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cement board for finished floor

by Kay Kropp last modified Aug 07, 2012 12:37 PM
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  • cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Kay Kropp at March 20. 2005

    I am building a second story on my house for my art studio and had the idea of using cement board (what brand would wear well and look best?) as the finished flooring material. Has anyone done this? Was it successful? Any suggestions?

    • Re: cement board for finished floor

      Posted by richierod at June 04. 2009

      My cement board floor is only in the laundry room - as you can imagine it gets a lot of dirt and grit in there - but it has held up fine. I put some masonry sealer on it before I laid it down - it's been in for two years and it's probably time to hit it with the sealer again. This is Minerit Hd cement board.

       

       

       -R.

    • Re: cement board for finished floor

      Posted by Jill Hayes at June 01. 2009

      So it's been almost three years since the last comment in this thread....

      How did things turn out with those who pursued this?? I'm very curious since it is so cheap and i really wanted the look of concrete floors anyways. How has it help up over time?

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by kurt bonk at March 20. 2005

    I have been testing hardy board in my shop for a year now. Finishing problem one, this can be overcome, I have not encounterd anything which works as well as butchers wax. Due to the amount of portland in the product some sealers don't stay attached to the surface over a long period of time. I am still looking for the right combination of attachment method and finishs. Would welcome any thought from the group.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Mark Meyer at March 20. 2005

    I've seen a kitchen finished in hardi-panel, simply glued down with construction adhesive. I'm not sure what the sealer was, but the board has worn very well in what is a VERY high traffic area (back door to yard as well as kitchen). The product used was un-primed (which is literally impossible to get from james hardie anymore) and although it does show some wear, it actually looks better for it. the probelm with using hardi-panel now is that it only comes pre-primed, so I'm unsure how the primer would hold-up under wear conditions. I bet a really high-quality floor paint over the hardi-panel would really make for a bomb-proof floor, but then again that isn't exactly the look I imagine you are going for.

    Mark

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Kevin Dickson at March 20. 2005

    I'm guessing kbonk is talking about 1/4 or 1/2 HardiBacker, which is stocked at HD in 3x5 sheets. Oil-based poly seals it well, and you just caulk the joints. You could get away with pretty tight joints because the stuff is quite stable. The best looking job is done without fasteners, just liquid nails and weights. That prevents imperfections in the subfloor from being telegraphed.
    That stuff also has annoying dots every few inches that show you where to screw it.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by nextmodernfacilities at March 21. 2005

    here's an exact idea of what it can look like in a gallery, a friend of mine did this project in dc - the floor was quite nice...not sure about how the product was installed, but the people at the gallery are quite great and would probably field your calls about it - good luck - the project name is fusebox

    www.fuseboxdc.com

    www.coredc.com

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Gregory La Vardera at March 21. 2005

    Try Cement Board Fabricators in Atlanta. They have some panels made with white cement and grey cement, and really cool one with little mica flecks in it. That would make a great floor if the finish could be found.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Mark Meyer at March 21. 2005

    I think the CBF panels would work even better thatn hard-panel as their panels seem to be MUCH harder on the surface. the white liner panel with the mica flecks in it is awesome. They also make a nice slate grey coloured panel that would make for a very sexy dark coloured floor. I bet multiple coats of polyurethane would be an appropriate finish for nay of the CBF products.

    Mark

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Kay Kropp at March 21. 2005

    I thank you all for your generous replies. I am thrilled! I will do my research on all of this information and let you know what comes of it. If there is anymore input--keep it coming! Thanks again. KK

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Erik Gustke at March 29. 2005

    Any new news on this?

    I really like the idea.

    I have looked at Lowes but it seems the Hardibacker has grids and lots of print that would have to be removed.

    Does anybody have any idea of ways to finish or color the cement board?

    I admit I didn't call the gallery but was wondering if anyone else has.

    It might look good in my house.

    • Re: cement board for finished floor

      Posted by David Ellis at October 14. 2010

      Previously Erik Gustke wrote:


      ><br>

      Any new news on this?

      I really like the idea.

      I have looked at Lowes but it seems the Hardibacker has grids and lots of print that would have to be removed.

      Does anybody have any idea of ways to finish or color the cement board?

      I admit I didn't call the gallery but was wondering if anyone else has.

      It might look good in my house.


      ><br>




      Hardibacker contains a dangerous substance called silica and is not very durable except when used for it's intended purpose as an underlayment for other floor coverings such as ceramic tile.
      If you are looking for an extremely durable and structurally rated alternative flooring material, OMNIROC may be an option for you.
      OMNIROC cement board panels contain no hazardous materials such as silica or asbestos.
      It can be sealed and stained to any color desired using products like United Coatings 'Canyon Tone Clear' .


      ><br>

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Erik Gustke at March 29. 2005

    Any links to CBF samples?

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Steve Schafer at March 29. 2005

    You want Hardipanel, not Hardibacker. You can get it from Lowe's, but you have to special order it. You should be able to find a display with some samples at the end of one of the aisles.

    -Steve

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by uncleho at March 29. 2005

    Lavadera,

    Is there a CBF in Atlanta?

    There is one in my hometown of Lousiville, KY - GO CARDS!!!! Oops. SOrry... March madness.

    Anywho... CBF in Lousiville will send you samples. The non-heavy duty stuff has the flecks in it.

    They carry European brand known as Minerit/Cembonit/Eternit. The stuff seems far superior to Hardipanel (Australian product). I'm sure they both serve their functions, but I just like the Eternit stuff because it is like Mark says - harder/denser.

    If you want REALLY industrial looking stuff, VIROC is pretty good. Allied Building will send you samples of those also. They are imported too... from Spain or Portugal. That stuff is a different breed of cement fiberboard... not as much fiber as it is sawdust. It's main aesthetic problem is this milky white residue that forms on the surface, which does not remove - looks like crap when there, but when not, the board is quite bold in the stark cement greyness.

    As far as which looks most like cement:
    1) VIROC
    2) Eternit
    ...
    6) Hardipanel

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Kay Kropp at April 04. 2005

    I called CBF directly for samples. Still waiting. Here's the info:


    Cement Board Fabricators
    3418 Robards Ct.
    P. O. Box 35247
    Louisville, KY 40232
     
    Toll Free: 800-366-5378
    Phone: 502-774-5757
    Fax: 502-774-5754
     
    -KayK

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Gregory La Vardera at April 04. 2005

    You are absolutely right - I got the location confused. Its Louisville.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by kurt bonk at April 13. 2005

    Here in Philadelphia I can get 1/2 hardi board in 4x8 sheets Yes at HD. I am using log cabin chinking, its a elastometric material and has lot of flex ( great colors). I have also wet the surface and used concrete dye and stain on it and its kinda cool. hard to control. I am also want to add radiant heat under it.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Kay Kropp at April 17. 2005

    How are you using the chinking? How does it wear under foot?

    So here's my latest: Versaroc and viroc are both considered structural and are viable for exterior use. It is can be ordered tg. I am pretty sure that means no subflooring would be needed-- which would cut some costs (love that). I can also keep the flow by continuing the flooring material out onto the exterior deck (the cement board must be sealed on all sides).

    I received a 3/4 sample from Versaroc that was pre-sealed with an opaque light gray and it was, well, not so pretty. I am waiting for an unsealed sample to see if I can make it work.
    As far as I can tell, this stuff is fancified MDF.
    Also, because this material is so workable, if I don't like the look of the fasteners everywhere, I could countersink them and make my own plugs out of the stuff.

    CBF does have a sample that is stunningly beautiful with little sparkly flecks- it's called Minerit. I am waiting to talk with them about my ideas for it application.
    So much to think about. KayK

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by uncleho at April 18. 2005

    You better check on the VIROC being structural ENOUGH to delete subflooring. I don't think it is. It seems like it was invented for roof decking and a lot of that is fastened over some type of corrugated steel, which is basically the subfloor of the roof.

    Remember the stuff is filled with saw dust and cement is not much for anything but compression, which is the strength of plywood or osb.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by kurt bonk at May 18. 2005

    KK there is a cement board which is used for fire rated roof systems, it has a laminated metal sheet on it 22 gauge, this makes the board sructural. I dont know the co's name. As far as the chinking........the stuff is great so far, get some and try it out yourself.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Jeff Kalm at June 16. 2005

    has any one contacted fusebox or core to find out exactly what material was used on the floor. by looking at the pictures it looks like it was just scored concrete with integral color.

    kk11,
    have you tried it out yet any input on your findings?

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Brian Boudreau at June 17. 2005

    I would also like to do this. What is the best material? I would like to do get a charcoal slate look.

    Thanks
    Brian

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by John ZImmerer at July 05. 2005

    I have really enjoyed surfing this site over the past several months and finally decided to join up! I own a mid-century modern home in Phoenix, AZ built in 1960. The house is a nice ranch with unpainted grey CMU block on the outside, copper facia and a nice open floor plan I'll post a few pics after I learn the ropes.

    I have been following this thread closely and considering going the cement board approach for flooring. Our floors were previously stained an ugly tan/brown tone and we are looking for a lighter more natural concrete grey tone.

    I have been in contact with CBF and received their samples. The Minerit LW (lightweight) is really a beautiful material with mica flecks and has the closest look to real concrete. It comes in 6mm and 9mm thicknesses and runs about $39.00 for a 4x8 sheet. I want to cut it into 4x4 squares and glue it down. Their technical guy however says its not strong enough to use as a flooring material and may crack? Seems to me that if I use a good flooring adhesive or thin set applied with a notched trowel that the material will be well supported and should work just fine. I'm planning on finishing it with a clear satin poly to seal it and minimze abrasion damage.

    The folks at CBF told me that Guess Jean had done 4 stores in California with the Minerit HD (heavy duty) but it doesn't have near the same look. Also the product called Cembonit has also been used.

    Any thoughts? Anybody actually done CB flooring?

    Thanks, Zimm

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by De Anna Lavery at August 02. 2005

    Any new information on the Minerit? How the installation went? How is it wearing?
    Do you think there will be massive shipping costs or is there a local distributor?

    Zimm- I'm in Scottsdale - just purchased a '67 ranch and have started 'remodeling'. We took out 3 or four arches, saltillo tile, popcorn ceilings, pocket doors..
    It's sea of blue- seems like a never ending project.

    I'm very interested in the cement board as flooring. I have pretty decent concrete floors except for some carpet tack holes and a giant crack but I wanted something different..a little more industrial.
    If you've had good luck so far, I would be interested in ordering or finding a local distributor. If we can order at the same time we might be able to save on the shipping..you never know.
    I only have about 1900 square feet- including a patio.
    Can't wait to hear what you've discovered.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Debra Booth at August 03. 2005

    Hello all,

    I was in Washington working at Studio Theater and actually walked past Fusebox on my way for coffee. There it was. The gallery was not open alas but I peered through the window for some time. I must admit that at first I thought it was a poured concrete floor but sure enough, it is smooth concrete panels that are screwed to the sub floor. I will be back there soon if anyone needs to know more--hopefully they will be open then.

    Best,

    Deb

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by De Anna Lavery at August 03. 2005

    So I called CBF today and asked about the Minerit. I believe I talked to someone named Harrison. Anyway- He recommended HD and 3/8 thickness. It's 76.68 for a 4x8 panel which isn't so bad but the shipping for that one panel is 237.01! It weighs over 115lbs.

    I just went back to read this thread and I see where the Minerit HD is nothing like the LW with the mica flecks. I'll have to call and see if I can get a sample of the LW. Just concerned about cracking and wear..as I'm sure everyone is...

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by John ZImmerer at August 04. 2005

    DLavery, we're still studying flooring options for our house!!

    I spent quite a bit of time talking with the folks (Harrison and others) at CBF. They were very helpful and seem like a great company to do business with. Harrison will send you out a sample kit at no charge which has a notebook full of info about the various products they have and includes an array of samples. As many have remarked the best looking sample is the Minerit LW(lightweight) with the mica flecks. Unfortunately it also turns out to be the weakest and not fit for flooring in my opinion. Most of the cement board products are cured in an autoclave (heat pressure) which results in a very dense and strong product. The Minerit LW is air cured so it is less dense and not nearly as strong. They sent me a 4x4 ft sample to evaluate which I would be happy to share with you.

    Besides the Minerit HD, which is a little blah looking, there is another CBF product line called Cembonit. It is cured in the autoclave and has a waterproofing agent added in the mix, which would be good for flooring. It comes in a variety of colors including a nice slate gray.

    Send me a private e-mail (zimm4@cox.net) and we can get together and share info/samples.

    Zimm

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by De Anna Lavery at August 08. 2005

    I haven't received my samples from CBF yet but really the cost to have the stuff shipped makes it more unattractive by the minute. Plus, I don't know how to use a forklift just yet...perhaps someday:). (heard you have to forklift it off the truck yourself once it gets to your location)

    I was in HD this weekend and decided to grab on of their hardibacker 500 panels. It's the 3x5 panel for about 10 dollars...1/2 inch.
    One side has the letters and numbers printed and the other side has a little more texture. The textured side is much more attractive. I sanded the panel with drywall sandpaper, just a couple of swipes (careful contains Silica) and then sealed it with Miracle High Gloss finish. That was recommended by a guy at HD. I used three generous coats ...dries super fast. It really was nice. I have pictures of it here
    http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=9AZMWrZw3asQ2

    along with other photos of the destruction...and a couple of my old house just so people don't think I live like this all the time!

    I plan on just gluing down the panel in a high traffic area in the house (we're living here during the construction) to see how well it holds up. Someone on the board mentioned using Hardipanel so I'll try to get a board and do the same. I also plan on getting butchers wax. I'll post pictures along the way because a each persons idea of wear will be different.

    Also- I might check in to the log cabin chinking. I only hope that the first person that answers my call knows what I'm talking about. I get a lot of now what are you looking for again, honey? and since I'm really not sure of chinking it could bring out a blonde moment. I'll do a bit of research before making that call.

    In the meantime-any information/new findings would be totally appreciated!

    • Re: cement board for finished floor

      Posted by Nancy Lance at February 13. 2012
      Previously De Anna Lavery wrote:

      I haven't received my samples from CBF yet but really the cost to have the stuff shipped makes it more unattractive by the minute. Plus, I don't know how to use a forklift just yet...perhaps someday:). (heard you have to forklift it off the truck yourself once it gets to your location)

      I was in HD this weekend and decided to grab on of their hardibacker 500 panels. It's the 3x5 panel for about 10 dollars...1/2 inch.
      One side has the letters and numbers printed and the other side has a little more texture. The textured side is much more attractive. I sanded the panel with drywall sandpaper, just a couple of swipes (careful contains Silica) and then sealed it with Miracle High Gloss finish. That was recommended by a guy at HD. I used three generous coats ...dries super fast. It really was nice. I have pictures of it here
      http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=9AZMWrZw3asQ2

      along with other photos of the destruction...and a couple of my old house just so people don't think I live like this all the time!

      I plan on just gluing down the panel in a high traffic area in the house (we're living here during the construction) to see how well it holds up. Someone on the board mentioned using Hardipanel so I'll try to get a board and do the same. I also plan on getting butchers wax. I'll post pictures along the way because a each persons idea of wear will be different.

      Also- I might check in to the log cabin chinking. I only hope that the first person that answers my call knows what I'm talking about. I get a lot of now what are you looking for again, honey? and since I'm really not sure of chinking it could bring out a blonde moment. I'll do a bit of research before making that call.

      In the meantime-any information/new findings would be totally appreciated!

      De Anna - how well did the hardibacker hold up?

       

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Debra Booth at August 13. 2005

    I stopped by Fusebox yesterday and not open again. I will be back next month when it will be (it's an art gallery and closed for the summer). I studied the floor for awhile. It isn't cracking anywhere that I can see. Edges are all intact. It's held in place with flat head screws----not many--maybe 4 or 6. The sheets are not 4 x 8 -- smaller if I remember correctly. It's got a slight shine to it like really smooth cement--I can't really tell if it is waxed or sealed.

    Stay tuned.

    Debra

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by De Anna Lavery at August 22. 2005

    Can't wait to hear what Debra discovers at the art gallery.

    The hardibacker plank that I sealed has been fine. I'm realizing that it's very light (in color), almost too light for me. I suppose I could color wash it - not sure about that yet . Also would need to be sealed on both sides and all cut sides.
    I'm going to get a Hardi-panel this week sometime. I hear that it's pre-sealed...mostly used for cladding. I'm hoping it's a little darker and not marked up with ink grids. Again- the cut edges would still need to be sealed. I'm anxious to get some flooring in the house.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by Alan Beal at August 25. 2005

    I went to Fusebox today and here is what I learned.

    It is a fiber cement panel 4' x 8'. It is screwed to a plywood subfloor over wood joists. (I don't know how thick or if it was glued down) It looks like it is a Hardi product based on its smooth surface and the ink coding. It has been in place for 4 years. The gallery is on a busy city street so you can imagine the usage. The only area that seemed to be wearing was their office section under the rolling desk chairs. Sorry no picture of that. It has been waxed and buffed every 8 months. When buffed it looks really polished. That finish fades over time. They had replaced a piece in a small hallway because of a paint spill. The new piece looked like a fresh fiber cement panel (color wise). The guy I spoke with says the whole floor has gotten progressively darker over time.

    I was impressed and am considering it for the first floor of my new house.

    I have pictures but am still trying to figure out how to post them. Will post them soon.

  • Re: cement board for finished floor

    Posted by De Anna Lavery at August 25. 2005

    That's great information! The Hardibacker at HD comes in 3x5 sheets but the HardiPanel (exterior cladding and deck) comes in 4x8 sheets. So if it's a James Hardy product it must be the HardiPanel I called Lowes today and they carry HardiPanel in stucco but the other finishes are special order. I'm going this weekend to order one panel or whatever their minimum special order requires.
    Do you think they buff it with wax? The hardipanel is presealed so does that mean you can just buff the surface?? No...it must have some sort of sealer/wax stuff.
    Maybe that butchers wax?
    one note- Lowes said it was about 25.00 for the 4x8 panel so that's less than a buck a sqft. Sweeeet.

    • Re: cement board for finished floor

      Posted by Keith Messick at August 07. 2012
      Previously De Anna Lavery wrote:

      That's great information! The Hardibacker at HD comes in 3x5 sheets but the HardiPanel (exterior cladding and deck) comes in 4x8 sheets. So if it's a James Hardy product it must be the HardiPanel I called Lowes today and they carry HardiPanel in stucco but the other finishes are special order. I'm going this weekend to order one panel or whatever their minimum special order requires.
      Do you think they buff it with wax? The hardipanel is presealed so does that mean you can just buff the surface?? No...it must have some sort of sealer/wax stuff.
      Maybe that butchers wax?
      one note- Lowes said it was about 25.00 for the 4x8 panel so that's less than a buck a sqft. Sweeeet.

      DeAnna-It's been awhile since your last post on this - I'd like to know what choice you made for the floor? And how it turned out?
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