best structural cement board

CemDeck or Versaroc? Choosing the best structural cement board for your application

Both CemDeck and Versaroc are widely used as decking, so perhaps it’s not surprising that one of the questions we get asked most frequently is which is the best structural cement board for this – and other – applications.

Inevitably, the short answer is that there isn’t a short answer!

Each product has its own properties, strengths and limitations, so we would encourage any customer to contact our specialist representatives for a detailed discussion before making this decision for your own application.

In the meantime, here are a few of the differences to point you in the right direction and help you choose the best structural cement board for your project.

CemDeck | non-combustibility with outstanding value

CemDeck is a structural fiber cement board composed of 71% Portland cement, 19% mineralized cellulose fibers (from recycled cardboard cartons), 9% water and 1% bonding agents.

As with all our products, the resulting panel is non-toxic, contains no hazardous volatiles and is free of any asbestos or formaldehyde.

Critically, CemDeck is non-combustible per ASTM E136 for up to 2 hour fire-rated floor assemblies.

In fact, CemDeck has been designed and developed specifically for use in fire-rated decking assemblies. As well as non-combustibility, it provides excellent load bearing performance with an interlocking tongue-and-groove ensuring solid joining and uniform loading across supports.

But perhaps most astonishing is its value.

Where CemDeck is specified for structural decking applications, it typically priced up to 50% less than other comparably performing panels.

Read more about CemDeck.

Versaroc | performance and flexibility

Versaroc is another great value structural panel, but with slightly different properties which may make is more suitable in a variety of applications.

Versaroc is a cement-bonded particle board (CBPB) with Portland cement and mineralized wood fibres at its heart. Like CemDeck it is environmentally safe and strong. It is also highly fire resistant.

But Versaroc’s slightly different composition contributes to a number of unique and useful properties. For example:

  • Outstanding dimensional accuracy (down to 1/16th inch) makes it highly suitable for modular building processes.
  • Anti-fungal properties and moisture resistance make it ideal for cold storage, food processing and similar areas where hygiene is paramount.
  • Versaroc is nailable with an ordinary nail gun for shingle applications as roof sheathing.
  • Outside, Versaroc’s weather resistance means it will not degrade with permanent exposure or repeated freezing and thawing.

So as well as span-rated decking, this high-performance CBPB panel is ideal for roofing, access flooring, sound barriers, exterior and interior wall construction, structural insulated panels (SIP) and most fire-rated assemblies.

This all means Versaroc can be found in use across the world in buildings as diverse as schools, assisted living facilities, multi-story residential, hospitals, factories, universities, dormitories, correctional facilities, airports, hotels and much more. As well as traditional on-site construction it is growing in popularity for offsite / modular construction – in fact the world’s tallest modular building deploys Versaroc as structural decking.

Read more about Versaroc.

Choosing the best structural cement board

The question of which is the best structural cement board depends largely on your application, code requirements and other project-specific factors.

So to discuss your project requirements, and the properties and differences between these products, please get in touch today via our website here, at or on 1-800-243-6677