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 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.

Straight from the manufacturer: "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

  1. Install your hanging system
  2. Trace your design onto the board
  3. Thinset your tesserae and complete your mosaic (you can use glue in a dry area)
  4. Grout after it is thoroughly dry
  5. 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.

12 comments

  • You can attach Skeewbackers to a wooden birdhouse. The wood will eventually decay, but the Skeewbacker should stay in tact and preserve your mosaic tiles.

    Lou Ann
  • Do you still sell supplies? Can’t find?

    Fran
  • I would like to piggyback on Maggie’s mosaic birdhouse question. I have plans to make a Little Library with mosaics and have an old cabinet as my substrate. I was going to put thinset on the cabinet but perhaps I should wrap with Skeewbackers, as well. Any recommendations or experience with this type of endeavor?

    Cindy
  • Hi Lou Ann ,
    Hope you are doing good , thanks so much for the great info it’s really helps .

    Calanit Passy
  • As much as I love skeewbackers, and have purchased them in the past, they can be expensive. I think it would be good to point out that they are Laticrete Hydroban boards and large pieces may be purchased at tile stores or online much cheaper. I was able to purchase a 3’ X5’ board for about $40.

    Susan

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