Fiberock VS Durock: 4 Differences You Should Know

The choice of construction material is never easy, especially when there are so many quality options on the market – and they often seem similar.

While Fiberock and Durock are both reliable, high-quality options, there are significant differences between them that will make your decision much easier before you start your project.

It is necessary to get familiar with both options and get all the facts before you make your purchase.

The main differences between Fiberock and Durock are composition and suitability for different projects, but we will get into the most critical aspects of the comparison.

What is Fiberock?

Fiberock is a type of construction material that is made from recycled paper and wood fibers. It is used as an alternative to traditional drywall in many applications. 

Fiberock is fire-resistant, soundproof, and mold-resistant, making it an ideal choice for use in homes and commercial buildings. 

It is also environmentally friendly since it is made from recycled materials. Fiberock is available in various thicknesses and sizes, making it easy to find the right product for your needs.

The standard Fiberock sizes and styles include 4’x8′ panels, 1/2″ or 5/8″ thicknesses, and standard, midgrade, or premium grades.

You can also choose between square or beveled edges depending on the look you’re going for. 

Fiberock is a versatile construction material that can be used in various applications. It is especially well suited for use in a wet area since it is resistant to mold and mildew.

However, Fiberock is not as water resistant as other materials, so it should not be used in areas with a chance of flooding. 

It is also important to note that Fiberock is not load-bearing, so it should not be used in applications where the weight will be applied.

Other popular applications of Fiberock include bathroom and kitchen walls, laundry rooms, basements, fireplaces, wainscoting, and garage walls.

If you hope to use Fiberock for an exterior project, you may be disappointed with the results. While Fiberock is durable and weather-resistant, it is not meant to withstand direct sunlight or exposure to harsh weather conditions. 

If you choose to use Fiberock for an exterior project, protect it as much as possible.

Fiberock is also not recommended for use in areas with a lot of foot traffic. The material is fragile and can be easily damaged if not adequately protected. 

If you plan to use Fiberock in an area with a lot of foot traffic, take the necessary precautions to protect the material.

Overall, Fiberock is an excellent choice for a variety of indoor applications. The material is durable and easy to work with. 

When it comes to Fiberock installation, the process is quite beginner-friendly. If you are planning on doing a Fiberock installation, here  are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. The material is easy to cut and doesn’t create too much dust. However, finding the right screws and nails for the job is difficult.
  2. Fiberock is not as strong as other materials like regular drywall. Therefore, you need to be careful when handling it.
  3. It is also essential to ensure that the surface you are installing Fiberock on is clean and free of debris. Otherwise, the material will not adhere properly.
  4. Once you have installed Fiberock, it is essential to seal all the seams with caulk or tape. This will help prevent moisture from seeping in and damaging the material.
  5. Finally, if you plan to paint Fiberock, it is essential to use a primer first. This will help the paint adhere to the surface and prevent it from chipping or flaking off over time.

What is Durock?

Durock backer board is made of gypsum board, and while many compare it to drywall – it is thicker and denser than regular drywall.

This kind of structure makes Durock a perfect choice for load-bearing walls or similar areas that require this level of support and structural integrity.

Many people gravitate towards Durock since it is fire resistant and suitable for interior and exterior applications.

Moreover, it is a perfect choice for high-humidity areas, as it is resistant to mildew and mold. 

Durock installation, just like Fiberock installation, doesn’t require much expertise, as these materials are quite DIY-friendly.

However, it is necessary to have all the right tools for the job, including a quality hammer, screwdriver, level, and utility knife. 

Making sure that the area where you are installing the boards is clean and free of debris and dirt is a must, regardless of the backer board type. 

Durock boards come in different types and thicknesses. Durock boards usually start at 1/4 inch thick, while the thickest variety is 1 inch. 

Remember that it is necessary to choose the adequate Durock cement board for your project, as they all have specific pros and cons. 

The ¼-inch Durock board is the most beginner-friendly, as it is thin, easy to cut, carry, and work with. 

Thin Durock boards are meant for smaller areas where you need to shape and fit the boards to fill the gaps

However, these Durock boards are not the best for support, as they are not as strong and durable as thicker ones. 

On the other hand, the 1/2-inch Durock cement board is suitable for easier tasks and bigger projects, as it is thin enough to be cut and shaped yet thick enough to provide support.

The ¾-inch and 1-inch Durock boards are the best solutions for more significant projects where extra support is imperative. They are, however, harder to cut and shape.

What are the differences between Fiberock and Durock?

Let’sLet’sver the most significant differences between these two materials so you can get a better idea of which one would be more suitable for your future projects.

1. Structure

The first significant difference between Fiberock and Durock is composition. Durock contains Portland cement, while Fiberock does not. 

Instead, Fiberock uses fiberglass mesh reinforcement to give the material added strength. Fiberock could also be seen as a hybrid of drywall and plywood, as it is made up of an outer layer of gypsum bonded to a wood fiber inner core. 

This combination gives this fiber cement board superior strength and stability compared to traditional drywall while providing a more environmentally friendly option than plywood.

2. Fire resistance

Another difference between Fiberock and Durock is that Fiberock is more resistant to fire than Durock.  

This is because Portland cement is highly combustible, while fiberglass is not. Therefore, if exposed to fire, Durock will break down and crumble much more quickly than Fiberock.

Another factor that makes this fiber cement board more fire-resistant than Durock is that it does not contain any organic materials

Durock, on the other hand, contains cellulose, which is an organic compound. When cellulose is heated, it begins to break down and release water vapor. 

This water vapor can then fuel the fire, causing it to spread more quickly.

3. Water resistance

Durock is more water resistant than Fiberock since Durock is made with a waterproof gypsum core, while Fiberock has a paper facing.

While Fiberock is generally mold and mildew-resistant, it is not as suitable for humid areas as Durock.

4. Exterior and interior applications

While Durock is suitable for exterior and interior applications, Fiberock is not the best choice for exterior projects.  

Fiberock is not as durable as Durock, so it is not ideal for high-moisture areas or areas exposed to sunlight. 

However, Fiberock is a good choice for interior projects, especially in rooms that do not get much traffic.

Fiberock VS Durock: Are they the same?

It is safe to say that Fiberock and Durock share many qualities, but they cannot be considered the same.

While Fiberock is generally considered more fire-resistant, Durock is more water-resistant and suitable for humid areas with a lot of moisture.

Durock offers more versatility, as it is a good choice for interior and exterior applications. At the same time, Fiberock should generally be used in interior projects – but not in areas with a lot of traffic. 

Finally, Fiberock is the more environmentally friendly option, which is a significant factor for future projects. 

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