) - Our experts haven’t seen this kind of innovation in the siding category since, well, James Hardie shook up the industry with the launch of its HardiePlank lap siding product in the late 1980s. Hardie’s Architectural Collection uses the same fiber cement material with its many attributes (durability, fire and rot resistance, range of colors, etc.) but reimagines it as a panel siding product with a decidedly modern look and feel. The panels are also easier to install than traditional siding, reducing labor costs by as much as 50%, according to the brand. The collection is available in five textures: fine sand, fine sand-grooved, mounded sand, sea grass and sculpted clay.
Lab Results: The panels performed similarly in our tests to other fiber cement products, resisting dents in our drop test (a good approximation of hail) and scratches in our abrasion test (which might simulate a tree branch rubbing against the material). Our experts also confirmed the material's resistance to heat and fire. And the textured finishes were a big hit with our design experts, who agreed that the panels would be a perfect fit for contemporary remodels.