Kerdi Board vs Cement Board: Which One to Choose

It’s difficult to choose the correct underlayment because there are so many options. Each board has pros and cons, so it’s pretty challenging to select the ideal board for the project. You can be a homeowner or professional, but this thought will raise multiple questions.

So, you’re here to know which one you should select among Kerdi board vs. Cement board?

Kerdi Board is a multipurpose underlayment. It is also substantially lighter in weight, making it easier to carry and lift into places. Kerdi board is waterproof but cement board is only water-resistant. Both are effective substrates, but Kerdi Board has certain advantages. 

We understand that this is insufficient to make a choice. Check out our article for more information.

Overview of Underlayment

Underlayment means balancing out uneven subfloor parts. This surface creates a solid layer that protects the flooring from bending.

Without an underlayment, even minor subfloor movement creates cracking of the tile. This issue can cause a crumble of the caulk or grout lines.

Between the subfloor and the tile surface, a high-quality underlayment will act as a water-resistant barrier.

The purpose of kerdi and cement boards is to level out uneven areas on the installation surface.

These boards produce an unbending layer that will not flex underfoot and act as a waterproof barrier.

However, each product has its unique traits, advantages, and disadvantages.

Major Facts about Underlayment

Select which tile underlayment is best for your project. The purpose of kerdi and cement boards is to level out uneven areas on the installation surface.

When it comes to tile underlayment, there are three types to consider.

  • Sheet-type is used to limit deflection on a wood subfloor. It toughens the floor and makes it more suitable for tile installation.
  • Liquid or semi-liquid products help avoid the cracks of the tiles.
  • You may place the tile directly over the top with these peel and stick membranes. Most appliances have a lifetime warranty if used properly.

These mentioned factors will help you select between Kerdi Board vs. Cement Board.

What is Kerdi Board?

Kerdi Board is a tile underlayment that can be used for a variety of applications. This board can also be used as a building panel for bonded waterproof assemblies with tile coverings.

A foam panel made of extruded polystyrene with unique reinforcement features on both sides. It also has fleece webbing for good anchoring into the thin-set mortar. 

Make sure you know which thinset, modified or unmodified thinset is compatible with Kerdi board. 

Kerdi Board creates a substrate that is level, flat, square, plumb, and dimensionally stable. 

If the seams and connection areas are suitably covered, the panels can also provide waterproofing.

Kerdi Board is a versatile material that may be used for a variety of interior projects, including kitchen countertops.

Advantages of Kerdi Board

Kerdi boards are very versatile and easy to install, we’ve outlined the reasons below: 

  • Can cut to size with a standard utility knife, glued, or screwed into place. 
  • Incredibly lightweight.
  • Surface grid lines helpful for installation.
  • Resin glue-adhered product is equivalent to items used in the high-end boating sector.
  • Panels are stable and will not deteriorate due to moisture.
  • Can be mounted on any structure and even utilized to construct partitions without the need for structural support.
  • The surface already prepared for mortar application.

What is a Cement Board?

Tile substrates are typically made of cement board. This is also the one that professionals use when laying porcelain or ceramic tile.

It is available and affordable price range – about $10 for a 3-foot by 5-foot sheet.

The boards are available in three-foot-by-five-foot and four-foot-by-eight-foot panels. This board size is ideal for use in bathrooms.

While installing a cement board, the boards must place on a layer of thin-set glue, a procedure called bedding.

An additional coating of thin-set is applied to the cement board’s surface to hold the tiles in place. This effective method helps to avoid tiles’ cracks.

The cement board core is not waterproof in and of itself. However, it can withstand water without disintegrating. 

The cement board will not collapse even if your waterproofing system fails.

Cement board is a reliable tile substrate. These boards may use on both walls and floors.

Advantages of Cement Board

A cement board provides more incredible long-term performance than a tile backing board. In the presence of moisture or leaks, it does not mildew or physically decays. 

Compared to standard gypsum board, cement board provides a stronger bond and tile support.

The cement board does not have a waterproof coating. It absorbs water as well, yet it dries swiftly as well.

Our Thoughts

You must have made up your mind regarding Kerdi board vs Cement board by now. If you haven’t already, allow us to shed some light!

While cement board is the most widespread and well-known tile substrate, Kerdi Board is close. 

Both are effective substrates, but Kerdi Board has certain advantages. 

The ease of installation is one of the primary advantages of using Kerdi Board instead of cement board.

The gridlines printed on the surface aid the building by enabling quick, clean cuts with a utility knife.

Kerdi Board is also substantially lighter in weight than cement board. It makes it easier to carry and lift into places.

Cement board is notorious for being heavy and difficult to cut. 

While cement board is a dependable tile underlayment, it is not waterproof; instead, it is water-resistant.

Although cement board is the most often used tile underlayment, Kerdi board is gaining traction as a multifunctional tile substrate.

Kerdi Board is a highly effective product that is lightweight. These are easy to cut, waterproof, and leave no dust behind.

Not to mention that it is warrantied by Schluter, so that’s a relief.


Can Kerdi Board be used on shower floors?

Kerdi Board is appropriate for a variety of interior applications. It enables you to swiftly and efficiently design tile-ready pieces in bathtub surrounds and platforms, vanities, showers, shelving, and other areas.

Is Cement Board waterproof? 

Cement Board isn’t waterproof but it can withstand water without disintegrating. 

Do Kerdi Board need vapor barrier installment?

Kerdi Board can install over drywall.

Bottom Line

This is all you need to know about Kerdi Board Vs. Cement Board. Now you can easily pick up which one would be better for you.

If you still have any queries, do let us know.

Best of Luck!