A cement board is a handy item to have at home. It can be used for do-it- yourself homeprojects and is even a very durable option for home improvement, repairs orbeautification projects.
However, a whole cement board can be a little too big for some projects. This is whytoday, we will be giving you easy to follow steps on how to cut cement board.
We have also included the equipment and tools you might need for cutting cementboard at home.
Things You Will Be Needing
Cement boards are much more sturdy compared to wood boards like plywood. Which is also why they are a little more challenging to cut through. Also, there are also two types of cement board. One is mixed with wood fibers or wood particles.
The first mentioned type is also quite a common type which is easier to work with, compared to the second category.
The other is Portland cement situated between two sheets of fiberglass mesh. It is most commonly used for mosaics as it is completely water resistant as compared to the first type of cement board.
So be sure to identify first, which type of cement board you will be cutting through.
And finally, before you start, here are some things you might probably need:
- Box cutter - this will be used to score or mark the board
- Pencil - this will be used to draw non-permanent markings on the board
- Ruler - this will be used to measure and mark the board as well (can also be a yardstick or a carpenter’s square)
- Dust mask - there is a huge possibility that you will be producing silica dust which can be dangerous to the health when inhaled. Be sure to use a dust mask for any projects involving the cutting of wooden or cement board.
Score and Snap
Step 1: Make your measurements
Before making any scores or trying to snap the cement board, make sure to make your measurements first. You can only use either a ruler, a yardstick or a carpenter’s square.
Do not use a ballpoint pen or a marker to trace the mark. It is not ideal to leave any permanent stains or markings on the cement board. In case you made a wrong measurement, it will be easier to erase a pencil marking.
Step 2: Score the cement board
Now, carefully trace the marking with a box cutter. This is what we call “scoring” for the Score and Snap method. Lightly run the box cutter on top of your marking but do not cut it yet.
Do not cut the cement board through with the box cutter as this might only result in uneven edges. After scoring one side, repeat the same process to the other side.
Step 3: Snap the board
Finally, after scoring, you may now be able to fasten the cement board to your decide measurement. If you still find the board too hard to snap, you can repeat the scoring process again.
Gently push on one side of the cement board then turn it over to do the same to the other side. Then, any excess mesh can just be cut off precisely and accurately with the box cutter.
Step 1: Prepare the area and the measurements
A jigsaw is usually used for cutting curves on cement board. However, be sure to wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling the silica dust which can be produced by cutting a cement board with a jigsaw.
Make sure that the cement board is placed on a solid flat, the surface where it does not have the risk of flapping up or down. Any movements like this can weaken the cement board and damage it because it cracks and flexes the concrete.
Then, make your measurements and markings on the cement board using a measuring device and a pencil to trace it with.
Step 2: Use the jigsaw to trace through your markings
After making your markings, run the puzzle through them slowly. The blade should be a carbide grit blade. You can also use the usual wood blades, even old ones. However, make sure to keep a spare blade by your side.
This is because chances are, your blades might get a little dull or even break in the middle of the process. Be prepared to replace them when they get worn off. Remember, blades with coarser teeth perform better.
Punching Holes and Drilling
As for punching holes and drilling, you can only use the regular drill to punch holes through the cement board. The jigsaw, the circular saw blade and the use of a drill and masonry bit can also be a useful method and equipment to be used for this purpose.
Again, similar to the jigsaw method, it is important that you cement board is supported by a steady, flat surface to avoid flapping up and down. Any unnecessary pressure may weaken and damage the cement board.
To Sum It Up
At the end of the day, the best method to use will also depend on the availability of the equipment you have at home as well as the type of cement board.
Be sure not to skip out any of the steps and be careful enough not to inflict unnecessary pressure on the cement board.
Also, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have a good working place and safety equipment.
Things such as a solid working table, a dust mask, hand gloves might be, and overalls can help keep you from potential health hazards while doing the project.
Thomas is a Pro himself, who has been in the business of home renovation & construction, working with various tools. He used to be the owner of 2 local construction companies with over 18 years experience. His works also include writing inspiring Do IT Yourself Tips & Tricks.