How to Cut Hardie Backer Board

Cutting Hardie Backer Board is an essential skill for any DIY enthusiast or professional contractor. This durable cement board is commonly used as a backing material for tile, stone, and other types of flooring installations. Its strength and water-resistant properties make it a popular choice for wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

How to Cut Hardie Backer Board

The main advantage of learning to cut hardie backer board is that you can save a significant amount of money and time by doing it yourself instead of hiring someone else. Hardie backer board is a type of cement-based backer board that is commonly used as an underlayment for tile and stone installations. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to cut hardie backer board.

Tools You Will Need

  • Hardie Backer Board (of course)
  • Tape Measure
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Circular Saw with Masonry Blade
  • Power Drill with Carbide-Tipped Bit
  • Dust Mask or Respirator
  • Safety Glasses
  • Heavy Duty Gloves
  • Ear Plugs
  • Pencil or Marker

Before we begin cutting Hardie Backer Board, let’s quickly recap what this material is and why it may be necessary to know how to cut it. Hardie Backer Board is a type of cement board that is commonly used as an underlayment for tile installation in wet areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Cut Hardie Backer Board

Step 1: Inspect the Hardie Backer Board

Before you even think about cutting the board, it is important to inspect it for any defects or damages. If you notice any cracks or chips, they will need to be repaired before proceeding with the cutting process. Also, make sure that the board is dry and free of any debris.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Tools

To successfully cut Hardie Backer Board, you will need several tools. These include a circular saw with a masonry blade, a straightedge or T-square, a utility knife, and safety equipment such as goggles and gloves. Make sure to have all these tools ready before starting the cutting process.

Step 3: Measure and Mark the Board

Using a measuring tape, determine the desired size of the board and mark it with a pencil. Double-check your measurements to ensure accuracy. Using a utility knife, score along the marked line on both sides of the board. This will help create a clean cut without any chipping.

Step 4: Set up the Saw

Attach a masonry blade to your circular saw and adjust the depth of the blade to be slightly deeper than the thickness of the board. This will ensure a smooth cut without damaging the surrounding area. Before turning on the saw, make sure to put on safety equipment such as goggles and gloves. This will protect you from any potential debris or dust while cutting.

Step 5: Cut the Board

Place the board on a stable and secure surface, with the marked line facing up. Carefully guide the saw along the scored line, using the straightedge or T-square as a guide. Make sure to keep your hands away from the blade at all times. After cutting the board, you may notice some rough edges. Use a sanding block or sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections and create a clean edge.

Step 6: Clean up the Area

Once you have finished cutting the Hardie Backer Board, make sure to clean up any debris or dust from the area. This will prevent it from getting into your eyes or lungs.

Finally, dispose of the waste material in a responsible manner. Hardie Backer Board is non-toxic and can be disposed of along with regular household waste. However, if you have larger pieces or a large amount of waste, it may be best to contact your local recycling center for proper disposal options.

Clean Up Any Debris or Dust From the Area

Tips for How to Cut Hardie Backer Board

  1. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from any flying debris or dust.
  2. A dusk mask is also recommended, especially if you are using a power saw. The dust created by cutting Hardie Backer Board can irritate your lungs and cause respiratory problems.
  3. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and closed-toe shoes to protect your skin from any sharp edges or dust.
  4. Make sure to read all safety instructions and warnings on the tools you are using. Follow proper operating procedures to avoid accidents.
  5. Keep your work area clean and well-lit. This will help prevent any tripping hazards and allow you to see your cutting lines clearly.
  6. Use clamps or other securing methods to hold the Hardie Backer Board in place while cutting. This will ensure a more precise and controlled cut, reducing the risk of accidents.
  7. Always cut outside or in a well-ventilated area. The dust and debris created while cutting Hardie Backer Board can be harmful if inhaled.

How Do You Prevent the Edges of Hardie Backer Board From Chipping While Cutting?

If you’re planning to do any home renovation or remodeling, chances are you’ve come across Hardie Backer Board. This cement board is a popular choice for bathroom and kitchen walls, as well as floors. It’s durable, easy to install, and resistant to moisture.

One downside to using Hardie Backer Board is that it can be challenging to cut. The board is made of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, making it extremely strong and dense. This density can cause the edges to chip or break if not cut properly. So how do you prevent this from happening? Here are some tips on cutting Hardie Backer Board without chipping the edges.

1. Use the Right Tools

When it comes to cutting Hardie Backer Board, using the right tools is key. This material is not like cutting wood or drywall, so traditional saws and blades won’t work as well. Instead, you’ll need a specialized carbide-tipped scoring knife or utility knife designed for cement board.

Hardie Backer Board Using the Right Tools is Key

These knives have strong and durable blades that can easily score through the dense material without chipping the edges. Additionally, using a carbide-tipped circular saw with a vacuum attachment can also help to minimize dust and further protect the edges.

2. Score and Snap Method

The most common method for cutting Hardie Backer Board is the score and snap method. This involves scoring the board along the desired cutting line using a utility knife or scoring knife.

Once you have scored through the surface of the material, you can then snap off the excess board by placing it over an edge or bending it back on itself. This method works well for straight cuts but may not be as effective for more complex shapes or angles.

3. Wet Cut

Another option for cutting Hardie Backer Board is to use a wet saw with a diamond blade. This method involves running the board through a saw that has water running over the blade, which helps to cool it down and reduce dust. The wet cut also creates a smoother edge compared to using a dry saw or scoring knife. However, this method may not be ideal for all situations, as it can be more time-consuming and requires additional tools.

Are There Any Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Cutting Hardie Backer Board?

When it comes to cutting Hardie Backer Board, there are a few common mistakes that people tend to make. These mistakes can result in uneven cuts, jagged edges or even damage to the board itself. In order to avoid these issues and achieve clean, precise cuts every time, it’s important to know what not to do when cutting Hardie Backer Board. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

1. Using the Wrong Tools

Hardie Backer Board is a dense, durable material that requires specialized cutting tools. Using regular saws or blades designed for wood or other materials can result in rough, uneven cuts and potential damage to your tools. To ensure clean cuts, use a carbide-tipped scoring knife or a diamond blade saw specifically designed for cutting Hardie Backer Board.

Using Regular Saws or Blades Designed for Wood

2. Not Wearing Proper Protective Gear

Cutting Hardie Backer Board produces dust and debris that can irritate your skin, eyes and lungs. It’s important to wear safety glasses, a dust mask and gloves when handling and cutting the board to protect yourself from potential health hazards. Additionally, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area to minimize the amount of dust and debris in the air.

3. Not Measuring Accurately

When cutting Hardie Backer Board, precise measurements are crucial. Failing to measure accurately can result in uneven cuts or incorrect dimensions for your project. Take the time to double check your measurements before making any cuts to ensure they are correct. It may also be helpful to mark your measurements with a pencil on the board before cutting.

4. Rushing the Cuts

Cutting Hardie Backer Board requires patience and precision. Trying to rush through the cutting process can result in mistakes, uneven cuts or damaged boards. Take your time and make slow, steady cuts to achieve the best results. It may also be helpful to practice on a scrap piece of board before making cuts on your actual project.

5. Not Supporting the Board Properly

Hardie Backer Board is heavy and can easily crack or break if not supported correctly during cutting. Be sure to use sawhorses or a stable surface to support the entire length of the board while cutting. This will prevent any bending or flexing that could result in uneven cuts or damage to the board.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your cuts are clean and precise every time when working with Hardie Backer Board. Remember to always use the correct tools, wear proper protective gear, measure accurately, take your time and provide proper support for the board.

Clean and Precise Every Time When Working With Hardie


In conclusion, cutting Hardie backer board is an essential skill to have for any DIY project involving tile installation. By following the proper techniques and using the right tools, you can achieve clean and precise cuts on this durable and versatile material. While it may seem intimidating at first, with practice and patience, you can become proficient in cutting Hardie backer board.

Remember to always wear protective gear and follow safety precautions when working with power tools. With the tips and tricks outlined in this blog, you can confidently add cutting Hardie backer board to your list of DIY skills. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to cut hardie backer board. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically. 

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

Leave a Comment