Note: While we love magnesium oxide board, we can't supply it, we only powder coat it. 

Magnesium oxide board is still considered a relatively new material in North America and the U.K. Yet building professionals in Asia and the Middle East have been using the material for decades due to the large quantity of magnesium oxide (MgO) located in these areas. In regions with fewer naturally occurring MgO deposits like Canada and the United States, MgO board tends to be more expensive than traditional materials such as drywall. So is magnesium oxide board worth the additional cost?

Pros and Cons: Drywall

Drywall (also known as gypsum board, sheetrock and wallboard) is the current standard product in the world of building construction. It is affordable, easy to install and repair and certain varieties are mould and moisture resistant. However, drywall is notoriously critiqued for its subpar strength. Bumping into a piece of furniture or even a vacuum handle can leave small nicks and dents which can turn into bigger nicks and dents – even holes – in a residence with children or a building intended for a lot of activity. And while proponents of drywall claim it is a green building material because it can be recycled, synthetic drywall is made using toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde.

Pros and Cons: Magnesium Oxide Board

Magnesium oxide board has many of the same benefits as drywall – plus many more. Not only is MGO board mould and moisture resistant, it is also flame and insect resistant. Furthermore, its water resistance is so excellent it can actually be sprayed down with a hose for cleaning. Stucco, stone, brick, tile and wallpaper all adhere to MgO board with ease. Due to its inherent strength, joints don’t need to be on a stud and boards as thin as 10 millimetres can be installed on walls. As previously mentioned, the cost is higher than drywall and the availability less. However, considering that MgO board is also an environmentally friendly alternative to drywall, the cons seem insignificant in a world where sustainable architecture is becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.

A Green Alternative

Indeed, the most important pro when it comes to magnesium oxide board is its sustainability. Magnesium is the third most common ocean mineral. Californian pilot projects have managed create magnesite by binding the carbon in smoke with the magnesium in seawater. Magnesite is also collected from magnesium mines, which requires no special processes or chemicals. Magnesite converts to reactive magnesia at a temperature about two thirds less than required for calcinating limestone when creating Portland cement. MgO boards cure at room temperature or just above, which is another energy saver. Once cured, MgO boards are durable enough they can be re-used and then ground at the end of their life to create new cement mixtures.

Magnesium Oxide Board vs Drywall

When compared to a superior product such as magnesium oxide board, drywall just doesn’t stand up. Which is why Cadillac Coatings works with MgO board on a regular basis. Our powder coating process allows for beautifully finished MgO board to be used in applications such as residential and commercial design. We highly recommend this material for both interior and exterior finishing projects. We also work with many other green building materials – and would be happy to introduce you to them!

To find out more about how we work with environmentally friendly building materials such as magnesium oxide board contact us today