Omniroc Benefits, a Fiber Cement Fire Resistant Structural Panel

JamesHardi building products may be the best known siding, soffit, trim, and ceramic tile backer board, but Omniroc offers residential remodeling benefits.

Omniroc is a structural building material that is best known for being used in commercial buildings and industrial applications, but it is starting to make inroads into the residential construction market. Up until now, products like HardiPlank Lap Siding and Hardiebacker have reigned supreme, in part because that’s what the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot stock.

In fact, Omniroc, Inc. has been around in the business for over 60 years. It’s a fair guess that they are beginning to look to the residential building market since local building codes are increasingly mandating the use of cement fiber board installed behind ceramic tile rather than traditional greenboard (moisture-resistant gypsum board).

A Green and Sustainable Building Material

These panels are primarily composed of mineralized wood fibers and Portland cement. The wood fibers are 23% scrap or repurposed wood products, which reduces the impact on the landfill and lessens the cutting, transporting, and processing of timber.


The use of these panels can be applies towards LEED certification, offering a maximum of 12 points. Having a LEED certified home is eco-friendly, reduces energy usage by definition (a great ROI over time), and adds to home equity.

Using Omniroc for Roof Sheathing

Cement fiber panels offer several advantages over conventional OSB or plywood roof sheathing. One of the most attractive of these is its fire resistant quality. Not only is this a safer proposition, but when paired with a metal shingle roof, many homeowner insurance policy carriers offer lower premiums.

Another advantage is that it simply will not rot in the event of a roof leak. It may also be used for fascia board, another area where rotting can be an issue. When combined with insulated concrete forms for the exterior walls the fire resistance of the entire home is enhanced.

Interior Applications of Cement Fiber Panels

As mentioned above, these panels are now being used as backing in bathrooms before installing ceramic tile. In addition, they may be used as subfloors in homes that use floor joists rather than concrete slabs.

In fact, panel-over-joists rather than pouring a concrete slab will reduce structural weight considerably. Omniroc claims a reduction of 15 to 20 pounds per square foot. As an added benefit, there are no VOCs involved due to the sealer on the panels.

Other Benefits

There are various other advantages with this product. In addition to being fire resistant, it is also resistant to moisture, fungus and mold, extreme climate temperatures, and insects. And unlike some other products on the market, it contains no silica, which can cause breathing issues during installation.

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