Hardibacker vs Durock – Which Cement Board Need to Choose?

It is cumbersome to choose wisely between Durock vs. hardibacker cement. Are you struggling with choosing between two top-notch cement brands? There is nothing to worry about; we are going to help you out right now!

Almost all of you might know that hardibacker and durock are leading the cement market. They make it super easy to strengthen bricked homes. Nevertheless, do you see the choice of cement is interesting to contractors only? All of us concentrate on building a house without investigating the cement brand.

Because both cement brands coat the bricked surface and might look similar, there are many differences once thoroughly tested.

Here, we will teach you certain factors that you must consider before choosing a cement brand. What kind of cement do you prefer? The following hard and fast rules will guide you-give it a read!

History Of Durock Cement Board

Durock is a strong cement board made from cement and reinforced fibers ranging from 3 to 5 feet thickness. Do you know Durock even have ultra-thin boards that act as wall piling and tiling? Durock cement boards can be easily screwed or nailed against the required surface.

Durock is a family-owned business that has been running for more than 40 years. Durock is a Canadian based company that is manufacturing high-quality exterior finishing products. The company’s products are passed from various standard tests according to the Canadian Building Code requirements.

While most of you have been thinking that they only cover on vertical surfaces only, these boards are durable for vertical shelving and support. So, whether it is your kitchen counter, backsplashes, or tiles, the Durock cement board will never disappoint you. 

You all might be familiar to gypsum boards, but when cement boards substituted the gypsum boards, people forgot them. But what if your surface is contoured or curved? Durock has got you covered since they have flexible boards too.


  • Smooth side for mastic application.
  • A wide range of thicknesses.
  • More adhesive coverage.
  • Textured surface for friction.
  • Does not disintegrate in water; hence, waterproof.
  • Low thermal expansion.
  • Noncombustible fibers.
  • Come in various sizes even customized.
  • Versatile and flexible.


  • Cannot bear more than 6psf of force.
  • Maximum stud spacing.
  • Floor applications have a minimum deflection limit that affects the rigidity.
  • Disintegrate if left uncovered for more than 90 days.
  • Steel framing must be more massive.

History of HardieBacker

HardieBacker is one of the most recognized companies in the market. It is one of the companies with the most employees, with almost 5,000 employees in Europe, North America, New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines.The company’s first steps date back to 1888 when a dreamer like James Hardie moved from Scotland to Melbourne, Australia.

Years later, James was able to find Andrew Reid an ideal partner to build his empire. Together, they took the company to the top until 1911, James decided to step aside and sell his share of the company to Reid. From that time till 1995, Andrew’s mission was to grow the business along with his grandson, John B. Reid.

HardieBacker is also a cement board used as tiles. It is an excellent substitute for plywood and plaster boards. It can be your kitchen counter’s friend or your floor tiles. The cement and reinforcing fibers are an ideal combination of reliable and hard boards that ensure safety and strength.

Since 1980, cement industries like HardieBacker have used reinforced fibers to add quality features to pure cement. The cement used for these boards are free from glass; hence are cleaner. The fiber mesh provides hard-to-beat support necessary for a strong cement board.


  • Mouldblock technology.
  • Retains moisture; hence, waterproof.
  • Dimensionally stable.
  • Fiber EZ grid.
  • Recessed fastening pattern.
  • A wide range of thicknesses and sizes.
  • Tested under quality standards.
  • Easy-to-cut and dismantle afterward.


  • Cannot bear much force.
  • Steel framing needs to be massive.
  • High upfront cost.
  • Specialized installation.

Differences Between Durock VS. HardiBacker

After getting some knowledge on Durock and HardieBacker, let’s get into more depth. There are several factors that you must consider before buying cement boards:

Durability and Resistance

Durock cement boards contain glass mesh along with reinforced fibers, while HardieBacker only has reinforced fibers, which make Durock cement boards more cumbersome. As a result, Durock cement boards will be challenging to cut and install. While cutting and grinding, certain installation precautions will be required.

On the contrary, the glass mesh provides more support than just reinforced fiber does. HardieBacker cement boards are light in weight and easy to install. When it comes to durability, Durock cement boards are more durable if less force exerts on it. The glass mesh can break at a certain level of power.

However, the cement boards are resistant to a certain level of force that is far beyond the breaking strength of previously used plywood and gypsum boards. If cement boards are protected adequately maintained, they can even last up to 50 years. The cement boards are highly unlikely to shrink; hence, they are more durable and resistant.


The standard Durock cement board comes in 1/4 “x3’x5, and there are 60 pieces per pack. This ¼” USG cement board is ideal for floor tiling and countertops. This thickness helps to eliminate the trim while carpeting.

It minimizes the level variations when used with other finish materials. Durock cement board can also be installed over old countertops to save time.

On the contrary, HardieBacker cement board comes in two thicknesses: ½” and ¼.” However, the standard size is ½” for the vertical wall installation. If you are planning to use HardieBacker cement boards with plywood surrounding, you might have to use ¼” thickness to match the depth of plywood.

This combination of plywood, cement boards, and the choice of thicknesses depending upon the manufacturer’s and local code’s permission. Durock cement board are relatively thicker than HardieBacker cement boards due to the incorporation of glass mesh.


Durock cement boards and HardieBacker cement boards have polymer-based fiber mesh. The ceiling, columns, beams, and walls are the first source to apply the cement boards. Due to their flexibility, they can stick on curved and contoured surfaces.

Durock cement boards are comparatively less flexible than HardieBacker because the glass mesh can easily break upon slight pressure.

Flexible fibers are easy to install, which reduces the installation cost. The thickness allows the cement boards to bend evenly and quickly. The cement boards are flexible without saturation and kerf knives.


The cement boards are smooth on one side to increase the adhesiveness. The other side has a texture for thin-set mortar applications. Cement boards are easy to install because of the adhesive properties.

The panels can be arranged in the desired manner and then staggered against the floor. We can carefully pack the pattern of cement board with minimal spaces in between.

The panel is durable, while the applied adhesive is still wet with 32mm long screws that drill onto the surface. During the application on a hard surface, hot galvanized nails screw to provide hard-to-beat adhesiveness.

The spacer strip is placed above the shower pan to remove the lip off cement board. The boards can then be installed over the wood using studs set with a 406mm gap.

To attach the cement boards, you will need some screws which are resistant to corrosion. The cement boards have specific full head nails with fluted top and gaped threads for firm support.

You can easily buy these unique nails from a home center or tile specialty stores. However, if you still cannot find the pins, you can use hot galvanized nails for application.

Durock cement boards are more textured thus they are easier to apply. The texture allows the cement board to stick more firmly because of the friction between the adhesive and texture. HardieBacker cement boards also adhere firmly but lesser than Durock cement boards because they have a smooth surface.

You Also Know: Nailer for Baseboards Top 8 Picks.

Application Time

Unlike regular cement that has to be mixed with water and applied later, cement boards are easy to apply. All you need is some pairs of nails and adhesive. Using the application guide than comes with the pack, you can easily apply the cement boards quickly. If you need an excellent finish, you can hire an expert for this task.

The designated expert for this task can complete the application in a matter of hours. It can take longer if you need a customized cement board; in that case, you first need to measure the size you need to customize and install.

Both types of cement boards are easy to apply because both have easy-to-follow instructions. The application time depends more on the kind of adhesives and screws used than it does on cement boards.


The cement boards are plain from one side and textured on the other side. It depends on what side you want to expose, but as per the guidelines, the smooth side is the adhesion surface. After the application, Durock and HardieBacker cement boards have texture in the same manner as the drywall.

If you need a thin-set mortar application, you can keep the rough side on the outer side while if you need a mastic type application, you will have to follow the smooth side on the outer side.

Both kinds of cement boards have a similar texture unless you texture it. Durock cement boards are relatively more textures when observed on a tiny scale due to the incorporated glass mesh. On the contrary, HardieBacker cement boards are more smooth and plain.


The cement boards come in various sizes and thicknesses. Which surface to keep on top depends upon your choice and application process? The cement boards have high-quality cement with reinforced fiber mesh. In Durock, glass fiber mesh provides some extra features.

Due to the high-quality process used to manufacture the cement boards are outstanding and responsive to adhesives. The cement comes in grey color hence the color of the cement boards.

Both Durock and HardieBacker cement boards have different textured patterns and grooves if customized. Durock cement boards have a relatively darker grey color while the HardieBacker cement board has a light grey color.


Ultimately, choosing between Durock vs. hardibacker is mainly about picking whether you need the cement board or not. If you prefer thick cement boards, go for Durock because they have glass fiber mesh for extra thickness and support.

Just remember that this glass mesh is prone to fracture upon great force. Therefore, you must use it to apply on surfaces where you rarely exert any pressure.

On the other hand, if you need thin cement boards, go for HardieBacker cement boards because they have the polymer fiber mesh. These cement boards are flexible and versatile, yet durable and impact-resistant.

At the end of the day, it’s your choice. Which brand you prefer for cement boards it depends upon your budget and preference. If you want to make a sound investment for your home, you must buy the boards that offer a long-lasting warranty.

Durock cement boards have more than 30 years of warranty. HardieBacker also has 30-50 years of warranty.

Whatever brand you choose, we hope it works best in your application. So, what are you deciding between Durock and HardieBacker? Choose now and embellish your counter tops and walls with cement boards.

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