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Can You Use Cement Board for Shower Walls, Floors Etc.?

When it comes to installing shower walls and floors, you try to find water-resisting and durable ones. 

Because these walls and floors are often close to water. Even they are almost always wet. Random boards or walls in the shower can induce mold build-up and dirt.

So, you might be confused about whether you can use cement board for shower walls, floors, etc., or not.

Well, whether you can use a cement board or not depends on the features of the board. Moreover, learning about the advantages and disadvantages of using cement boards for the shower is essential.

Using cement board for shower walls, floors, etc.

You can use cement board for shower walls and floors. Generally, cement boards are water-resisting. They can withstand a high amount of water. So, the walls and floors also remain free from molds and mildew. Moreover, cement boards are comparatively durable and non-deteriorating.

However, cement boards can be used in the shower. But the shower has different surfaces also. For example, shower walls, floor, pan, etc., are different types of surfaces. So, let’s see whether you can use cement boards on these surfaces or not.

Shower walls:

You can use a cement board for shower walls. Generally, cement board is pretty common in shower walls. Because these walls can resist water effectively. A shower wall is a surface that gets wet at any time.

If you use random wall boards on the shower walls, the walls might deteriorate eventually. Moreover, molds and mildew can grow on the walls. But the cement board doesn’t get wet quickly. Furthermore, moisture doesn’t get locked in the cement wall.

So, the cement wall will not build molds and mildew. Moreover, the cement walls will be durable for a long time. That’s why cement walls are suitable to use on shower walls.

Shower floors:

You can also use cement boards on shower floors. Cement boards have some excellent qualities that make them perfect to use on shower floors. These boards withstand moisture and prevent it from entering the boards.

So, the cement boards don’t get damp or damaged easily. Moreover, the cement boards have been durable for a long time. Besides, when you put cement boards on shower floors, the floors will not build up molds and mildew.

Mold and mildew make the shower floor dirty. So, if you use cement boards on the shower floor, the floor will remain clean.

Shower pan:

You can also use cement boards in the shower pan. However, the installation might be pretty tricky. But cement boards are still a good choice. If you want to make the shower pan water-resistant, you can use a cement board.

If you use a cement board in the shower pan, the pan will not remain wet all the time. Moreover, mold and mildew will not grow in the shower pan.

Shower curb:

Cement boards are also suitable to use on the shower curb. Because cement boards have such features that make them perfect to use in shower items. But while installing cement board in the shower curb, you need to know the process.

Generally, cement boards are needed to be performed before use. Moreover, the exterior of the shower curb should be nailed. So, installing a cement board in a shower curb is not that easy. But the cement board materials are perfect to use in the shower curb.

How high should the cement board be in the shower?

You might know that cement board can be used in the shower. Even these boards can be used on the shower floor too.

But if you want to install the cement boards in such a way that it doesn’t get wet by the water splashing from the floor, you need to keep the cement board high.

For example, if you install the cement board up to the floor, the cement boards will get wet by the floor water. So, you can keep the cement boards 60 inches high from the tub in the shower and 72 inches high from the shower pan.

Moreover, if you want to install a cement board on the walls only, you can keep clearance from the floor to the cement board on the wall. For this, you must keep a couple of inches gap between other floor tiles and the cement walls. 

What size cement board for shower walls and floors?

While installing a cement board for shower walls and floors, you must keep a minimum thickness of the board. Otherwise, the board will not be durable and robust. So, a 1/4-inch minimum thickness is needed for the cement board.

You can also use a little thicker board than this. This thickness is suitable for the cement boards on the shower floor. But when you put the cement boards on the shower walls, you can keep the thickness 1/2-inch or 5/8.

So, for shower walls, the thickness should be a little more. Because the extra thickness is needed while spanning the studs. Moreover, the thickness and the studs provide a solid base for the tile.

If you don’t maintain the appropriate size and thickness of the cement boards, they might not be effective. So, try to keep the minimum thickness of the cement boards for shower walls and floors.

How to install cement board in a shower?

Now that you know you can install cement board in a shower, you might want to know the process. So, let’s see how you can install a cement board in a shower.

Getting ready all the tools:

First, you have to get ready all the necessary things. For example, cement board screws, sheets, drills, thin-set mortar, mortar mixing supplies, mesh tape, cutting blade, waterproof membrane, etc., are some necessary tools and materials.

Preparing the working area:

Before installing the cement boards, you need to clean the working area well. Moreover, the floor joists must be squeak free and strong.

Cutting the boards:

Now you can cut the cement boards from the cement board sheets. You have to keep the size according to the standard size. Moreover, you can use a utility knife to size and trim the sheets.

Mixing and applying the thin-set mortar:

For mixing the thin-set mortar, you need to wear protective gear. Then you can pour water into an empty container and add the thin-set mix in an appropriate amount.

Make sure that the blend is not dried before applying. So, you have to mix the thin-set mortar in small batches.

For applying the mix, you can use a grooved trowel. First, apply a thin and even layer. Then you can comb the ridges through the thin-set using the side of the towel.

Laying the cement boards:

Then, you can put the first cement board on the thin-set mortar when the mortar is wet. After that, you can use a cordless drill to secure the screws along the seam of the cement board. Through this process, you can lay and secure the remaining boards.

After that, apply fiberglass mesh tape along every seam of the boards. Moreover, you can use the second layer of thin-set mortar and waterproof membrane.

For using a waterproof membrane, you can paint one or two layers of membrane. The waterproof membrane provides an extra layer of protection.

Waterproofing cement board for a shower

Generally, the cement boards are water-resisting. So, the chance of entering the water and damping the cement boards is very low. But the cement boards are porous materials. So, water can pass through them sometimes.

So, you must apply a waterproofing system to protect the cement boards. Let’s see how you can use waterproofing material over the cement board for a shower.

Completing the cement board application:

Before waterproofing the cement boards, you need to finish the earlier works. For example, cleaning the surface, applying thin-set mortar and mesh tape, applying and securing cement boards, etc. Then you can move to the next steps.

Applying the waterproofing material:

After the thin-set mortar is completely dried, you can apply the waterproofing material. Otherwise, the wet thin-set mortar will not stick to the waterproofing material, and the whole process will be ineffective.

So, after drying the thin-set mortar, you can paint one or two layers of a waterproof membrane or waterproofing glue.

The waterproofing membrane and glue will make an extra layer. This layer will provide protection against water. So, no water or moisture content will enter the cement boards.

Final Thoughts

You can use cement board for shower walls and floors. Cement boards are one of the best-suited boards for use in the shower. Because cement boards are water-resistant. Moreover, they remain free from mold and mildew. Besides, cement boards are more durable to use on shower walls and floors.