How to Attach Cement Board to Concrete Block? A Step-by-Step Guideline for You

Cement boards are a great thing to use as they can provide numerous advantages. The cement board just not only adds stability but also saves the concrete block from moisture. Also, cement boards are suitable as the backing for tiles.

The attaching process of cement board to concrete block is pretty simple and easy. If you are willing to add them by yourself and looking for the procedure, then this article can be of help. 

In today’s article, we have shared the proper cement board installation guidelines. Read till the end and attach cement board to concrete block with ease.

How to Attach Cement Board to Concrete Block

Things You Will Require for Attaching or Installing Cement Board to Concrete Block

For attaching cement board to concrete block, you will require a few things. So, before starting the work, make sure that you have gathered all of them. Here are the things that you will need.

  • Thinset mortar.
  • Trowel.
  • Masonry nail.
  • Drill.
  • Safety gears.
  • Jigsaw.

These are the essential things that you will need for attaching cement board to concrete block. Now, let’s start the attaching procedure.

Steps for Attaching Cement Board to Concrete Block

The attaching process is very easy and can be done by following a few steps. Here are the steps that you will need to follow. 

Step 1: Prepare the Cement Boards

First of all, you will need to cut the cement boards according to the size. Take the cement boards, place them on the places, and take the required measurement. Now, with the jigsaw, cut and prepare the cement boards.

While cutting the cement boards, make sure you have put on the safety gears. Especially, if you are using HardieBacker cement board, then a dusk mask is a must thing. This type of board contains silica compounds which can damage your lung.

Step 2: Prepare the Concrete Block Area

Before attaching the cement boards, clean the area with a brush. It will help to remove the loose particles.

Step 3: Prepare the Thinset Mortar

Now, it’s time to prepare the thinset mortar. Take water in an empty clean bucket. Now, add the thinset mix and start mixing with the trowel. Make sure that the mixture isn’t that much thick or thin. You can take peanut butter’s consistency as a reference. 

Mix them in small batches. After mixing, let the mixture rest for around 10 minutes. For getting a better mixture, follow the provided instructions on the thinset mortar package.

Step 4: Start Attaching Cement Boards

Take the cement board and trowel. Apply a thin layer of thinset mortar and attach the cement board to the concrete blocks. After that, provide a gap of approx 0.15 inches between the cement boards for shrinkage and expansion.

Repeat the process for the rest cement boards and attach them properly to the concrete block.

Step 5: Secure the Cement Board with Masonry Nails 

Providing masonry nails will prevent the boards to fell off and ensure a strong bond. 

Take the masonry nails and the drill. Screw the masonry nails along the seam of the cement board. After that, insert the rest nails over the cement board. Maintain a gap of 8 to 12 inches from one masonry nail to another nail.

Now, you have successfully attached cement boards to the concrete block and have become a part-time Civil Engineer. Jokes apart, after completing all the steps, you can apply the mudding process and can apply a waterproof membrane. But it’s totally up to you. If you want, you can add these two things.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)

How do I attach the concrete board to the concrete wall?

You can attach the concrete board to the concrete wall by following two methods. Either you can use drywall screws or thinset mortar for attaching the concrete board to the concrete wall.

How to install the backer board on the cinder block wall?

A Backer board is a type of cement board and the installation process is the same. Clean the surface, cut the board according to the required size, apply thinset mortar, place the board on the cinder block wall, and lastly screw the board with masonry nails.

Can I install a cement board over the concrete?

Yes, cement board concrete can be installed over concrete. But using them isn’t necessary at all but it can be beneficial for you.


To sum up, the attaching or installation process of cement board on cement concrete is pretty much easier. You will just need to follow the aforementioned guideline properly and can install them by yourself. 

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