While all of this was going on, a couple of men in Ohio were changing our industry at that very moment. Paul Dinkel, a tile contractor with a vision, was determined to find a solution to the problem of ceramic tile failures when it was installed over sheetrock. He began experimenting with a glass mesh mortar unit, consisting of a lightweight concrete core covered on each side with a special fiberglass mesh. It would become known as Wonderboard. Together, with his partner Ted Clear, they revolutionized the tile industry with this product. Today, a wide range of products has been developed since Wonderboard's inception, and we refer to them today as backerboards.
Currently, there are five specific types of backerboards recognized by the Tile Council of North America Handbook for the Installation of Ceramic Tile. This includes several new methods recently introduced in the 2005 version of the Handbook. Contractors and sales professionals are constantly asking us our opinion on what type of backerboard to use in certain situations. Our response is understandably guarded. Each one of these products, when installed according to their specific instructions, generally will perform extremely well. It is vitally important that you study the limitations and recommended uses for each of these products.