Putting in a new fireplace might be a hassle if you aren’t familiar with the fundamentals. A unit’s underpinnings are crucial, despite their seeming insignificance to the finished product. Drywall and cement board are two of the most popular options and are both worth considering.
Drywall is less expensive, but cement board is more long-lasting, when it comes to lining a fireplace. The majority of fire codes allow cement boards but prohibit drywall. Drywall is a very combustible material. Plus, cement boards are recommended while working with heavier tiles.
The following details on deciding between drywall and cement boards for your fireplace are covered in this post.
Both have their benefits and drawbacks.
The information you must have before making a final choice
When to use cement boards and when to use drywall
Should You Choose a Cement Board for Your Fireplace?
The usage of cement board for fireplaces and other Do It Yourself home improvements is on the rise. It lasts for a long time and isn’t too heavy for one person to carry. Before you go ahead and order a load of cement board to line your fireplace and cover it, there are a few things you need to know.
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Pros of Cement Board
Repairs to cement board typically aren’t necessary for decades. Although it is not the heaviest material, it is extremely durable. Cement boards won’t break or crumble if you install them correctly. Top-notch cement boards will last a lifetime.
It can be set up with little to no assistance from a specialist. Although having a team of professionals assist with the setup won’t be strictly necessary, it can’t hurt. You can hold cement boards in place for a few minutes while they dry because of how light they are.
It is in accordance with the majority of national building codes. Cement boards are preferred over drywall, according to the City Data community, so that tile can be installed without fear of violating any regulations. Your homeowner’s insurance claim could be negatively impacted by fire and building codes.
Water damage isn’t something you need to keep an eye out for very often. Cement boards create a watertight seal with the wall, so moisture can’t accumulate there. In addition to preventing mold growth, this also ensures that they won’t ripple or shift out of place. These two concerns have the potential to become major headaches.
Cement board is suitable for laying any variety of tile. Cement boards are extremely sturdy and can support a lot of weight. You can choose your preferred tile without worrying about any restrictive weight constraints. Before tiling over a fireplace, make sure the material can handle the weight.
Cons of Cement Board
They’re not quite light, but they’re heavier than sheetrock. Cement boards can be difficult to work with if you experience joint or muscle pain. If you’re going to pay someone else to do the work, this isn’t too much of a deal. This is something to keep in mind if you plan on doing the work yourself.
If not built correctly, cement board can crack the stone around a fireplace’s base. Cement boards must be securely fastened to the fireplace in order to prevent them from falling on anyone while they are being installed. The tile on top of it and anything else in its path will be destroyed.
Its price tag dwarfs that of comparable materials. That you get what you pay for is an old adage. You’ll need to spend extra cash on premium supplies. When looking for a material to mount above your fireplace, cement boards are among the best available, but they can be expensive to purchase.
You must determine for yourself if the benefits of cement boards exceed their drawbacks. Read on to find out the benefits and drawbacks of drywall for fireplaces so you can make an informed selection.
Is Drywall An Acceptable Alternative?
With your cement board education complete, it’s time to move on to drywall. You’ve probably heard that drywall is commonly employed in today’s construction. You can’t do without it because it acts as a good sound barrier and insulation at a low weight. A fireplace installation may not always benefit from these considerations.
Pros of Drywall
Drywall is widely recognized as one of the most cost-effective building components available. Drywall is the superior option if you’re on a strict budget. It’s used to construct nearly every home today, and it’s inexpensive because it’s simple to mass-produce and weighs next to nothing. Also, it’s widely accessible all over the United States.
In comparison to cement boards, its weight is negligible. Drywall is favored by many because it is much lighter than alternative building materials. When updating an older fireplace that can’t support too much weight, this is the best option. You’ll have an easier time dealing with it as a result.
Many tile options are suitable for use on drywall. Drywall isn’t as tough as cement board, but the high-quality variety can support a lot of weight. Make sure it can support the weight of the tile you intend to use, then get to work.
Drywall is favored by many construction workers. Numerous accounts have been shared of contractors tearing down freshly installed drywall to install cement board at the customer’s request. Drywall is their preferred material to work with due to its convenience, but you should still solicit their advice first.
It’ll fit right in with the decor of your house. Numerous references on this page have already established that drywall is a common construction material used in countless dwellings. If you’ve already installed drywall in your fireplace, there’s no need to change it out. Painting or tiling it will get it looking good as new.
Cons of Drywall
Water damage from drywall can sometimes be quite severe. Wallboard will get soaked if there is moisture under the tiles. Drywall that has been exposed to water develops bubbles, mold, and rot. Your fireplace’s stability may be compromised by these three factors.
A lot of the time it doesn’t comply with safety regulations. Unfortunately, many regulations call for a robust substance. The vast majority of people can easily punch a hole in drywall without even trying. When having a fireplace resurfaced, it is recommended that multiple professionals be consulted.
Drywall that isn’t of high quality can crack under the weight of tiles. Whenever possible, use premium drywall for your fireplace. A risky money pit is the last thing you need.
Cement board is the better material for a fireplace in most cases. It may not be as cheap as drywall, but it lasts far longer and is much stronger. Do not do any home improvement work without first consulting an expert, and this holds true regardless of the material you prefer.
Here’s a summary of what you should have learned from this post:
Drywall is a lot easier to work with than cement board, but it’s not as sturdy.
Drywall won’t survive water damage, but cement boards will.
If you want to know if drywall can be used on your fireplace, you should talk to a contractor.
When deciding what to put on the material, think about the size and weight of the tiles (or whatever else you plan to use).
When you invest in the superior quality version of either material, you’ll notice a noticeable improvement in their performance.