Can You Use Hardboard For Ceiling? (Benefits & Drawbacks)

Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Barry Gray

Ceilings are crucial for the interior design of a home while still playing an important functional role. Ceilings can be constructed from a wide variety of materials, ranging from wood to plaster. There are many homeowners who wonder if hardboard can be used for their ceilings – this is what you need to know!

Hardboard can be used for ceilings. This material is durable, affordable, easy to install, and looks like real wood. Hardboard ceilings are environmentally friendly and resistant to moisture, pests, and rust. However, hardboard sheets are not as strong as plywood and are not naturally waterproof. 

If you’re trying to decide whether hardboard is the right material for your ceiling, we’re going to explain what you need to know. Once we’ve explained why hardboard can be used for ceilings, we’ll outline the benefits and drawbacks of using this material. 

Can Hardboard Be Used For Ceilings? 

hardboard for ceiling

Besides supporting interior walls, ceilings are a key component of a home’s interior design. From metal to wood to plaster, there are plenty of materials that are commonly used for ceilings. However, many homeowners have wondered whether hardboard can be used for their ceilings.

It is possible for homeowners to use hardboard sheets for their ceilings. In fact, many people do! Hardboard is an engineered wooden product, much like a plywood, which is also commonly used for ceilings. However, while plywood is made from strips of wood, hardboard is manufactured using exploded wooden fibers. 

While hardboards can be used for a ceiling, there are many factors that need to consider before committing to the material. To make the right decision for your home’s needs, you need to consider the benefits and drawbacks of this ceiling material. Ultimately, the ceiling material you choose depends on how you weigh the pros and cons of the material. 

The Benefits Of Using Hardboard For Ceiling 

The Benefits Of Using Hardboard For Ceiling

There are many advantages to using hardboard for your ceiling, from its durability to its environmentally friendly nature. If you decide to install a hardboard ceiling, these are the benefits you’re looking at! 

1. Hardboard Ceilings Are Durable 

Many homeowners underestimate the durability of hardboard ceilings. While hardboard is sold in relatively thin sheets, this material boasts a surprising amount of durability. Typically, hardboard sheets are sold in ⅛-inch or ¼-inch thicknesses. 

2. Hardboard Ceilings Look Like Real Wood

One of the best advantages of using a hardboard for your ceiling is that it provides the appearance of real wood. When using hardboard sheets for your ceiling, nobody will be able to get close enough to your ceiling to tell that it’s not real wood. You’ll also find a wide variety of hardboard styles and shades to choose from, which allows you to match the hardboard to your interior design. 

3. Hardboard Ceilings Are Affordable 

Hardboard shares many similarities with plywood, especially when these materials are used for ceilings. However, when these materials are compared, it’s clear that hardboard is a more affordable material than plywood and other ceiling materials. If you’re looking for a cost-effective material, hardboard sheets may be the ideal material. 

4. Hardboard Is Easy To Install And Handle 

Given that hardboard is sold in thin sheets, the material is relatively easy to handle and install. Of course, this makes it an ideal ceiling material. The flexibility of these sheets also allows hardboard to be used for a wide variety of ceiling types. When you also consider the different shades and styles of hardboard available, the true versatility of this material is evident. 

5. Hardboard Ceilings Are Resistant To Moisture 

Hardboard is resistant to moisture, which also allows hardboard to resist rust. These properties make hardboard an appealing material choice for ceilings. However, while offering some moisture resistance, hardboard sheets are not waterproof. We’ll discuss this in more detail later!

6. Hardboard Ceilings Are Resistant To Insects 

Termites and other bugs are not attracted to hardboard ceilings, which makes this a popular ceiling material. Of course, to ensure that you benefit from this pest resistance, you’ll need to ensure that the hardboard sheets are correctly installed and that there are no cracks, gaps, or spaces. 

7. Hardboard Ceilings Are Environmentally Friendly 

Hardboard siding is considered more eco-friendly than many other ceiling materials, such as real wood. Instead, hardboard sheets are produced using leftover wooden material and fibers. Real wooden ceilings, on the other hand, heavily rely on deforestation. If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly ceiling material that has plenty of other benefits, hardboard sheets are a great option. 

The Drawbacks To Using Hardboard For Ceiling 

hardboard cons

Now that we’ve considered the advantages of hardboard ceilings, we need to consider certain drawbacks. While some of these disadvantages have solutions, others may present alternative material options for your ceiling. Let’s consider the drawbacks of hardboard ceilings! 

1. Hardboard Is Not Waterproof 

Although hardboard does have some natural moisture resistance, hardboard alone is not waterproof. When it comes down to your ceiling, you want to avoid water damage at all costs, as this can be expensive to repair. Luckily, there are waterproofing measures that can improve the water-resistance of hardboard ceilings. 

2. Hardboard Is Not As Strong As Plywood 

In the previous section, we discussed the fact that hardboard is more affordable than plywood, which can also be used for ceilings. However, hardboard sheets are not as strong as plywood. Of course, this explains the cost disparity. If you’re looking for a material that’s stronger but has similar advantages to hardboard, plywood may be an ideal alternative. 


Hardboard is commonly used for ceilings. This material offers durability, affordability, a simple installation process, and a realistic wooden look. In addition to being environmentally friendly, hardboard ceilings are resistant to moisture, pests, and rust.

Hardboard, however, is not as strong as other ceiling materials like plywood. Additional waterproofing measures will also need to be taken with a hardboard ceiling. However, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages of using hardboard sheets for your home’s ceiling! 

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.