fermacell backer board

Everything you would expect from a cement board and more.
For less.

fermacell backer board is the new moisture resistant backer board you can tile, paint or wallpaper directly onto, plus it comes in handy sized 1200mm x 800mm x 12.5mm sheets.

Like most fermacell products fermacell backer board for tiles is made from gypsum and paper fibres. Unlike conventional plasterboards, it's a material that combines all-round strength, moisture resistance and durability at a remarkably affordable price.

Perfect for use in bathrooms, kitchens or other moisture affected areas including basements and garages, only fermacell backer board for tiles offers all this at a far lower price than ordinary cement tile backer boards.

Strength is another strength


Cellulose fibres are added into the gypsum mix creating a very strong board. With up to 50kg per cavity fixing of load hanging stregth, radiators and cupboards can be fixed directly onto the board. No additional support or patressing required.

Moisture? No problem

Where platerboard could crumble under the pressure, fermacell backer board for tiles has all the moisture resistance you need under tiling without the expense of a cement based board. Able to withstand up to 80% constant humidity, it will stay strong in even the most demanding kitchen or bathroom.

fermacell backer board v cement board v plasterboard at a glance

fermacell backer board for tiles costs a fraction of the price you pay for a cement tile backing board. Plus, it doesn't only match the performance of a cement board, it beats it, hands down. Plasterboard can't stand comparison either. Here's proof.

A far healthier alternative

Unlike some cement based boards that expose the user to harmful silica dust when cutting, with fermacell backer board for tiles there is no health risk from the dust, as it's completely non-hazardous. Plus it's made from recycled materials - so it's kind to the environment too.

Of course, good working practice must be observed, which includes attaching a dust extractor to the circular saw and wearing an appropriate dust mask when cutting fermacell backer board.

Using instructions


  • Install a timber or steel sub-frame at 600 or 400mm centres
  • Boards can be installed vertically or horizontally
  • Fix boards with fermacell screws at 200mm centres to the sub-frame
  • Fixings should be at minimum 15mm away from the edge of the board and minimum 50mm from corners. Offset joints by a minimum of 200mm
  • Install boards 6mm above the floor
  • Screws should be set flush with the board surface
  • Apply tile adhesive to all joints and embed fermacell mesh jointing tape across all joints and smooth over with non-cementitious tile adhesive


  • The subfloor must be structurally sound, clean and flat. Fix down any loose sections
  • Joist spacing should not be more than 600mm centres
  • Use minimum 15mm WBP plywood or 18mm T&G flooring grade chipboard as a structural deck
  • The floor should not deflect more than L/360
  • Using a 6mm notched trowel apply a gap filling bed of non-flexible tile adhesive to the subfloor
  • Embed the fermacell boards into the non-cementitious tile adhesive in sliding movememnts evenly and firmly. Leave a 3mm gap between floor and wall boards
  • Once the adhesive has set, fix boards with fermacell screws. Fixings should be at minimum 50mm from corners. Screw heads should be flush with the board surface.
  • Fill the 3mm gap between floor and wall with a high quality bathroom sealant
  • Apply tile adhesive to all joints and embed fermacell mesh jointing tape across all joints and smooth over with tile adhesive




Before tiling, all areas should be clean, dry and free from dust. Tile adhesive is applied and tiles are fixed using a thin bed adhesive method without pre-wetting. Generally tiles should not be grouted for a 24 hour period after fixing. In all cases, follow the adhesive and tile manufacturers recommendations.



  • How long has fermacell been available?

    About 40 years - it was first produced on a commercial scale in Germany in 1971. It's been in the UK since 1989.

  • Can I install fermacell backer board myself?

    Yes, boards go in at standard centres of 600mm. Fix using fermacell screws and depending on jointing method, follow our instructions. If needed, reduce support centres to 400mm, depending on tile weights.

  • Do I need to prime fermacell backer board before tiling?

    No, simply remove any dust with a damp sponge. However good practice for tiling also advocates the use of a primer. Always check with a tile ahesive manufacturer.

  • Can I fix fermacell backer board using a dot and dab technique?

    Yes, unlike cement board you can dot and dab fix. However the adhesive must be applied to the board not the background and a minimum of 2 mechanical fixings must be used. Please refer to our fitting instructions.

  • Do I need special tools?

    No, not really - you can cut fermacell backer board with a hand or a circular saw or you can use our board knife.