Cement is usually used in several home projects as it’s stronger than plywood, more durable, and less susceptible to rotting. Its strength makes it one of the most reliable house materials. However, it’s also its strength that makes it difficult to work with, especially when it comes to renovation.
If you need to have a new look for your bathroom, upgrade your kitchen, or other home improvement projects, then you might need to cut the cement board before you can install new tiles. However, doing so is a messy job if not done properly. In fact, it’s trickier than cutting a drywall or lumber.
You need to be able to know the right tools to use, and the right procedure to follow in order to do the job cleanly. If you want to know how to cut cement board, then this tutorial is for you.
What You Will Need To Cut Cement Board
Before we start with the tutorial, make sure that you gather the following materials first:
Step-By-Step Instructions To Cut Cement Board
Once you have all the materials you need, follow the guide below:
Step 1 - Choose your main tool
You probably have a table tile saw or a jigsaw already. You can choose one depending on the cut you’re planning to make. If your cement board is smaller than 4x4 feet and you want to cut in a straight line, then use the table tile saw. However, if the cement board is larger than that and you want to get curved cuts, then you might want to use a jigsaw. Just make sure that whichever tool you choose, it has a diamond or a carbon blade tip.
Step 2 - Prepare the tarp
Before you start working, put a tarp under your work area. You don’t want dust or water to be lying around the room and creating a mess. The tarp will make cleaning easier afterwards. If you’re inside your house, make sure that you are sealing the room. Close the door and the windows.
Step 3 - Make markings
Measure the distance of the cut you want to make. If you’re making a straight cut, make your markings while using a square to make sure that the line is properly done. If you’re making a circular cut, use the hammer and nail to mark the center of the cut. Then, use the string in making the cut’s radius. Tie one of its ends to the nail in the center and the other to your marking pencil. If you’re making an odd-shaped cut, trace it on a cardboard and trace it on the cement board.
Step 4 - Sprinkle water on the cement board
To further minimize dust, sprinkle enough amount of water to the cement board. Just be sure not to overdo it.
Step 5 - Make the cut
If you’re using a table tile saw, set its guide rail to your marking. Push it slowly until you make your cut. If you’re using a jigsaw, drill a hole in the place where you’ve put the nail. Insert the jigsaw blade there. Then, start making your cut from the center.
Using Power Tools
You can use some below power tools to cut cement board:
A circular saw
You can use a circular saw with a carbide-tipped wood-cutting blade for straight cuts, pushing the saw into the material with slow speed and low pressure.
Use a blade with the less number of teeth you can find.
More teeth will produce a cleaner cut when cutting wood. But in this case, it will create clouds of thicks dust.
An angle grinder
You can also cut the cement board with an angle grinder (use a diamond-impregnated cutting wheel),
This method but this tool produces a lot of dust and is harder to control than a circular saw, so use caution.
A wet saw
You can also cut the cement board using a wet saw (although it is designed for cutting tile). The wet saw has an abrasive blade that's bathed in water, so it cuts cleanly, with no dust.
Another power-tool option is a jigsaw ( use with a metal-cutting blade or carbide-grit blade).
You should cut slowly to archive a smooth cut with minimal dust
Tip: For the best result, replace the new blade after six to eight cuts
Cutting Round Holes
Cutting holes in cement board to make it fit around a tub faucet, toilet flange, or others can be a challenge unless you know a few tricks.
Here's one method: Outline the hole onto the cement board with a pencil compass.
Bore a series of holes (use 1/4-inch diameter masonry bit) closely spaced holes around the outline.
Use a hammer to tap on the center of the hole lightly.
After several taps, the cement board will fracture along the holes, and the circle of the board will break free.
Clean up the rough edges of the hole with tile nippers or pliers.
You can cut a round or square hole using a jigsaw (use a metal-cutting blade) or a drill (use a carbide-grit hole saw)
At first, use the 3/8-inch diameter masonry drill bit to drill a hole through the cement board.
After that, insert the jigsaw blade into the hole and cut.
Step 6 - Separate the cut cement
Once you’ve made your cut, apply a little pressure to get the parts that you want to remove.You can put them on the tarpaulin to be cleaned along with the accumulated dust.
Have you enjoyed this tutorial? We hope that this has helped you in your house renovation efforts. Just remember to think about your safety when you perform the job.
If you have further questions or if you have tips you want to share with others, be sure to leave a comment below.