Installing cement boards can be cumbersome if you are not a professional. It is DIY to some extent, but some prior knowledge of things like which saws to use, which drills, screws, etc are helpful.

How to Install a Cement Board on Walls?

Fixing a cement board on the wall is not a big deal. But, one must take care of crooked corners, ensure the surface beneath the wall is even, and a solid base. An easy way to fix them on walls is like so.

  • Measure the board and cut it to the measurements on the wall. You will need multiple boards as you stack them one by one till the ceiling. Use a T-square to see exact rectangles and place them tightly adjacent to each other, starting from the floor.
  • Then, choose a proper cutting saw, and blade. There are scissors too specially made for cement boards. Finally, use the right screw, square bits are often used, and screw them on the wall. For those that come out, remove and re-screw them firmly.
  • Here is a video that highlights some important things.

How to Install Cement Board Around a Tub?

Installing cement boards around a tub is a bit more challenging than on clear walls and the ceilings. This is because of obtrusive corners, and tight spaces. But, there are also other concerns like keeping it out of the lip area.

  • Begin by applying it to the wall of the bottom edge about 1/4 inches above the lip of the tub. Apply generously the thin-set to the bottom bathtub area and position the boards.
  • Set it on several shims placing them about a foot apart for better hold. Finally, fill the gaps between the tile and tub with caulk.

How to Install Cement Board on the Floor?

Mixing a batch of thin-set mortar is the basic step in the installation of cement boards. You have to prepare the floor first with a trowel and putty knife to even the surface and spread the mortar properly.

  • Apply enough mortar for single cement board, one sheet at a time. Allow it to firmly affix and then repeat.

How to Install Cement Board on Exterior Wall?

Cement siding is 90% Portland cement with wood pulp and little bit sand to create a portable cement board. It is durable and flexible, safety being foremost important. To install cement boards on the exterior walls, this video is a good start.

  • You could practically screw the cement boards on the walls, just like interiors. Applying mortar to affix them isn’t a good idea in case you wish to remove them for renovation.

1. Waterproofing Cement Board

You could use items like a liquid or membrane waterproofing coat. It is usually applied all over the board, repeatedly. This creates a hydrophobic coating on the surface and keeps it safe. Cement boards of fiber-cement boards need a sheet of membranes for waterproofing, as they are not out of the factory.

2. Taping Cement Board

When you are done with installing the cement boards, you have to close the gaps, joints especially. To do this you have to follow the taping process. You do not use anything like sellotape, but things like this find in this video.

  • Taping cement board joints begin with special mesh-type cement board tape.
  • Next, take some thin-set mortar and apply it with a putty/drywall knife to the joints evenly. Scrap excess and let it set in.

How to Install a Cement Backer Board?

These are fairly easier to work with. Here is the process.

  • Cut appropriately, and fix it on the surface while the mortar is still wet. Secure the backer board with screws, using the right size and depth.
  • Next, apply thin-set mortar at joints. Next, cover the joints with fiberglass tape.

Can You Screw into the Cement Board?

Yes, you can screw those using appropriate screws. It is a normal process for interiors as well as exteriors.

Which Side of Cement Board Faces Out?

Cement boards have a smooth and as well as a rough side. One must always face the rough side outwards if you want to use thin mortar adhesives but, if you insist on using latex mastic, keep the smooth side outwards.


  • Use tape before applying mortar to cement board joints.
  • You can paint cement boards several times which can last for up to 5-years.
  • Always, fill the joints using mortar, thin-set is best; squeeze them to fill the joints.

Do you nail or screw cement board?

How do you install cement board?

3. Using the screw pattern as a guide, fasten your HardieBacker Cement Board with nails or screws every 8” on center over the entire surface. 4. Keep screws between ⅜” and ¾” from board edges and 2” from board corners.

Can you just screw down cement board?

How do you fasten a concrete board?

  1. Plan the Installation. Make a rough plan for the cement board sheet layout, based on the area to be covered and the size of the cement board sheets.
  2. Mix and Apply the Mortar.
  3. Install the First Sheet.
  4. Add Subsequent Sheets.
  5. Make Cement Board Cuts.
  6. Install the Remaining Sheets.
  7. Tape and Mud the Joints.

Do you need to pre drill cement board?

Screw and Joints

Do not use drywall screws as they are not recommended to be used to hold the backer board in place. All of your backer board pieces should be cut before they are placed on​ the floor. Along the perimeter, screws should be installed at least ½ inch from the edge, but no more than 2 1/4 inches.

Can you use cement board in a shower?

In general, 1 1/2-inch galvanized nails will hold the board firmly in place. For flooring or wall installation, some builders choose to apply a thin layer of thinset mortar under the cement board to prevent any shifting or expansion. Even if you use this extra adhesive, you should still apply the nails or screws.

What do you put on seams of cement board?

You apply the center screw first and then continue in a spiral manner. If you are using a smaller board where there is no center screw you should start with a screw near the middle of the sheet. You must predrill holes in the material before attaching the screws.

How do you waterproof cement board in a shower?

Use an appropriate waterproof or moisture-resistant backing material behind grouted tile or stone or segmented plastic or fiberglass tub and shower surrounds. Appropriate materials include cement board which has a cementitious core and glass mats on both sides to strengthen the board.

How thick should cement board be for shower walls?

Use special mesh tape on seams

Cover all of the corners, joints and seams, including the joint where drywall and cement board meet, with the fiberglass mesh tape.

Do I need a vapor barrier behind cement board in shower?

How do you seal cement board seams?

The minimum recommended thickness for the shower wall is 1/2″ because like some of the other boards, they become far too flexible at thicknesses below 1/2″. Foam shower tile backer boards are generally about 4x the cost of cement board.

Can I use deck screws for cement board?

Their online instructions/diagrams show no use of a vapor barrier. You should, so that any moisture that gets behind the cement board runs into the tub or shower instead of into your wall cavity (causing rot or mold/mildew).

How long should cement board screws be?

Can I use construction screws for cement board?

Weight on the wallboard (Hardi) isn’t the issue with using the proper screws. The screws should be alkali resistant, galvanized deck screws don’t qualify. The issue is corrosion from the cement products.

How do you attach cement board to concrete wall?

Drill screws through the backerboard sheets every 6 to 8 inches. Position the screws at least 1/2-inch, but no more than 2 inches, from the edge of the sheet.

Can you use Liquid Nails on cement board?

You don’t want to use regular drywall screws for cement boards. They can corrode, they can break down the edges of the boards, and they won’t drive in flush properly. Use ITW’s ROCK-ON and BACKER-ON screws instead.

Can you glue cement board to concrete?

Fasten the board to the wall with 2-inch concrete screws and a hammer-action power drill with a Phillips-head screwdriver bit. Activate the hammer action on the drill before driving the screws through the board and into the wall. This is usually accomplished by flipping a toggle or switch or turning a dial.

How do you install cement board in a shower?

Can I use liquid nails or glue with HardieBacker® cement board? No. ”Liquid Nails” is not a bonding mortar. It is a structural adhesive generally used to bond the subfloor to the floor joists just prior to nailing.