What Is Cement Board? And How Can You Use It?

Posted on: 7 April 2016

There is a wide variety of drywall types on the market and choosing between them can be a tricky prospect. However, one type that is worth considering is cement board. This adaptable boarding type is capable of being used in a wide variety of different projects and is relatively easy to cut, considering its tough exterior.

What Is Cement Board?

While cement board is not technically a dry wall, it is so similar in its uses and properties that it is usually included in this class of building materials. And it is often used in the same class of projects, which makes it a useful variety to consider.

It is made out of glass fibers and cement to create a sturdy and resistant piece of dry wall. The thickness of individual sheets will vary, as will specific uses for each type. However, it is adaptable enough to be used in a variety of home projects, projects that will be discussed more in depth below.

What Are Its Uses?

The adaptability of cement board means it can be used in multiple projects in your home. Often, they are used as tile backing boards in bathroom and kitchen walls, thanks to their naturally water-resistant properties.

On the same note, cement board also makes a useful under layment for flooring. Half-inch thick sheets are preferable in these situations. However, cement board has actually been used as exterior siding, as their fibers are very resistant to exterior weathering problems.

How Can I Cut It?

There are several ways you can cut cement board when you are laying it, including the score-and-snap method. This requires laying the drywall against a flat surface and measuring where you want to cut with a pencil. A carpenter's square is necessary here in order to keep the line straight. Once you've finished the line, put the sheet on its edge, press it lightly with your knee to keep it in place, and cut with a carbide-tipped knife.

This method requires a little more hands-on work and a little extra strength, but it's preferable to cutting with power tools because it helps avoid the excessive dust that comes with cutting with saws. This dust can be corrosive to your skin and is dangerous if inhaled. If you have to use a power tool, make sure to wear goggles and a respirator to protect yourself.

The adaptability of cement board makes it a building supply that you should consider investing in if you're a professional builder or an amateur. While you don't need to stock huge amounts of it, it's worth having some around in case someone asks or if you can talk them into using it.

For more information, talk with a building supplies company, such as 108 Building Supply.