Typically, fiber cement boards are made up of cement and cellulose fibers (plant extracts). While the former is extremely hardy and can be used for high load-bearing applications, the latter is best used for decorative purposes, such as sidings, soffit, and trims, or as a tile backing board. Fiber cement boards are available in sheets of varying sizes (4×8 feet and 3×5 feet) and also vary in thickness, ranging from 3 mm to 20 mm. Fiber cement boards have an advantage over gypsum boards in that they are more resistant to impact. These boards are either water resistant or waterproof so they are a great addition to bathroom and kitchen projects. Here are some ways fiber cement board can be useful in your home.
1. Exterior Siding
Fiber cement boards have gained considerable popularity as a siding material. This is because they are far more durable than alternatives such as vinyl siding and wood siding and more economical than stucco, stone, and brick (considering the cost of installation as well). Apart from the fact that fiber cement boards are extremely resistant to external influences such as ultraviolet rays, salt spray, rain, and heat. They are also impenetrable by birds or insects. Further, they are immune to temperature changes and impact, and they require minimal maintenance. In addition, fiber cement boards are available in many different styles with varying textures and colors. This allows homeowners to choose the design that best suits their needs. Moreover, fiber cement boards are available in different shapes and can thus be used for soffits and trim applications. That said, fiber cement boards have perhaps gained popularity as sidings mostly because they look like wood but are cheaper and more durable.
2. Tiled Wall Substitute
Fiber cement boards are also useful inside the house. They are ideal as tile backing boards, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens. Since fiber cement boards are usually either water resistant or waterproof, they make for ideal tile backing material in wet areas of the house. They are more resistant to mold and mildew and do not break down as a result of the constant moisture. Moreover, they help the tiles adhere to the walls better, making your tiled walls more durable. They also offer a smooth finish, which is extremely important for tile installation. Owing to their water resistant/waterproof and durable nature, fiber cement boards are also used for kitchen counters and bathroom slabs/shelves.
TIP: Different cement board brands are either water resistant or waterproof. Be sure to do your research first to find the right brand.
3. Underlayment for Flooring
Fiber cement boards are the perfect substrate for tile flooring. These can be used anywhere in the house, but are most commonly used as an underlayment for bathroom and kitchen floors. Since these boards adhere well to both wood and tiles and provide a smooth and strong surface, they make an excellent choice for an underlayment. When using fiber cement boards as an underlayment, it is important to use the ½-inch boards. These prevent tile and grout cracking and breaking, and also provide you with a rigid surface to work on. The ¼-inch boards are more commonly used as tile backing boards on walls.