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Can You Put Vinyl Siding over Cement Board/Durock? (How To)

Cement board is commonly used on the exterior of buildings but can also be used on interior walls, ceilings, and eaves. Vinyl siding is an easy to install, durable, type of siding that also looks great. In this article, I will explain if vinyl siding can be installed over cement board/Durock.

Overall, vinyl siding can be installed over cement board such as Durock. Vinyl siding nails need to penetrate ¾ inch. But, cement board is generally ¼ an inch to ⅝ thick. So, typically wooden framing needs to be installed on top first. You also shouldn’t drive nails directly into cement board.

House with siding

If you drive nails directly into cement board it can crack it, particularly close to the edges. Vinyl siding is typically installed using a lot of nails, therefore, it’s best to drill pilot holes first and use screws if you don’t need to install wooden framing first. Below, I will cover the main considerations when installing vinyl siding over cement board, as well as the full method to do so.

Can You Put Vinyl Siding over Cement Board/Durock? (How To)

Vinyl siding is attached to a wall using nails. But, cement board is a very rigid material. So, here’s whether it’s possible to install vinyl siding over cement board/Durock.

In general, vinyl siding can be installed over cement board/Durock. The main consideration is that the nails used to attach the vinyl siding to the cement board need to penetrate ¾ of an inch. But, cement board is typically ¼ an inch to ⅝ thick. So, a wooden frame can need to be installed first.

If you drive nails directly into cement board such as Durock it can crack or split the cement board. And doing so will make the cement board much weaker. Therefore, it’s best to pre-drill the holes for where the nails would be, and use screws instead.

Vinyl siding needs to be attached to the wall every 16 inches (40.6 cm). Therefore, you will need to drill quite a lot of pilot holes if you are going to install vinyl siding over cement board.

Should You Put Vinyl Siding over Cement Board/Durock?

House with siding

There are a range of different types of sidings you can install on the exterior of a home, therefore, it’s important to choose the right type of siding for cement board. Here’s a rundown of if it’s a good idea to put vinyl siding over cement board.

In general, you should put vinyl siding over cement board/Durock. Cement board is typically ¼ an inch to ⅝ thick. But, the nails used to attach vinyl siding need to penetrate ¾ of an inch. If the cement board is thinner than ⅝ of an inch thick, wooden framing should be installed first.

The nails used to install vinyl siding should penetrate the layer underneath – in this case cement board – ¾ of an inch (1.9 cm). If you cement board such as Durock is thinner than about ⅝ of an inch (1.6 cm), then you should install a wooden frame over the top of your cement board to make the cement board thicker. While the recommended thickness is ¾ of an inch, a little bit under should be OK.

And considering that ⅝ of an inch is a common thickness for cement board, it’s generally not worth the extra effort of installing wooden framing over the top. Doing so will only make the planks of vinyl siding to be attached a little bit more secure.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Vinyl Siding over Cement Board/Durock?

House with siding

Installing vinyl siding on cement boards is not that much different from installing it them into wood. But, it’s important to know what tools you will need. Here’s a list of what you need to install vinyl siding over cement board.

Overall, you need an electric drill, masonry drill bit, tin snips or a utility knife, a tape measure, a carpenter’s level also called a bubble level or spirit level, a hammer, and a pencil to install vinyl siding over cement board.

Some construction contractors install house wrap underneath vinyl siding to stop water and air leaks. It’s recommended because it significantly reduces water getting behind the vinyl siding. But, it’s not a strict requirement, especially for areas where there will be little to no moisture.

If you have not already installed house wrap you will need to do this first. There are a few different pieces of vinyl siding. These include the F-channels which are installed on the sides of the area you are installing vinyl siding on to.

As well as, the vinyl starter strip which is located on the very bottom of where you are installing vinyl siding. Below, is a very good short video that shows how vinyl siding is installed, so you can see what’s involved.

Essentially you are using the exact same method shown in the video, except instead of nails, you pre-drill holes, and screw the vinyl siding to the cement board. It’s easy to crack cement board if you hammer nails into it.

What Preparations Do You Need to Put Vinyl Siding over Cement Board/Durock?

House with siding

Before installing vinyl siding into cement board there are a few considerations. Unlike, installing vinyl siding into wood such as OSB or plywood, a few more steps are required first. Here are what preparation steps you need to do to put vinyl siding over cement board such as Durock.

In general, you may need to install wooden framing called furring. This is required if the cement board is thinner than ⅝ in (1.6 cm). Also, pilot holes need to be drilled into the cement board where the nails will go, if wooden framing is not installed.

If they are required they will need to be installed every 16 inches (40.6 cm). This is where each of the vinyl siding planks need to be attached using either nails or screws.

How to Put Vinyl Siding over Cement Board/Durock

confused man standing

Vinyl siding is easy to work with and install. It’s easiest to install into wood because it can be nailed very quickly without needing to drill pilot holes for each of the screws used to attach it to the cement board. Below is an overall summary and step by step instructions for how to install vinyl siding over cement board such as Durock.

In general, install wooden framing first if the cement board is thinner than ⅝ in (1.6 cm) or if you prefer to install it into wooden framing. Otherwise, first install the F-channels and starting strip. Then install each vinyl plank starting from the bottom and working, row by row.

In total there are 3 broad steps to install vinyl siding over cement board. But, the first step is optional depending on the thickness of the cement board. Here are all of the steps with helpful videos that explain the entire process.

1. Install wooden framing (sometimes optional)

There are two reasons you would first install wooden framing called furring. These are:

  • The cement board is thinner than ⅝ in (1.6 cm)
  • You prefer to install the vinyl planks into the cement board to save time

Installing wooden framing onto a wall is a common practice. I am unable to find a video that shows how to install it into cement board. But, the process is identical to installing it onto a concrete wall or block, as shown in the video below:

Typically, the screws used to attach the wooden framing to the cement board need to be installed a certain depth into the underlying material. However, the wooden framing and vinyl siding are very light weight. And the wooden framing will not be load bearing (nonbearing).

It’s also common in woodworking to bind two types of material to each other by installing a screw all the way through the both materials. Therefore, it’s best to install the screw as far into the cement board as possible. While minimizing the excess screw on the other side of the cement board.

Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on December 24, 2022.

2. Install the F-channels and starting strip

As you may be aware, there are F-channels that are installed on the sides of the area where you are installing the vinyl siding. These are where the ends of each of the end pieces of vinyl siding clip into. Install these into the wooden framing by nailing or screwing them into the wood.

There is a starter strip that is installed at the very bottom of the area that you are installing the vinyl siding into. It’s where the first row of vinyl siding planks fit into.

Attach this as well by nailing or screwing it into place. Below is a video from the vinyl siding institute that shows how these are installed as well as how to install the individual vinyl planks.

3. Attach each vinyl plank row by row

Now that you have the F-channels and starter strip installed you can begin with the first row of vinyl siding planks. Start at the starter strip and nail or screw them every 16 inches (40.6 cm). Attach the next row on top of that, and each subsequent row until you reach the top.

The last piece will often need to be trimmed to fit at the top. If this is required you will need to install a J-channel to finish the top edge. This step is shown in the video above from the Vinyl Siding Institute.

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on December 24, 2022.

As a general rule, vinyl siding can be installed over cement board such as Durock. Wooden framing called furring should be installed if the cement board is thinner than ⅝ in (1.6 cm). The reason is the nails or screws used to attach the vinyl siding need to penetrate at least ¾ inch (1.9 cm).

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on December 24, 2022.

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