What is the Difference Between Wedi board and Skeewbackers and Why Use Them?

corner of wedi board showing the foam layer sandwiched between the rigid layers

Wedi board is a German product normally used in the construction industry as an underlayment for bathrooms, showers, floors, anywhere that needs waterproof material. It is a foam board covered with a thin layer of fiberglass mesh and a cement coating. It is entirely waterproof and weatherproof, very rigid so it won't warp, and light weight. There is a hanging system you can install if you want to hang it on a wall.

Skeewbackers are very similar to Wedi boards, only they are made in the USA and are also used in the construction industry as an underlayment for bathrooms, showers, floors, anywhere that needs waterproof material. It has a high-density, waterproof extruded polystyrene cord with a reinforced, waterproof membrane on both sides to give triple protection from water and vapor intrusion. It is also rigid, lighter weight than Wedi board and has a hanging system that is easy to install.

Here's what is great about both of them. You can create address plaques, decorative wall art, and anything else your imagination can come up with. You can use it indoor or outdoor. For mosaic artists, it is a great alternative to the heavy cement boards and heavy wood and you don't have to worry about expensive framing.

The basic steps on how to use these boards are:
1. Remove any fibers from the edges of the Wedi board – Skeewbackers have no fibers so this is not a necessary step
2. Install your hanging system
3. Trace your design onto the board
4. Thinset your tesserae and complete your mosaic (you can use glue in a dry area)
5. Grout after it is thoroughly dry
6. Finish the edges and the back of your piece by painting them or framing

These backers provide a great option for mosaic artists as they are designed for all environments – wet and dry. They are also very light weight and can be cut easily with a utility knife or jig saw. The main differences between Skeewbackers and Wedi board are that Skeewbackers are lighter in weight than Wedi board and do not have any cement or fiber coating, so they are actually cleaner and easier to use. The corners on Skeewbackers do not crack or break like Wedi board corners. I think you’ll find Skeewbackers the superior product.

this article is made possible by the support of skeew.biz - cool stuff for cool mosaics

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