

You won't be able to pound a nail into the concrete.
May 11, 2017
If you're laying tile on a concrete slab, you don't need to add anything, just lay the tile directly on the slab. You will need a cement-fiber board for vertical surfaces like walls. I like the Hardie products.
May 11, 2017
By your question it sounds as if you intend to re-tile the floor, if so it will be concrete and you be able t tile straight over it once the other tiles have been removed and the slab made good for tiling.
May 11, 2017
one is cement and one is gypsum.
May 11, 2017

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