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How to Install Cement Fiberboard for Interior Brick Veneer

Follow these steps to install a cement fiberboard surface in preparation for interior brick wall veneer.

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cover wall with cement fiberboard

Step 1: Cover the Floor

Clean up your area with your shop vac or broom and dust pan and protect the floor with a drop cloth. It's a good idea to tape the drop cloth to the floor so it won't move around.

Step 2: Cut Around Outlets and Corners

Cut the cement fiberboard with a utility knife around corners and outlets (Image 1). If you want your outlets to be recessed, you can leave them as-is; if you want them flush with the wall, have an electrician pull them out prior to installing the fiberboard. The outlets should be pulled out the combined width of the fiberboard and brick veneer -- in this project, the fiberboard is 1/4" thick and the brick veneer is 1/2" thick, so the outlets were pulled out 3/4" (Image 2).

Step 3: Secure the Fiberboard to the Wall

Attach the cement fiberboard with 1-1/2" drywall screws and a screw gun. Start at the corners and work your way to the middle, securing the board until there are no gaps between it and the wall. You can determine if there are gaps by pressing down on the fiberboard in areas with few or no screws -- if you feel it give, add more screws to that area. The wall covered in this project was a wood-paneled wall, so the fiberboard could be attached directly to the wall surface. If you are covering drywall, secure the fiberboard by first screwing it into wall studs; then secure it in the middle sections until there are no gaps between the two surfaces.

attach cement fiberboard with drywall screws

Step 4: Finalize the Brick Design

Once you have finished covering the wall with cement fiberboard, finalize the design for your brick wall. Transfer the height of the wall onto the floor and lay out the brick veneer in a row (Image 1). Once you have laid out the brick, you can incorporate design elements and decide on joint size -- it's much easier to make these decisions beforehand rather that to after you've started attaching the brick.

In this project, we wanted to install a decorative three-brick stack row 72" inches up the wall (Image 2), so we laid out the design on the floor and marked the corresponding measurements on the wall.

You should also have full bricks at the top and bottom of the wall, so this is the time to roughly space out the joints to determine what joint size will give you full bricks at the top and bottom.

With the brick template on the floor as your guide, you can begin attaching the brick.