How to cut Cement Sheeting

Author: | Last Updated: 12 Mar 2022

Cement sheeting, also called cement boards, are a popular building material that is favoured for its strength, stability, and accessibility for beginners. They can be used in many different home renovation projects without the need to hire a team of professionals—all you will need are some tools and basic instructions, and you’ll be comfortable with handling the material in no time. So if you’re looking for instructions on cutting cement sheeting quickly and efficiently, read on!

What is Cement Sheeting?

Cement sheeting, also called cement boards, is a building material that uses layers of cement and fibres such as cellulose, which give the material reinforcing properties. Cement sheeting is very durable and is often used in conjunction with tile laying, since the reinforced fibres and cement can hold weight well. Cement sheets are thick, and can be as thick as half an inch, making them stronger and a better option than other materials like plasterboard or paper-covered gypsum.

What are the uses of Cement Sheeting?

Cement sheeting is often used for structure or foundation-based projects around the home. Since they are sturdy and can take weight, they can be used as a “sub-floor” or a backing material for tile laying. When used with tiles, cement sheeting adds strength and support to the structure, making the surface more durable. You can also use cement sheeting on top of an existing wood floor as your base for a new tiled floor.

Cement sheeting is also water-resistant, which makes it an excellent choice as a backing material for tiles in wet areas like bathrooms. You can also treat or seal the cement boards with a solution to make them completely waterproof. Using cement sheeting will ensure that your tiles don’t develop mould or mildew underneath, which can not only jeopardise the integrity of the tiling, but can also be a health hazard for kids and adults alike.

If you’re used to an inferior material such as plywood for your tile backing, upgrading to cement sheeting will improve the longevity of your tiled area and the overall aesthetic. Since cement sheeting is an entirely flat surface, your tiles will lay much more nicely, and since cement sheeting won’t warp like plywood will, there’s no need to worry about ruining your tile design in the future.

Different methods for cutting Cement Sheets

There are three ways to cut cement sheets: score-and-snap, circular saw, and jigsaw. Each method will need its own set of tools, but they are tools that can be used for many other materials—if you don’t have these tools yet and just plan to buy them, we’ll tell you now that they will certainly prove to be a good investment!

Method 1: Score-and-snap

This method works for thin sheets, from a quarter to half an inch thick.

Lay the board flat, with the “face” side of the board facing you (this is the side that will be exposed once you lay down the sheeting). Take a ruler and draw a visible line where you want to cut through. Keep your ruler along the drawn line as a guide, and run your utility knife through the line multiple times. Keep a constant, steady pressure as you cut, and gradually apply more pressure as you cut deeper into the board.

Once you’ve scored the cement sheeting deeply enough, take the board and grasp it on either side, with the score line right in the middle. Now place it on your knee, and apply adequate pressure using both hands to bend and snap the board along the line. If it’s not splitting, repeat the scoring process a few more times. Once you have your split board, clean up the cut side by cutting away any mesh or wire sticking out.

Method 2: Circular saw

The circular and jigsaw methods are best for cement sheeting thicker than half an inch. Use a circular saw for straight cuts and a jigsaw for freeform or curved shapes. When cutting cement sheets with a saw, always make sure that you have the proper eye and breathing protection gear, such as a tight-fitting mask and eye goggles. Cement dust is a health hazard and will cause problems with inhaled or if it gets into your eyes.

Choose a saw blade with carbide-tipped blades for wood-cutting. These blades will hold against the hard material of the sheeting. Like the first method, mark the line you want to cut using chalk or pencil. Once done, adjust your circular saw so that the blade extends half an inch below the guard—make sure the blade is secure. Set the board along the cutting guide of the saw and make sure it doesn’t move as you cut. Once secure, turn the saw on to full speed and start cutting through the sheeting at full speed. Guide the saw through the line slowly and firmly, and listen closely to ensure the saw does not jam. If it jams, back off and wait until it comes up to full speed before trying again.

Method 3: Jigsaw

The jigsaw method is best for cutting round or irregular shapes in cement sheeting. Like method 2, use eye and breathing protection with a jigsaw. Choose a blade for metal-cutting or a carbide blade to ensure that you can cut through the cement sheeting. Secure the blade to the saw and set your cement board on a sawhorse with the top facing you. Mark the surface with the shape that you want to cut out; if it is rounded or irregular, it is very important that you make this visible so you can be guided when cutting. Once marked, drill a hole through one part of the shape so that the saw can fit through (you can also drill through tight corners to make it easier to cut). Insert the saw blade into your drilled hole and wait for it at full speed before carefully pushing it along the line guide you have created.

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