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Dens-Shield (post #177258)

The GC Im going to do a large tile installation for wants to use Dens-Sheild for both floors and walls. Any experience with it? After reading past posts I tried to get Hardibacker but no one in my area seems to be able to get it or doesnt want to try. Any advice on the Dens would be appreciated. Thanks....Dave

(post #177258, reply #1 of 22)

Score the grey side & wear long sleeves. It'l itch like insulation. You can get 4x8 sheets , not just the 3x5. I like it better than cement board

(post #177258, reply #2 of 22)

Rob's got it about right. Dens-shield handles like drywall (but a little tougher to cut). It contains fibreglas in the mix and it does cause itching.
I also like it much better than cement board. It's lighter, and doesn't wick any water, and it's totally waterproof. Local supplier had a square cutoff in a bucket of water for a couple months with no damage.
Try it, you won't go back.

Jay A.

(post #177258, reply #3 of 22)

Okay, but what about using it for floors? Seems to me it doesn't have the compressive strength required and it will probably get pretty squishy after some amount of foot traffic.

(post #177258, reply #4 of 22)


I've got over 300 ft in my house that's been down 3 years. It works fine.

(post #177258, reply #5 of 22)



I'm also a fan of Den-shield. I first used it way back in 89 for a bathroom, work great. I now use it about 50% of the time.

Joseph Fusco

Fusco & Verga Construction Co., Inc.

(post #177258, reply #6 of 22)

Gentlemen: you mean you have used it for underlayment on floors? Really, I hadn't considered it for such use.

(post #177258, reply #7 of 22)

I'm sure this stuff is great for the contractor,
but is it better for the home owner? For the added
convenience of the stuff (little in my opinion) is
it worth the difference over the long run? Looks
pretty wimpy to me.

(post #177258, reply #8 of 22)

OK guys...if you had your choice between Hardibacker, Dens-Shield, or Durock, which would you pick. For walls and floors.

(post #177258, reply #9 of 22)

Floors--Durock; Walls--Dens-Shield; Dumpster--Hardibacker

(post #177258, reply #10 of 22)

Ditto what Clint said.

(post #177258, reply #11 of 22)

I only use it on walls.

Joseph Fusco

Fusco & Verga Construction Co., Inc.

(post #177258, reply #12 of 22)

OK, so what's your complaints about Hardibacker?

(post #177258, reply #13 of 22)

Clint, are you serious? While I have used each product mentioned, I choose to use only Hardibacker; 1/4" for floors over a wood subfloor. Everything else I float.

Re: backerboard. I just love the minimum thickness (1/4") that deletes the problems at the thresholds, cabinet toekicks, etc. Of all the backerboards, I choose to use Hardibacker.

(post #177258, reply #14 of 22)

None of the above.
First choice--float.

(post #177258, reply #15 of 22)

Rich, your points are well made. I've never tried Hardibacker on a floor, but the main reason I don't like it is because it's a bugger to cut and doesn't take nails or screws well; the heads always stand proud, or the board shatters around the hole. Maybe it's my technique. Dens Shield is a pleasure to use compared to either alternative.

(post #177258, reply #16 of 22)

Clint, for cutting Hardibacker, I use a diamond blade on my 4" grinder. For nailing, I use galvanized roofing nails. When using screws, I use a bronze alloy triple thread concrete screw that I got a good buy on some time ago.

Maybe it's me, but I don't consider the dry cutting--read dust--to be too much of a problem. Yeah, I wear my HEPA filter mask. Also, Hardibacker holds a clean edge when cut, something I very much appreciate.

I would be interested in hearing the real particulars about using Denshield for floor underlayment.

BTW: any backerboard will crush if you get too close to the edge when edge nailing, stay back about 2".

(post #177258, reply #17 of 22)

Which side is the top...gray or purple??

(post #177258, reply #18 of 22)

Contact Georgia Pacific for their pamphlet on Dens-Shield, it has lots of installation and test information. They state that Dens-Shield has passed the tile industry's standard test for floor assemblies (Robinson Floor Test, ASTM 627), and that 1/4" and 1/2" may be used for residential and light commercial floors.

Their architectural Spec's state that Dens-Shield is to be installed per TCA Handbook method F144 (which is the method for cement backer bd.). You can get the TCA Handbood for $3 at

The main limitations are that it can't be used with floor tiles smaller than 2"x2", where temperatures exceed 120 oF, or in commercial steam rooms (residential steam rooms are ok).

(post #177258, reply #19 of 22)

You can see Dens-Shield product literature at and read addmittedly pro-GP "testimonials" at

(post #177258, reply #20 of 22)

Anybody know where to get Dens-shield in the Seattle area?. The Georgia-Pacific website and 800 number was no help at all. HD has durock and hardibacker but havent seen dens-shield.

(post #177258, reply #21 of 22)

The grey side is the top of the dens sheild. yes I use it as an unerlayment. It works fine. In fact I have an exposed edge to the stirs that gets hammered & it is holding up just fine. It's only been waiting 3 years to be finished so I see no need to be in a hurry. As for is it an advantage for home owners, I recomend it in the classes I teach. The simp;e reason is it is easier to handle & dosen't make as much of a mess. I use it where ever I can. The only time I use cement board is when I need a minimalsize in the backer/underlayment.

(post #177258, reply #22 of 22)


Rich Beckman