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Difference between fiber cement board and gypsum board

Views: 2906     Author: bingo     Publish Time: 2016-03-25      Origin: Site

Simple description

Fiber cement board, (Also called fiber cement siding or fibre cement cladding in the UK and Australia) is a building material used to cover the exterior of a building in both commercial and domestic applications. Fiber cement boards are made by reinfored fiber, cement, qutartz sand.

Gypsum board (also known as plasterboard, wallboard, or drywall) is a panel made of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper. It is used to make interior walls and ceilings. Drywall construction became prevalent as a speedier alternative to traditional lath and plaster.

Calcium silicate board, popular in Japan and Southeast Asia, is similar to fiber cement board, made by the same materials with fiber cement board but with different ratio. It is white in appearance and less strong as fiber cement board. It is more suitable for partition wall and interior wall. In following comparing, calcium silicate board will be viewed as the same as fiber cement board.

Durability and Installation

(1)Fiber cement boards are far more durable and impact-resistant than gypsum board. However, Fiber cement boards are far heavier than gypsum board. 
(2)You can cut gypsum board easily with a 
utility knife. But, you’ll need a circular saw, fitted with a heavy-duty blade to cut fiber cement board. 
(3)You can use taper-head drywall screws to install gypsum board. But need galvanized decking screws or roofing nails to install fiber cement boards.

So, it is diffcult to do DIY projects using fiber cement board. In actual operation, fiber cement boards are usually installed by professionals.

Water Resistance

Fiber cement boards are available in two types: water-resistant and waterproof. For gypsum board, only do water-resistant by moisture resistant paper(the green-colored one ).Because the core of gypsum board is still gypsum which is not waterproof.

Water resistance is an important performance, because mold and mildew always formed in wet and damp environment. When the mold and mildew grow, it finally will lead to eventual rot and breakage. So, water resistance is a very important factor to the use life. Also water resistant determines the manner in which these boards can be used.


Fiber cement boards are best used for exterior wall panels outside the house as siding or in wet areas inside the house such as bathrooms and kitchens, due to their durable and water resistant/waterproof nature. Further, when using tiles, fiber cement boards are the best underlayment because they offer a smooth surface and help the tiles adhere better. In fact, gypsum board should not be used for wet applications and as tile backing boards, because it will be very dangerous when the house becomes old, it may be collapse at some undetermined time.

That said, gypsum board with water-resistant face can be used for damp applications, such as un-tiled bathroom walls and basements. However, they are best used in areas of the house that are affected by humidity and occasional water spray.

Last Word

All three boards are very different in their composition and uses, so there is no true way to compare them. It is best to choose a board based on requirements and location.

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