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Can You Use Cement Board Behind a Wood Stove? (Answered)

Wood stoves are literally one of the most useful items in our houses. However, they are not as naive when it comes to flammability. You need to be careful and act accordingly to protect your things from the wood stove.

Thus, you may look for materials that can be used behind a wood stove. There might be many materials with various efficiency and price. 

Let’s explore whether cement boards can be the material you are looking for! Can we use it behind a wood stove at all!

Using cement board behind a wood stove

You can use a cement board behind a wood stove. It is an effective heat shield. Cement is a non-inflammable material having A1 non-combustible fire rating. Since it’s highly fire resistant, a cement board can provide good protection from heat as a heat shield and thus from any fire mashups.

In colder areas, you can’t enjoy a bit of warmth even inside your house unless you’ve set up some heating arrangements. Though there are many traditional and modern ways, a large number of people love to rely on the fireplace to keep their house warm and comfortable. 

If you too are a fireplace owner and use a wood stove in your fireplace then you must think about your wall behind the stove before lilting up the stove. Because the continuous heat of the stove will soon damage your wall as you keep using the stove. 

But since not activating the fireplace isn’t an option, you have to think about a heat shield that’ll protect that wall. The heat shield is a structure made of materials that are highly fireproof. 

It protects your property such as the wall behind your wood stove from heat damage as well as keeps you safe. From any unwanted fire accident. 

A cement board is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable yet effective option to save your wall. But if you’re in doubt whether using a cement board behind a wood stove will provide protection, here are explanations to convince you!

Cement board is highly fire resistant: 

Cement has the capability to resist high temperatures as well as fire. It is non-combustible so it can’t be burnt. It has an A1 rating as a non-combustible material.

So if you put a cement heat shield behind the wood stove, it will resist the heat coming from the flame. Thus the wall behind will not get affected by heat.

Cement board lasts long: 

If you have to change the heat shield every 2 or 3 months, that shield is only making you spend more time on it. Using heat shields that damage after a short time can be risky too. But not with cement board. 

Cement or concrete-made things are very strong and durable. It will not get damaged by heat, or moisture and lasts for years without re-touch. You can even décor it with tiles and use it for a long time as the weight of the tiles will not harm the material.

Cement valid in most areas: 

The fire code of any building material is not always the same in different countries. But cement is accepted in most areas because it’s non-combustible and safe material to use against heat damage. 

Cement even is rated as A1 non-combustible against fire. Being highly fire-resistant, cement matches all country’s fire codes. So most areas allow this material. You will barely face any legal obstacle using a cement board as a heat shield. 

Is cement board fire rated? 

Fire-rated means rated as fire resistance while tested against a standard heat. When any material is rated fire resistance, it means that the material can withstand a considerable fire incident without any damage.

The cement board is tested to AS™ E 136 before marketing. If they deem non-combustible, they would be rated fire resistant. Usually, fiber cement boards are fire resistant because they are made of fire resistant properties. 

Cemintel fiber cement is a non-combustible solution that constitutes the fiber cement board. So they can easily sustain a fire incident and protect your home and belongings. The cement board is durable due to its impact resistance nature. They are also moisture resistant. 

So, they can sustain any inhospitable situation better than any other material. 

They can also be used as a heat shield for any application. They are inexpensive and can form the base to protect from heat. 

How close can a wood stove be to a cement board?

The wood stove must be protected by a non-combustible shield. Otherwise, the heat from the stove may result in an unwanted fire incident causing damage to your home. A confined space is prone to fire hazards.

For this reason, a minimum clearance of 36 inches is recommended by fire protection

However, a shield can prevent the risk of fire hazards. Usually, the more confined the place is, the more crucial the shield is. For the placement of a heat shield, a minimum distance should be maintained around the stove.  

A minimum of 6 inches from each side, 16 inches from the front portion, and 6 inches from the back portion of the stove are considered a safe distance for shield placement. 

A cement board is an inexpensive and effective solution to form a base of heat shield for any application. Besides, the recommended distance should be maintained while placing a cement board around the stove.

How much heat can cement board take?

There is a variety of fiber cement boards used for different purposes. All of them have different heat resistance power and durability. Manufacturing materials create such variations.

Usually, a single piece of cement board might not tolerate high heat and act as an insulation factor. But high temperature fiber boards are usually rated 800°F or 427°C and can tolerate such temperature per inch with a minimum of 6 inches distance from the heat source. 

NAD-11 is a high-density cement board with excellent properties where inorganic fibers have been reinforced. They are definitely non-combustible, stable, and can retain their mechanical strength even at high temperatures. Usually, they are tolerant up to 500°C or 932°F.

Transite is another cement board usually used in the foundry industry for its high strength and durability. They are monolithic fiber cement and can tolerate up to 1000°F or 537°C. 

How to install cement board heat shield behind a wood stove? 

A heat shield is required around a wood stove to prevent any unwanted fire incident and protect the home from fire damage. A cement board is a cheap and effective solution to use it as a heat shield around the wood stove. 

It can prevent the heat from spreading around and save the home.

Installing a cement board heat shield is usually easy; anyone can do it himself. But the work should be done perfectly, otherwise, the shield would be of no good.

Check the installation guidelines to know about the required minimum distance: 

The first and foremost task before installing the shield is to check the wood stove manual. Here you can find the required distance to maintain the wood stove.

You will also get to know about the length and width of the safety shield to cover. With this information, you can get your shield and install them appropriately.

Fix the stud location: 

Next step is to find the stove studs. You can locate them through a stud finder and put masking tape on them to indicate their exact position. Make sure that they are visible above and below the measurement of the cement board shield.

Drill pilot holes on the wall studs

Mark the location of the holes, where you will put the screws, with a pencil. Over the unidentified location, drill pilot holes to hang the shield. The holes should be smaller than the screws. 

As a result, the holes will not be loose and can hang the shield effectively. It would make the shield more durable on the wall.

Drive the screws and hang the cement board shield behind the wood stove: 

After the holes are done, use a spacer to drive the screws into the holes. Make sure they are stable enough to hang the shield. They are the major weight carriers.

Finally, hang the cement board shield to the spacer. Use the provided screw to drive through the spacer. Do not cover the outside borders. Air must be well-circulated around the heat shield. 

Follow this installation process and alongside, make sure that the fixings are non-combustible and the shield is open to both the top and bottom.  

Final Thoughts 

Cement board can be used behind a wood stove. Unlike many materials, cement has A1 non-combustible fire rating that allows it to be non-inflammable. Due to its high fire resistance you can use a cement board to protect from heat as a heat shield and even place any wood stove on it.