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Magnesium Oxide Board Installation Instructions

MagPanel Mgo Boards are easy to install and handle. Follow our Installation and Handling instructions around storage, placement, fastening and safety for best results.

Storage and Handling

Although MagPanel® is heat and moisture resistant, it should be stored inside in a cool dry place as with any sheet building material. To protect the edges and corners, carry boards on their side. Stack boards flat on dunnage, loose wood, matting or other material and not directly on the ground. Do not allow MagPanel® to bow. Do not stack any other materials on top of MagPanel®.

Tools and Materials Required

MagPanel® is a multipurpose board used inside for walls, floor, ceiling, tile backer board and also outside for sheathing, roof decking and lap siding. Depending on how the board is used and the thickness of the board being used, will dictate what tools may be needed.

  • Safety Glasses
  • Dust Mask
  • Gloves
  • Putty Knife
  • Saw Horses
  • Square
  • Carbide Tipped Scoring Knife or Utility Knife
  • Fiber Cement Shears
  • Dust Reducing Circular Saw
  • Polyurea or Modified Epoxy Seam Filler
  • Underlayment
  • Fasteners (Recommended fasteners vary by application, see fasteners below)
  • Adhesive – (Depending on application - ASTM D3498 compliant adhesive, Select Construction Adhesive


Remove the packaging and allow the MagPanel® panels to acclimate to the room temperature and humidity for 48 hours. Ideally, the boards should acclimate in the room where they will be used with the temperature replicating the planned temperature of the room.


Placement varies depending on the application of the boards. When attaching to cold-formed steel framing (CFS), stagger panels with a 1/16” (1/5mm) gap between boards. When attaching to wood allow 1/8” gap.

Board Orientation

MagPanel® is constructed with one side smooth finish and one side rough finish. The rough finish can be used as a backer board for tile and other applications.

Filling Seams

When laying resilient flooring such as Luxury Vinyl Plank, Bamboo Flooring, Eucalyptus Flooring, Vinyl plank or Linoleum over MagPanel®, fill with a polyurea or modified epoxy seam filler and shave or sand until flush. This helps create a smooth surface and avoids “telegraphing” which is uneven joints to on the wear surface.

Installation (Flooring, Wall and Ceiling)

  • Installation must comply with all applicable local, state and federal codes and should also follow industry installation practices.
  • Cut MagPanel® with a carbide tipped scoring knife or a power saw equipped with a carbide blade. Do not use power saws indoors. For best results, use a blade designed specifically for cement board and use a T-square to help ensure cuts are straight and even.
  • For circular cuts and irregular angle cuts use a Roto Zip, Dremel, or equivalent tool, equipped with a cement board bit or carbide tipped bit.
  • Start with proper framing and ensure studs are straight and square to allow for adequate fastening surface at adjoining walls and flat stress-free installation of MagPanel®. Ensure framing is level.
  • The fewer cuts that are made the better and easier installation will be. Begin by laying out your floor before fastening to the joists. When planning the layout make sure the cut edges will be against the perimeter of the room. Sheets should be spaced evenly and butt tightly.
  • Install MagPanel® on 16” centers. Always support board ends by joists. Slightly countersink each fastener. Leave about 1/8th inch between the perimeter walls and the MagPanel® to allow for expansion.
  • After installing the initial sheet of MagPanel® flooring, apply a generous amount of Select Construction Adhesive, or equal, to the exposed edge of the installed sheet of MagPanel®. Install the next sheet of flooring butting joints together tightly. Squeeze a small amount of well-bonding construction adhesive the surface along the entire seam. Use a putty knife to remove excess from the butt joint. After installation of first board, verify the board is level before continuing.


Magnesium Oxide Boards (MgO) are a non-tox board material and certain types of fasteners may corrode the board. Because all projects and locations are different, consult a local fastener expert for your location and project. Ambient recommends using a 316-stainless steel material for all fasteners. Alternatively, a ceramic coated fastener designed specifically for cement board products may also be acceptable.

  • Fastening to wood studs with screws: Use #8 flat head fasteners with high / low threads and a sharp drill point.
  • Fastening to metal: Use 18 gauge or heavier, with screw: Use #8 flat head screw with nibs under the head for countersinking into the MagPanel®, and a self-drilling point for penetrating the light gauge metal. When fastening to light gauge materials lighter than 18 gauge, consider using pneumatic fastening. Other fasteners may strip out lighter gauge studding prior to countersinking the head of the fastener into the MagPanel® sheathing. If fastening using pneumatic nails use hardened nails. Pneumatic pressures vary depending on board thickness and stud material used. Always set pressure based on countersinking needs.
  • Fastener Installation: Install fasteners no closer than 4” from corners. Perimeter fasteners should be placed 6” apart. Center fasteners should be placed 12” apart. Install fasteners approximately 9/16” from board edge. Do not install fasteners at 45º angles. Always begin fastening at one side and proceed to fasten across the board to the other side to avoid stress.


MagPanel® does not contain any carcinogenic material. We do recommend that installers wear a dust mask and safety glasses during routing, cutting and sanding operations. Never dry sweep MagPanel®, instead use a wet suppression or HEPA vacuum.

If you are using galvanized steel framing, the chlorides in some MgO sheathing, used to ward off insects and prevent the feeding of mold and mildew, may experience a reaction. There have been no reports of such reactions. If using MagPanel® as a sheathing, we recommend installing a barrier of some type to eliminate direct contact between the board and the framing.

Be sure to always follow local, state and national building codes with your construction projects.