Cement Board

A Versatile Building Material: The Many Uses of Cement Board


Cement board, also known as concrete board, is a building material made of sand, cement and water that has been compressed and formed into sturdy panels. It is denser and more durable than traditional drywall or plasterboard. The primary uses of cement board involve installation in high moisture areas like bathrooms, kitchens, basements and exterior applications due to its water resistance. Some key attributes of cement board include:

Durability for Wet Areas

One of the biggest advantages of cement board is its resistance to damage from moisture. It performs well in bathrooms, showers, and other areas prone to water exposure. Normal drywall cannot stand up to constant moisture and will quickly deteriorate. Cement board forms a waterproof barrier, protecting wall and floor framing underneath.

Mold and Mildew Resistance

Along with resisting water damage, Cement Board also inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. The dense composition does not readily absorb moisture, so it is less hospitable for these microorganisms. This makes it the choice substrate for moist indoor spaces.

Fireproof Properties

Cement board has natural fire resistant qualities. It will not burn, smoke or propagate flame like wood-based boards. This fireproof aspect earns it Building Code approval for installation in fire-rated assemblies.

Cutting and Installation Versatility

Like drywall, cement board can be scored and snapped for cutting with a utility knife. It can also be drilled, sawed, sanded and painted after installation. Modern cement boards even have reinforced edges and tapes to speed application. Thinner, lighter weight varieties are easier to handle than standard concrete boards as well.

Durability for Exterior Uses

Many cement boards are suitable for outdoor applications such as fences, decks and facades. Their water resistance and durability helps them withstand weathering from rain, snow, humidity and UV rays longer than other siding materials.

Applications in Wet Areas

Due to its waterproof characteristics, Cement Board is ideal for installing on bathroom and shower walls, as well as floors. It forms a solid surface that will not degrade over time from moisture. Cement board is indispensable for complete tile installations in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.

The superior strength and rigidity of cement board makes it a good alternative to drywall for wet area walls. It serves as a strong, stable substrate that tile, stone or paneling adheres securely to. Additionally, cement board prevents water intrusion into wall cavities should tile or grout fail.

Uses in Kitchens

Beyond the bathroom, cement board proves suitable for kitchen backsplashes, countertops and walls as well. These high traffic food preparation areas are prone to water splashes and spills. Cement board provides the moisture resistance needed to protect the underlying wall structures from becoming damaged. Tile, stone or other finishes bond reliably to its smooth surface.

Basement Walls and Floors

Basements commonly experience dampness issues no matter the quality of a home’s drainage system. Cement board renders basement walls less susceptible to penetrating moisture that causes drywall to buckle or mold to thrive. It allows unfinished basement conversion into a comfortable living space, workshop or home theater. Cement board also resists cracking from soil pressure pushing in on foundation walls.

Outside Applications

Some cement board products are graded for exterior siding, trims and soffits. Installed properly with adequate ventilation, they hold up well in these weather-exposed environments. Their density and water resistance stands up to regular wetting and drying conditions outside. Cement boards serve as alternatives to wood, vinyl or metal sidings for lower maintenance and superior durability over the long term.

Subflooring for Tile

On wood subfloors, cement board takes the place of building felt for waterproof membrane installation of large format tile. Its rigidity prevents flexing, creaking sounds and cracking tiles. The cement board distributes heavy tile weight evenly across floor joists as well. This substrate suits tile jobs for floors in entryways, laundry rooms, around swimming pools or other wet areas needing impervious surface installation.

Firestopping Applications

Building codes require construction of fire-rated walls within certain distances of electrical, plumbing and heating system components for fire containment. Cement board strengthens these assemblies to prevent fire from spreading. It enhances wall penetrations through which cables and pipes pass. Additionally, cement board sheets up walls behind wood burning stoves as a heat shield.

Cement board delivers moisture resistance, fireproofing qualities and strength suitable for an array of demanding interior and exterior building applications. Its cost effectiveness and durability continue enhancing many construction projects that see heavy foot traffic and exposure to water. As an environmentally friendly material containing natural ingredients, cement board earns a respected place as a building product essential.

1.  Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it