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James Hardie® Fiber Cement Siding vs. Engineered Wood Siding

The siding you choose for your new home or remodeling project will be with you for years. In order to select the best siding for your home’s exterior, it’s useful to weigh the pros and cons. To help you decide, here’s an in-depth look at how engineered wood siding compares to James Hardie® fiber cement siding.

Engineered wood siding consists of wood strands or fibers bonded with a resin under heat and pressure. While it has some improvements over traditional wood siding it’s still vulnerable to many of the problems associated with wood building materials, including damage caused by moisture, weather, pests, and fire.

James Hardie fiber cement siding provides superior exterior home protection and is not susceptible to many of the factors that can damage engineered wood siding products. Using the most advanced formulations and innovative manufacturing processes, James Hardie fiber cement is specifically engineered for durability, moisture resistance, rot-resistance, and long-lasting performance in your region’s weather and climate. Unlike engineered wood, James Hardie fiber cement siding is also non-combustible, and it holds no appeal for woodpeckers, termites and other pests.

When it comes to providing better protection for your home—James Hardie fiber cement is the clear leader:

 

Weather & Climate

 
JAMES HARDIE® FIBER CEMENT SIDING
ENGINEERED WOOD SIDING

Uniquely Engineered for Climate® to resist shrinking and swelling, even after years of wet or freezing conditions. It also resists shrinking and swelling in the face of shifting heat and humidity, which leads to better paint or finish adhesion.

Can buckle and edge check (split), conditions which normally occur in all wood products as they expand and contract in response to changes in climatic conditions.

 

Moisture & Humidity

 
JAMES HARDIE® FIBER CEMENT SIDING
ENGINEERED WOOD SIDING

Provides superior stability through advanced formulations that resist the effects of humidity and moisture. It’s also water resistant to protect against swelling, warping, and edge checking that can occur with engineered wood siding.

It’s more susceptible to the effects of water absorption, which can lead to expansion, buckling, or edge checking. To accommodate product expansion, butt joints also require a 3/16 inch gap*, making every seam a potential moisture problem waiting to happen if not properly maintained.
*Based on engineered wood siding manufacturer’s published installation instructions.

 

Maintenance & Aesthetics

 
JAMES HARDIE® FIBER CEMENT SIDING
ENGINEERED WOOD SIDING

Superior stability does not depend on wide gaps at butt joints that require caulk or unsightly clips that need maintaining.

The required 3/16 inch gaps at butt joints need caulk or clips. Clips accentuate the gaps and can fade at a different rate. They also require maintenance to prevent water penetration. Caulk can be difficult to color match and fades at a different rate. When caulk fails, water may penetrate the butt joint.

 

Sun Exposure & Color Performance

 
JAMES HARDIE® FIBER CEMENT SIDING
ENGINEERED WOOD SIDING

Siding with James Hardie ColorPlus® Technology finishes performs better over time than third-party pre-finished engineered wood. Our baked-on ColorPlus Technology resists fading, chipping and cracking, meaning less maintenance for you. It’s color that lasts.

Engineered wood siding painted by third-party pre-finishers can show paint loss after extended exposure to sunlight. It can show wear and tear long before James Hardie’s ColorPlus Technology siding.

 

Fire

 
JAMES HARDIE® FIBER CEMENT SIDING
ENGINEERED WOOD SIDING

James Hardie fiber cement siding is fire resistant and will not ignite when exposed to a direct flame, nor will it contribute fuel to a fire.

Each board is natural fuel for fire, putting homes at greater risk for fire damage.

 

Pests

 
JAMES HARDIE® FIBER CEMENT SIDING
ENGINEERED WOOD SIDING

Made from a substrate that won’t be eaten by animals or insects that can harm engineered wood siding.

Subject to damage caused by woodpeckers, termites and other pests.

 

Whether it’s engineered or not, wood is wood—plain and simple. It does not measure up to the overall stability, strength, and performance that James Hardie fiber cement siding is engineered to deliver. If you’re looking for lasting beauty and a product that was designed to be stronger than the elements, James Hardie fiber cement is the industry leader in protecting what matters most: your home and its exterior.