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How to Cut HardieBacker Cement Board

Whether you’re working on a new tile project in a bathroom or remodeling a kitchen, choosing the right materials is of the utmost importance. You’ll want to choose a backer board that adheres well to tile, resists water damage, and is trusted by contractors everywhere for its durability. 

HardieBacker® Cement Board is easy to install, making it a great option for contractors and DIYers alike. But before you install it, you’ll need to know how to cut HardieBacker Cement Board to the right size. Whether you’re looking to make a straight line or circular cut for your project, the steps are simple and straightforward. 



First, you’ll want to choose a scoring tool. A carbide-tipped scoring knife is recommended, but you can also use a utility knife or shears. Never use a high-speed grinder to cut cement board indoors, since this can create a dust hazard. 

Here’s how to perform a straight cut on your HardieBacker Cement Board:

1. Place your HardieBacker Cement Board on a flat surface and mark your cuts with a straight edge.
2. Score along your straight edge, applying firm pressure as you go. 
     • If you’re using our quarter-inch board, you can score along the provided grid lines.
     • If you’re using HardieBacker 500 Cement Board, you’ll want to score a few times to ensure a clean snap. 
3. Place your HardieBacker Cement Board on the floor and kneel on it for leverage.
4. Applying pressure on two locations, snap the board upward along the score line. 

Looking to cut a circle or small hole? That’s easy, too! Here are the steps: 

1. Mark the placement of your circle or hole. 
2. Using your scoring tool, score alongside the perimeter of the circle. 
3. Make several scores across the diameter of your circle starting at different points, until your scoring lines resemble a sliced pizza. 
4. Place supports behind your HardieBacker Cement Board on either side of the hole. If the circle is near the edge of the board, additional support may be needed. 
5. Tap around the circle with your hammer to loosen it.
6. Strike the board in the center of your circle or hole, then knock out the remaining pieces.
7. Remove any extra material by hand. 
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