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Is It Possible To Install A ¼ Cement Board Over Drywall? [Problem Solved]

Cement boards are more water-resistant than drywalls. But many houses come with drywall installed and it becomes an issue. That’s why you’ve to know about drywalls and cement boards in detail. 

Can you put a ¼ cement board over drywall? 

You should never put a cement board over drywall because water can go through them. Drywalls have poor water resistance and can get mold problems easily. That’s why it’s best not to use them in showers. But you can put them on drywalls in living rooms and such. For that, you’ll need an electric drill and some long screws. 

That was only a short summary of the entire explanation. We’ve provided more about cement boards and drywalls. 

Let’s not beat around the bush any longer and hop right in- 

Why You Shouldn’t Put A Cement Board Over Drywall

There are many issues that are often debated online. Like, drywall touching ductwork, this issue is quite famous in many forums. 

If you’re renovating a bathroom, you should remove the drywall instead. It may be disheartening but it’s better not to take a risk. 

Most drywalls have poor water resistance. Because of this, they can catch mold and mildew very easily. If somehow water goes through, you’ll have to face mold problems. 

The only way to counter internal mold problems is to tear the drywall down. That’s a big consequence. 

If this isn’t enough to convince you, we’ve got one more. 

Most cement boards come in three different thicknesses. They are ¼ inch, ½ inch, and ⅝ inch respectively. 

Normally, these can easily be screwed tightly with wall studs. But drywalls have their own thickness. Even if you manage long screws, they aren’t going to go deep enough. 

That’s why drywalls are best removed before installing the cement boards. There are many more disadvantages of wet drywall near the shower. 

How To Install ¼ Cement Board Over Drywall

If you’re not reinforcing shower walls or bathroom floors,  you can go ahead. Living room floors and walls have a lesser chance to get water damages. 

That’s why many cement boards are used over them. Although risks are much lower, it’s still there. So, do keep that in mind. 

Here’s what you’re going to need to start the procedure- 

  • Electric Drill/Driver
  • Cement Board
  • Long Screws 
  • Stud Finder
  • Rulers
  • Permanent Marker/Pencil 

Manage these as soon as you can and we can get started. 

Step-1: Locate the Wall Studs

The first and foremost task before you get started is to locate the wall studs. Drywalls are weaker and can’t bear too much weight. Especially if it’s a wall.

This is why if you screw cement boards on drywall, it’s likely to break down. That’s why you’ve to find the wall studs first. 

Normally, it’s best to use a stud finder. Because it makes the process very easy. But it’s possible to find wall studs without using a stud finder

Step-2: Get the Cement Board & Start Planning 

After locating the wall studs, make sure to mark them properly. Get the cement boards now and get ready to drill some screws. 

Put the cement board and match the wall studs afterward. Draw them on the cement board using a marker. After that, you’ve to get a ruler and mark all possible drilling points.

In this phase, there’s only one rule. You have to maintain a 2-inch gap from all edges. Get some rulers and mark the areas on the cement board accordingly. 

As for the field, maintain a gap of 6 to 8 inches between each screw. Try to mark all of them. It makes the job less time-consuming and efficient. 

Speaking of cement boards, here are our favorite picks- 

Concrete Kneeler BoardCheck Latest Price
Marshalltown Foam Concrete Kneeler BoardCheck Latest Price

You can grab whichever you prefer and get started!

Step-3: Drill the Screws Using  Electric Drill

It’s time to get the electric drill and start drilling. Remember the long screws we talked about? Get them and drill them inside. 

But make sure the cement board is placed firmly first. Then put a screw on the drill and drive it through the drywall. 

Repeat the process until all the screws are perfectly drilled inside. And you’re done! You’ve successfully installed a cement board over the drywall. 

You can also install cement boards under bathtubs. There are some slight differences but the process is pretty much the same. 

Here are some suggestions for screws:

Concrete Screw – Red SealCheck Latest Price
Blue Flat Phillips Concrete ScrewCheck Latest Price

How To Remove Drywall From Wall Studs?

You now may want to take the longer path and remove the drywall before installation. This process is quite complex but not impossible. 

Drywall can be easily broken with a hammer. They can also be pulled out with bare hands or a pry.

Locate the stud by tapping on the wall first. If you’re hearing flat sounds, you’re near a stud. Try to go sideways until you hear hollow sounds. 

Put a plastic sheet under the marked area and get a hammer. Put on safety glasses and start hammering. You can pull the rest with your hand after that. 

When completely cleaned up, you can install a cement board right away. You can also call the professionals if you think it’s too much work. 


Question: Does the cement board need to be waterproofed?
Answer: Cement boards are super water-resistant in general. To get even more protection, you can wrap the wall studs with a waterproof membrane. This will provide you with all sorts of water and moisture protection. 

Question: What is the best backer board for a shower?

Answer: Cement boards are the most used backer boards for showers. They are tough and extremely water-resistant. This is why it’s preferred by a lot of engineers. 

Question: Do I need to waterproof shower walls before tiling?
Answer: Despite being a popular belief, tiles aren’t waterproof at all. That’s why you need to take the extra step and place a waterproof membrane right under the tiles. 

Final Words

That was everything we could gather and explain on ¼ cement board over drywall. Thankfully, you’ve found the answer you were looking for. 

Last but not least, best of luck with the renovation!