How to Cut Circles on Cement Board

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When installing cement board, you may need to cut a round hole in it to accommodate rough-in plumbing, a plumbing fixture or a gas pipe. The inexperienced cement board installer may ruin a few standard hole saws before he realizes that cutting an adequate circle does not require powerful saws or diamond hole cutters. Cutting circular holes in cement board requires only the most basic of tools and little effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Carbide-tipped scoring knife
  • Hammer
  • Determine the position of the circle to be cut out. Draw the circle on the backside of the cement board.

  • Score the penciled-in circle with the knife.

  • Hammer the front side of the cement board to knock out the scored circle.

Tips & Warnings

  • A carbide-tipped hole saw mounted in a cordless drill may also be used to cut circular holes in cement board, but it is not recommended for indoor use.
  • Never sweep cement board residue while it is dry. Wet the residue with water before sweeping it, or use a HEPA filter vacuum.
  • Never use high-speed drills or saws to cut cement board indoors. They may generate excessive silica dust.
  • Always wear a dust mask or respirator and safety glasses if using a saw to cut cement board.
  • Silica dust from cement board may cause cancer and/or silicosis, and it has been linked with other occupational diseases.

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