Kerdi Board vs. Durock: Choosing the Right Backer Board for Your Project

Kerdi Board vs. Durock

Kerdi Board vs. Durock: Choosing the Right Backer Board for Your Project

When it comes to tiling projects, selecting the right backer board is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the outcome and durability of your project. Two popular options on the market are Kerdi Board and Durock. In this article, we’ll dive into the features, benefits, and considerations of both products, helping you make an informed choice for your next project.


Embarking on a tiling project requires careful consideration of various elements, and the choice of backer board is a pivotal one. Both Kerdi Board and Durock offer unique features that cater to different project needs. Let’s delve deeper into each option to help you decide which one is the best fit for your specific project.

Understanding Backer Boards

Before we delve into the specifics of Kerdi Board and Durock, let’s take a moment to understand the importance of backer boards in tiling projects. Backer boards serve as a stable and reliable surface onto which tiles are adhered. They provide support, prevent moisture damage, and ensure the longevity of your tile installation.

Kerdi Board: Innovative Waterproofing Solution

What is Kerdi Board?

Kerdi Board is a revolutionary backer board that offers advanced waterproofing capabilities. It is made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam and is covered with a special fleece layer that creates a watertight barrier. This unique design makes Kerdi Board an excellent choice for areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Advantages of Kerdi Board

  • Waterproofing Excellence: Kerdi Board’s waterproofing properties are unparalleled, making it an excellent option for wet areas.
  • Lightweight and Easy to Handle: The lightweight nature of Kerdi Board simplifies handling and installation.
  • Reduced Risk of Mold and Mildew: The waterproof barrier prevents water infiltration, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.

Durock: Tried and True Cement Backer Board

What is Durock?

Durock is a well-established cement backer board that has been a staple in the construction industry for years. It is composed of cement, sand, and fiberglass mesh, creating a durable and strong substrate for tiles.

Benefits of Durock Backer Board

  • Exceptional Strength: Durock’s composition provides exceptional structural strength, making it suitable for heavy tile installations.
  • Fire and Heat Resistance: Durock is fire-resistant, adding an extra layer of safety to your project.
  • Versatile Applications: It can be used for both indoor and outdoor projects, offering flexibility in application.

Comparing Waterproofing Capabilities

Kerdi Board’s Waterproofing Properties

Kerdi Board’s design ensures complete waterproofing, safeguarding the underlying structure from water damage. This is particularly beneficial for showers, saunas, and other moisture-prone areas.

Durock’s Moisture Resistance

While Durock is not inherently waterproof like Kerdi Board, it still offers good moisture resistance. It is commonly used in areas where moisture exposure is moderate.

Ease of Installation

Installing Kerdi Board

Kerdi Board installation involves cutting the panels to size and adhering them to the substrate using thin-set mortar. Seams are sealed using Kerdi Band, a waterproofing strip.

Working with Durock Backer Board

Durock installation includes cutting, fastening, and taping seams. A layer of mortar is typically applied before tiling.

Strength and Durability

Kerdi Board’s Structural Strength

Kerdi Board provides moderate structural support and is best suited for areas with normal foot traffic and standard tile sizes.

Durock’s Tough Composition

Durock’s robust composition makes it suitable for heavy tile installations, high-traffic areas, and larger tiles.

Application and Usage

Ideal Projects for Kerdi Board

Kerdi Board is ideal for bathrooms, showers, and other areas where waterproofing is a top priority.

Suitable Projects for Durock

Durock is well-suited for areas where high strength is required, such as floors and countertops.

Cost Considerations

Kerdi Board Costs and Value

Kerdi Board tends to be more expensive than traditional cement backer boards, but its waterproofing benefits may outweigh the additional cost in moisture-prone areas.

Durock’s Cost-Effectiveness

Durock is a cost-effective option that provides durability and strength at a reasonable price point.

Factors Influencing Your Choice

Your choice between Kerdi Board and Durock should be guided by various factors:

  • Project Scope and Requirements: Consider the specific needs of your project, including moisture levels, traffic, and tile size.
  • Time and Labor Constraints: Evaluate the ease of installation and the time required for each product.
  • Budget Considerations: Balance the benefits and costs of each option within your budget.

Making Your Decision

In conclusion, both Kerdi Board and Durock have their unique strengths and advantages. Your choice ultimately depends on the specific demands of your tiling project. For areas requiring superior waterproofing, Kerdi Board is an excellent investment. On the other hand, if you prioritize strength and versatility, Durock is a reliable choice. Assess your project requirements and make an informed decision to achieve a successful and long-lasting tile installation.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can Kerdi Board be used for outdoor tiling projects?

Yes, Kerdi Board can be used for outdoor projects, but it’s important to ensure proper sealing and protection from prolonged exposure to the elements.

2. Is Durock suitable for use in wet areas like showers?

While Durock offers moisture resistance, it is recommended to use it in areas with moderate moisture exposure rather than fully wet environments like showers.

3. Does Kerdi Board require additional waterproofing measures?

In most cases, Kerdi Board’s inherent waterproofing properties eliminate the need for additional waterproofing measures.

4. How do I cut and shape Kerdi Board for my project?

Kerdi Board can be easily cut and shaped using a utility knife or saw. Ensure accurate measurements and use appropriate safety gear when cutting.

5. Can Durock be used in areas with high heat exposure, such as around a fireplace?

Yes, Durock’s fire and heat resistance make it suitable for applications around fireplaces and other high-heat areas.

6. Can I install tiles directly onto Kerdi Board without additional adhesive?

While Kerdi Board provides a suitable surface for tile installation, it is recommended to use thin-set mortar to adhere the tiles for the best results.

7. Are there any specific cleaning and maintenance requirements for Durock-backed tiles?

Cleaning Durock-backed tiles is similar to other tile installations. Regular cleaning with a mild detergent and water is generally sufficient.

8. Can I use Kerdi Board and Durock together in the same project?

In certain scenarios, using both products together might be advantageous. For instance, you could use Kerdi Board in wet areas and Durock in high-traffic or heat-exposed zones.

9. Are there any environmental considerations when choosing between Kerdi Board and Durock?

Both products have their environmental impacts. Kerdi Board’s foam core might have recycling limitations, while Durock’s cement-based composition requires energy-intensive production.

10. Where can I find more information about installation techniques for Kerdi Board and Durock?

For detailed installation guidelines and techniques, you can refer to the respective manufacturer’s websites or consult with a professional tile installer.


In the realm of tiling projects, the choice between Kerdi Board and Durock can significantly impact the success and longevity of your installation. Each option brings its own set of advantages, from Kerdi Board’s exceptional waterproofing to Durock’s strength and versatility. By carefully evaluating your project’s requirements, budget, and timeline, you can confidently select the backer board that aligns with your goals.

Remember that the right backer board is the foundation upon which your tiles will be laid, ensuring a solid and secure base for your design aspirations. Whether you opt for Kerdi Board’s cutting-edge waterproofing or Durock’s reliable strength, you’re taking a crucial step toward a stunning and durable tiling project.

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