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Alternatively, measure the room to determine how many boards you will need to run the entire length. Usually, you will need to cut a board at the end in order to have a perfect fit. For example, assuming you are using 5 foot long boards, and your room is 18 feet wide, you would use three full boards (15 feet) and cut one board to 3 feet. Start the first run with a full five foot board, then the next run with a 3 foot board, then the next run with a 5 foot board, etc. Doing so will sufficiently stagger the seams into a grid. 5-5-5-3, then 3-5-5-5, then 5-5-5-3, etc.
The purpose is to prevent any slight, subtle twist in the floor from settling from showing up as one long huge crack in the floor. It is important if your subfloor is plywood, which will twist easily. You want to stagger the seams of the cement board so as to create a stronger, more unified subfloor. If you are laying it down on a concrete subfloor, then it is not so crucial that you do it.
[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited June 16, 2002).]