What Is The Difference Between Wedi Board & Skeewbackers?
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 by Laticrete (hydroban boards) 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.
The description straight from Laticrete: "HYDRO BAN Board® is a lightweight easy to handle and ready to tile wall board designed to be used in bonded tile or stone installations. It is made with a high-density, waterproof extruded polystyrene core and a reinforced, waterproof membrane on both sides to give triple protection from water and vapor intrusion. Available in a variety of thicknesses from 1⁄4” to 2” (6 mm to 50 mm) the HYDRO BAN Board can be used on walls, floors, ceilings, and in many installations requiring dimensionally sound and stable substrates as well as in steam rooms and steam showers. HYDRO BAN Board does not contain cement, fiberglass or paper products and will not cause itching or create messy cement debris during installation. No tab washers are required for floor and wall installations when using the ceramic coated HYDRO BAN Board Screws."
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:
Remove any fibers from the edges of the Wedi board – Skeewbackers have no fibers so this is not a necessary step
- Install your hanging system
- Trace your design onto the board
- Thinset your tesserae and complete your mosaic (you can use glue in a dry area)
- Grout after it is thoroughly dry
- Finish the edges and the back of your piece by painting them, using thinset or grout on the edges or framing them
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.