Durock is best cut with a grinder and a turbo blade, outside. Be sure to wear mask, as this process kicks up a lot of dust. The grinder cuts very straight lines. It rests on the Durock and cuts with total control. It makes holes and cuts out electrical spaces as well. A must-have tool for a tileman, it does a zillion things.
Fit Durock tight to walls and each other and tape with Durock tape, K/K mortar and a putty knife. Allow to dry overnight.
Tape all Durock joints with Durock tape and apply K/K mortar with a putty knife.
No wall is flat and straight, so you have to fill in the bellies with Kerabond/Keralastic. Put a straight edge accross the wall and mark areas where straight edge does not lay flat on the wall. Mix mortar and apply to the bellies and drag straight edge from top to bottom, smoothing the wall into a flat surface.
It's most important to level ceilings. Tile will not stay on uneven ceilings and will soon fall after installing. What a difference when the surfaces are flat, it gives your installation a stand-at-attention look. I use metal straight edges cut to size and drag the mortar to flatten walls and floors. Let dry overnight and knock off burrs with 6' putty knife. Looks rough but very smooth and flat.
His and her shelves.
Durock holds in shower pan liner at least 6' up wall. Lower soap dish is for client to put leg while shaving.
Shower liners are tough, 40 mil, and you can work on them. Make sure you cover drain to keep clean of debris.