Cement Board Vs. Fibre Cement
When it comes to siding your home, there are many considerations in choosing the right material for your home or business, including price, durability, and aesthetics. Cement board and fibre cement have many similarities but also have distinctive characteristics that set them apart from one another.
If you’re looking to replace your siding with cement board or fibre cement, it’s important to understand these differences so you can make an informed decision about which product is best for your needs and budget.
What Is Cement Board
These days, cement board is a popular choice for applications such as tile or stone backsplashes, fireplaces and countertops.
It’s less expensive than natural stone and far more durable than ceramic tile (although some tile can be fired onto cement board).
It’s also easy to cut, drill or otherwise customise with basic tools—as long as you have purchased a cement board with a modified acrylic surface treatment that allows it to be machined.
This type of cement board is commonly sold under brand names like Durock, Wonderboard and Hardibacker. The boards are typically 3/8-inch thick and come in 4x8-foot sheets, although you can find them in other sizes as well.
You will also need an adhesive to secure your project. One common choice is thin-set mortar, which works best when applied directly over concrete; if you’re installing over drywall or plywood, you will need additional products to secure your project properly.
What Is Fibre Cement
The manufacturing process for fibre cement siding is a result of combining natural fibres with lightweight concrete to create a material that looks great and offers durability, strength and longevity without additional maintenance.
In addition to being rot-proof, fire-resistant and termite-proof, fibre cement is eco-friendly, meeting LEED certification guidelines due to its low carbon footprint and recycled content.
These are just some of the many reasons why many homeowners choose fibre cement siding over other materials. However, it’s important to note that there are different types of fibre cement, so you need to know which one is right for your home.
The Benefits of Fibre Cement
Fibre cement is extremely durable, making it a fantastic choice for outdoor structures like patios and decks, or in high-traffic areas of your home.
Unlike many other types of cement, fibre cement doesn’t require any maintenance; rainwater can’t break down fibre cement boards, so they don’t peel or chip with time. Also, they are mould and mildew resistant and non-absorbent—they won’t rot, either.
The boards are also lightweight and easy to work with, which makes them perfect for DIY projects. And if you’re worried about cost, rest assured that while these materials are a bit more expensive than their concrete counterparts, they’ll last longer and save you money in the long run.
Disadvantages Of Fibre Cement
While fibre cement siding is typically heavier than other types of siding, fibre cement is more prone to warping and damage due to exposure to moisture.
Fibre cement can also be less durable than cement with additives and may not endure prolonged exposure to extreme heat or cold well, which makes it a poor choice for areas with severely hot or cold climates.
Fibre cement also isn’t as easy to repair as other types of siding, so if you live in an area that experiences frequent hail storms or another type of storm that could cause damage to your home’s exterior, fibre cement might not be your best option. Also, remember that fibre cement tends to fade over time and isn’t quite as aesthetically pleasing as other options like vinyl siding.
The Benefits of Cement Board
You might have heard of cement boards but aren’t quite sure what it is or how they can help you with your next home improvement project.
While there are wide varieties of cement boards to choose from, they all share a similar characteristic—the ability to resist damage and maintain their strength even when wet or used in a harsh weather environment, like on a roof under intense sunlight or out in freezing temperatures and snow.
They also come in various thicknesses, colours and textures to match any decorating style.
Here are some reasons why using a cement board for your next home improvement project is a great idea
- Waterproof – Because cement boards are water-resistant, you don’t need to worry about them getting damaged by exposure to moisture or water.
- Long-lasting – Unlike other materials that deteriorate over time, cement boards will remain solid and reliable for years to come.
- Versatile – Choose from a wide range of sizes and shapes that allow you to create virtually any design or pattern desired.
- Easy to install – Cement boards are easy to cut and install because they are lightweight and don’t require special tools or equipment.
- Maintenance-free – Once installed, cement boards require little maintenance and last for decades without fading or deteriorating.
- Cost-effective – Although initially more expensive than other types of siding, cement board is cost-effective because it lasts longer than most materials, making future repairs less likely.
Disadvantages Of Cement Board
It is not as resistant to fire and cannot be used on floors or where water could come in contact with it because it is weak when wet.
Because it can deteriorate over time, regular inspections of its condition should be conducted, especially when high-traffic areas are involved.
It is also less resistant to mould and mildew than cement fibreboard, and most moisture stays in a cement board that has already been damaged, causing further damage due to rot and rusting.
Also, installation must be done by professionals with experience working with cement boards.
While installation costs may vary depending on location and other factors, they typically run between $2 per square foot for smaller jobs and $5 per square foot for larger jobs.
The maintenance cost is also higher than that associated with cement fibre boards because repairs often involve replacing an entire section rather than just a small area.
Which Should You Use
Fibre cement or cement board? It all depends on what you’re looking for.
The two are very similar products, but subtle differences could affect your choice greatly and for a good reason! Each has its pros and cons, which you should consider very well.
You can check out a wide variety of cement boards on USGME, but our top pick is Solidrock Fiber Cement Board.