A new study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) independent subsidiary, Home Innovation Research Labs, has found using PermaBase Cement Board as a substrate in exterior wall systems with modified veneer mortar reduces installation time of adhered stone veneer by 35 percent and total installed cost by 6 percent.


Conducted on behalf of National Gypsum and co-sponsors Laticrete and Eldorado Stone, the study compared the installation of two adhered masonry veneer systems – National Gypsum’s PermaBase Cement Board with modified veneer mortar versus a traditional lath-and-cement mortar base. Stacked stone veneer was installed on each of two identical facades of Home Innovation’s test house during the study.


“Time is money – and using PermaBase Cement Board as a substrate in exterior wall systems with modified mortar can reduce construction time, reduce total installed costs and increase system performance for exterior applications,” said Tony Fuller, product manager for PermaBase at National Gypsum. “Given the construction industry’s shortage of skilled labor, evolving building envelope requirements and related construction costs, this is good news for architects, builders, general contractors and their clients.”


There are many benefits to using PermaBase Cement Board in exterior wall systems:


Lower installed cost

  • Faster installation offsets material costs and expedites construction schedules


Lower labor cost

  • Requires less skilled workers and fewer labor hours per-square-foot


Better materials, improved system performance, cleaner jobsites

  • Factory-produced PermaBase has consistent, reliable quality and is easy to use, mold resistant, has a reinforced edge and low water absorption
  • Pre-mixed modified adhesive mortars are specifically designed for more secure installation and sticking to stone and thin brick
  • Not prone to field fabrication failures associated with traditional methods


Compatible with multiple finishes and manufacturers

  • Manufactured and natural stone, thin brick, tile/thin tile and cement board stucco
  • Partnerships with adhered veneer, modified mortar and direct applied finish manufacturers


Code compliant and industry approved

  • Exterior PermaBase approvals: UL Evaluation Report – UL ER22158-01, for direct applied finishes and exterior adhered veneers; MVMA Installation Guide 5th Edition – full inclusion of cement board; ASTM C 1780 – approved substrate for manufactured stone


For more information on the study, the innovative new system, step-by-step installation of thin-stone veneer and other resources – go to permabase.com/exteriors.


The website includes an excellent labor, materials and building costs calculator. This comparison tool allows the user to create a customized side-by-side cost comparison and report of a PermaBase Cement Board installation versus the traditional metal lath-and-scratch coat method.