Wonderboard Vs. Durock: Key Features And Comparative Analysis

A necessity of wet floors is backer boards. Why you ask! Because moisture and mildew can effortlessly destroy your bathroom tiles. 

Among many other companies, two of them are of focus today. Wonderboard vs. Durock, let’s scrutinize both to find out which will be the one used in your bathroom.

In this article, we will talk about the features of both products and weigh them for finding the better option.

A Swift Comparison Table

Let us do a quick review of both the products using a side-by-side comparison in the below table.

MaterialPortland cement,
EPS (expanded polystyrene),
beads, aggregates,
and fiberglass reinforcement
Cement combined with glass mesh
PricingExpensiveLess Expensive

Primary Difference Between Wonderboard and Durock

differences between Wonderboard and Durock

Finding out the primary differences between the products will help us understand the products better.

With a better understanding, we will be able to figure out which product is suitable for us as we learn about the building materials, quality of the products, weight, pricing, and so on.

  • Building Materials

The building blocks of a product, as in the building materials are the defining factors of a product. They determine the overall quality of the products made of them.

Better materials bring out long-lasting products. They will not only fulfill their primary purpose but also provide service for a longer period.

Wonderboard uses Portland cement combined with EPS (expanded polystyrene) beads, aggregates, and fiberglass reinforcement.

They are less stiff than Hardibacker but enough to be used for curved surfaces. But it has its drawbacks.

Even a little bit of hole in its grout and the tile base becomes vulnerable to water and its purpose remains unfulfilled.

In the case of Durock boards, we get far better materials and even better performance compared to the Wonderboards products. It has glass mesh combined with cement as its building material.

This not only makes it a better choice but also a durable and well-performing product in comparison.

The glass mesh makes it harder for the moisture to break in and hurt the tile base. This combination makes the backer board smoother and lighter.

For this reason, it is easier to work with Durock rather than Wonderboard backer boards for your bathroom tiles.

  • Design & Product Quality

Both companies have various sized backer boards for your bathroom tiles. It is only your choice which company to choose. Because in this factor there is no particular design factor for backer boards.

As they are both providing similar services in consideration to design, none of them have the upper hand.

Now for quality, we can realize that the product quality is far better in the Durock branded backer boards. They provide better water protection, easier installation, and maintenance. 

Moreover, they are less expensive than the Wonderboards. It is clear which is the winner in this factor.

  • Weight
guy installing cement board

Another important factor for judging these products is their weight. The heavier the product the harder it becomes to work with. 

Let me explain. 

When you work with lighter products, it has an easier installation process.

Another positive side of lighter products is they are easy to fix or change. You will have an easier time than heavier products. This is a win-win scenario from my perspective.

The Wonderboards are heavier and stiffer than the Durock backer boards. The Wonderboards make even the easiest installation process harder.

With the Durock backer boards, you will find the installation process a piece of cake. But there are other things to consider, let us move on. 

  • Pricing

Now comes the elephant in the room. Price is the biggest factor when we consider buying something. It is not always good to assume that the higher the price, the better the product.

But it is undeniable that pricy products have their points of attraction which makes them costlier.

Between the products, the Durock backer boards are less expensive than the wonder boards.

One 3-ft X 5-ft X 1/4-ft of Durock branded backer board costs 10.98$. Alternatively, the same size of Wonderboard branded backer board costs 12.89$. 

Wonderboard Backer boards are pricier than the Durock backer boards.

  • Is Wonderboard Waterproof or Durock

An important aspect is to learn their waterproofing capabilities. As we are finding the best backer board for bathroom tiles, we will need one that is waterproof. 

A product that can provide better protection from moisture and mildew.

The Wonderboard is not affected by water yet it is not completely waterproof. It requires the use of a moisture barrier or waterproof membrane. The membrane protects the tile base from getting wet.

Durock boards are water-durable tile bases for showering areas and tubs. Even so, they too are not completely waterproof.

Wonderboard Lite Vs. Durock

Wonderboard Lite Vs. Durock

Before we do the final judgment, we should consider a variation of the Wonderboard product. This variation is known as Wonderboard lite. 

In comparison, there is not much difference from the original. The lite version is 20% lighter. It is made with a mixture of mesh-reinforced fiberglass and stable Portland cement. 

Even though moisture resistant, not completely waterproof. Has better flexural strength meaning easily bendable. More or less, it is similar to the origin but lighter.

The Survivor of The Comparison

Before we conclude this article, we must choose the winner product. Companies of both products showed much consideration with their products. 

Both companies are making such fine backer boards but only one can go into your house.

As waterproofing is out the window, it makes it harder for us to find the better choice. Considering the overall quality of the products and pricing we can say that Durock is the better option.

Durock boards are cheaper, lighter, smoother. They are easy to install, easy to replace, and will cost you less than the Wonderboards products.

But if you are considering buying a cement-based backer board instead of glass-mess ones, then the Wonderboards are the one to go for.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it possible to cut Wonderboard?

Yes, it is and to simply cut the backer boards made of cement. Firstly, you have to score the surface and snap its sheet by the scoreline. 

Do this in a similar fashion to cutting drywall. It is also possible to utilize a drywall utility knife for the scoring of the backer boards. Another alternative is to use a carbide-tipped scoring tool.

Which side of the cement board should face out?

Use the difference between the smooth side and rough side for this. You should make the rough side face out while using a mortar adhesive of the thin-set kind. While using latex mastic, facing out the smooth side is better.  

Is it necessary to use drywall screws for cement boards?

As nails or drywall screws are not effective against cement backer boards you will need an alternative. It is smarter to use fasteners made to use alongside drywall. They do not carry corrosion and alkali-resistant coating. This allows the cement board to last longer.

Can you cut the Durock backer boards?

Follow these instructions in the case of the Durock brand backer boards. Mark the size on the cement board you wish to take using a pencil and ruler. 

Take the help of a utility knife to score the sides and edges between the glass-fiber mesh. Snap the board. Smoothen out the edges with a wood rasp. An alternative is the use of a car-bide-tipped blade and circular saw as an option.

Is it compulsory to waterproof cement board?

You are considering places where it will get wet. Thus, it is necessary to waterproof the cement backer boards. You can use a waterproof or water-resistant membrane with the tile base. 

Do this before installing your cement backer boards which will protect it from moisture and mildew.


Now that you know everything about Wonderboard vs. Durock, you should have found your choice of brand. The chosen product will protect your bathroom tiles from getting mildew or mold from moisture.

We are glad the article has helped you make an educated decision. But if we were not of service then consider this. There are various other brands and types of backer boards out there which we have not discussed.

You can try to find out about those products. See if they seem more if a sensible choice than the above-mentioned products. All the best!

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own ReliefInBath.com From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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