How to install villaboard in bathrooms

John
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How to install villaboard in bathrooms

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Project Overview

Installing villaboard yourself can help cut the cost of renovating a bathroom or laundry. We’ll show you how to install the boards as well as how to cut them properly. You will also see how to reinforce internal corners with metal angles and make holes for plumbing and electrics.
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This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to Install Villaboard
Man measuring tile on work bench before cutting
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Measure twice, cut once

You can rub out a pencil mark but you can’t undo a cut from your saw. Whether you are working with timber, tiles, glass or any other building material, you should always double check your measurements before you cut.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Before you begin installing villaboard in a bathroom
2 Mark the horizontal line where the top two rows of villaboard will join
3 Mark the lines where two villaboard panels will be next to each other.
4 Build a nail ledge to rest upper level villaboard panels on
5 Install the top row of villaboard in the bathroom
6 Insert internal angles into the internal corners of the bathroom.
7 Install the second row of villaboard in the bathroom
8 Cut and install the short panels of villaboard in the bathroom
9 Make holes in the villaboard for plumbing and electrics
  • Step 1. Before you begin installing villaboard in a bathroom

    Make sure the studs in your walls are properly level. Some regions require bathroom walls to have a minimum thickness. Once you are sure your wall is level and conforms to regulations, then you are ready to install the villaboard.
  • Step 2. Mark the horizontal line where the top two rows of villaboard will join

    The best way to install villaboard panels is by working from the ceiling down to the floor. Villaboard is 1200mm high, so measure down from the ceiling and make a mark on each timber stud at 1200mm. This horizontal join line will come in handy in a couple of steps from now.
  • Step 3. Mark the lines where two villaboard panels will be next to each other.

    When your wall is longer than one sheet of villaboard, you will join two sheets together. Sheets are joined in the middle of a wall stud for greater strength. To find out which stud to join them on, measure 2700mm from the edge of the wall and work back to the closest stud, and mark the middle of it. This gives you the measuring point for both boards.
  • Step 4. Build a nail ledge to rest upper level villaboard panels on

    Full-sized villaboard panels are quite heavy. To make it easier to hold the higher ones on the wall before you install them, you can make a nail ledge support. Hammer nails halfway into the joist about 10mm below the horizontal join line you marked out in Step 2. 
  • Step 5. Install the top row of villaboard in the bathroom

    Get another person to help you lift the villaboard and hold it in place. Rest the panel on the nail ledge you made in the previous step. Then slide the panel up into place and begin nailing it to the wall. Put a nail in about 20mm up from the bottom of the board for each stud. Once the bottom row of nails is in, work up the board putting in a row every 200mm. Drive your nails in until they are flush with the surface.
  • Step 6. Insert internal angles into the internal corners of the bathroom.

    Before you install the villaboard, install an internal metal angle as reinforcement wherever two walls meet in an internal corner. Nail the angle to both sides of the corner using the same nails you have been using for the panels. If the corner is higher than one length of metal, use tin snips to cut an extra length and butt it up against the rest of the angle.
  • Step 7. Install the second row of villaboard in the bathroom

    Install the second row of villaboard by nailing it into place below the first row. Where you can, stagger the first and second rows so the vertical joins don’t run the whole way down the wall from floor to ceiling. This will make the whole wall stronger.
  • Step 8. Cut and install the short panels of villaboard in the bathroom

    As Step 3 says, panels joined in a row should meet in the middle of a joist. Measure the length your short panel needs to cover and mark it up on a fresh piece of villaboard. Have someone hold the board steady for you. Then use your fibrocement cutter to cut a panel to size and nail it into place.
  • Step 9. Make holes in the villaboard for plumbing and electrics

    Any panel being installed over plumbing or electrics will need to have holes in it. Measure where the holes should be and mark them up on the panel. Then place a hand behind each mark and gently knock the hole out with your hammer. Sit the panel in place on the wall to check your holes and make any adjustments. Then nail the panel into place and you are done.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Fibro cement cutter
  • Hammer
  • Ladder
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety glasses
  • Straight edge
  • Tin snips

Materials

  • Fibre cement sheeting nails
  • Gloves
  • Internal metal corners
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
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