Choosing the Right Tile Backer Board: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to tiling projects, the success of your endeavour often depends on more than just the tiles themselves. A crucial but often overlooked aspect of tiling is the choice of tile backer board. These unsung heroes of tiling provide a stable and secure surface for your tiles, ensuring they look great and last for years. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the importance of tile backer boards, discuss various types and brands available, delve into factors to consider when making your selection, and weigh the pros and cons of different thicknesses.

The Importance of Tile Backer Boards

Tile backer boards play a pivotal role in ensuring the longevity and stability of your tiled surfaces. They act as a solid foundation, preventing issues such as tile cracking, water damage, and uneven surfaces. Whether you’re working on a bathroom renovation, a kitchen backsplash, or a heated floor installation, choosing the right tile backer board is essential for a successful project.

Types and Brands of Tile Backer Boards

There are several types and brands of tile backer boards on the market, each designed for specific applications. Among the well-known brands in the UK market are Jackoboard, Hardie Backer Board, and NoMorePly.

Jackoboard: Jackoboard is a reputable brand known for its versatile and high-quality tile backer boards. They offer a range of products suitable for various applications, including wet rooms, shower enclosures, and underfloor heating systems. Jackoboard’s products are known for their durability and ease of installation. Jackoboards have a polystyrene foam core and a special hard coating on the outside. The surface of the Jackoboard provides an extremely strong bond. The boards are waterproof, insulating, easy to cut, light weight and very strong. You can view our range of Jackoboard boards here.

Hardie Backer Board: Hardie Backer Board is another trusted name in the industry. Their tile backer boards are renowned for their strength and moisture resistance. Hardie Backer Board is an excellent choice for bathrooms and kitchens where water exposure is a concern. Hardie Backer boards are a fibre cement board and they have their own unique formula that will protect from moisture damage. Hardie Backer Boards are available in 6mm and 12mm, they are also backed by a 10 year warranty. You can view our range of Hardie Backer board products here.

NoMorePly: NoMorePly, as the name suggests, aims to eliminate the issues associated with traditional plywood. Their tile backer boards are engineered to resist moisture and provide a stable surface for tiling. They are often used in both domestic and commercial projects. Like Hardie Backer boards NoMorePly is a fibre cement board that is created to their own formula that offers protection against water and thermal movement. NoMorePly offer a range of sizes of board in 6mm, 9mm, 12mm. They also have a 18mm and 22mm Tongue and Grove board that can be fitted directly to the joist, and tiled to. This product is also perfect for going over the top of underfloor heating due to it’s excellent thermal mass. You can view our range of NoMorePly products here.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Tile Backer Boards

Choosing the right tile backer board involves considering several factors to ensure the best results for your specific project:

Moisture Resistance: If your project involves areas with high moisture levels, such as bathrooms or wet rooms, opt for a tile backer board with excellent moisture resistance. Hardie Backer Board and NoMorePly are known for their moisture-resistant properties.

Application: Consider the specific application of the tile backer board. For going underneath underfloor heating systems, select a board designed for this purpose. Jackoboard, for example, offers products tailored to underfloor heating installations, where it will insulate to stop loosing heat through the floor. Where as NoMorePly Tongue and Grove 18mm and 22mm boards are perfectly suited to go over underfloor heating as they absorb, store and release heat evenly.

Thickness: The thickness of the tile backer board can vary, and the choice depends on your project’s requirements. Thicker boards provide better insulation and stability but can be more challenging to cut and install.

Ease of Installation: Evaluate how user-friendly the tile backer board is in terms of installation. Some brands, like Jackoboard, offer products that are easy to cut and shape, making installation more straightforward. Where as fibre cement based boards are a lot more difficult to manoeuvre and cut. Its also important with the fibre cement boards to use the correct tools to cut to reduce the amount of dust.

Cost: Factor in your budget when selecting tile backer boards. While quality should never be compromised, different brands and types come with varying price points, so choose one that fits your budget from a reputable brand that meets your projects needs.


Tile backer boards come in various thicknesses, and the choice of thickness can significantly impact your project’s outcome:

Thin Tile Backer Boards (e.g., 6mm):
Pros: Lightweight, easy to handle and cut, suitable for wall applications.
Cons: Less insulation and may not provide adequate support for walls.

Medium Tile Backer Boards (e.g., 10-12mm):

Pros: Balanced thickness for walls and floors, provides better insulation, and offers enhanced stability.
Cons: Slightly more challenging to work with than thin boards.

Thick Tile Backer Boards (e.g., 20-50mm):

  • Pros: Excellent insulation, robust support for heavy tiles and underfloor heating systems.
  • Cons: Heavier and may require additional effort during installation.

In conclusion, choosing the right tile backer board is a critical decision in any tiling project. Consider factors like moisture resistance, application, thickness, ease of installation, and budget when making your selection. Brands like Jackoboard, Hardie Backer Board, and NoMorePly offer quality options suitable for various projects. Additionally, the thickness of the board should be chosen carefully to match your specific needs. With the right tile backer board, you’ll ensure the durability and longevity of your tiled surfaces, making your investment well worth it. If you require any technical advice on the best board to use for your project please feel free to get in touch.

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