How Does James Hardie Siding Compare to Engineered Wood Siding?

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If you are thinking about siding replacement you may also be wondering how James Hardie siding compares to engineered wood siding. Many people still want to use wood siding and engineered wood has been an improvement.

More and more people are discovering the versatility and benefits of fiber cement siding. It is long-lasting and durable, looks great, and comes in any variety of colors and styles.

How Does James Hardie Siding Compare to Engineered Wood Siding?

Because siding is now made differently, you can get any look you want without the cost and maintenance of authentic materials. These two are great examples.

Engineered Wood Siding

Many people choose engineered wood siding over wood siding as it stands up better. Wood has always been very popular, as it looks great, is renewable, and there are plenty of varieties.

But wood siding is also susceptible to rot, moisture damage, insects, and mold. To move past this, other materials became more popular, including engineered wood.

This siding is made using fiber or wood chips.  It is then mixed with a resin to hold it together and make it stronger. It is heated and then coated to help prevent it from getting wet, warped, cracked, and other issues real wood has.

It is available anywherewoodpecker siding damage and it can be made into any color, style, and texture you want. It is meant to last longer than real wood and does not take any special tools or blades to install.  It is however susceptible to damage from woodpeckers.  Since it is made from wood they can go through it just like wood.

Since it is made from wood, it expands and contracts quite a bit.  To prevent buckling, you need to install a rather large gap between the boards to ensure they don’t buckle.  This is a major aesthetic drawback.

While it is more durable compared to wood when it comes to getting wet or damaged, it is better than wood, but if we compare James Hardie siding to engineered wood siding, it doesn’t quite line up.

James Hardie Siding

James Hardie siding is also a composite material that is made to last. Known as fiber cement, this siding is made of cement, sand, and cellulose.

While engineered wood is still susceptible to moisture, bugs, and fire, fiber cement is not. It is extremely durable and resistant to many of the things that can affect engineered wood.

James Hardie siding compared to engineered wood siding is not very close on most matters. James Hardie siding is made specifically for your climate, so someone buying James Hardie siding in Florida is not getting the same product as someone in Minneapolis.

That’s because fiber cement is made to protect your home from moisture and can withstand all types of weather. Extreme cold to hurricanes, and blistering heat.

When it comes to maintenance, James Hardie siding requires far less, if any, compared to engineered wood siding. Engineered siding still absorbs moisture if installed improperly, can buckle, and is susceptible to woodpecker damage.

The James Hardie ColorPlus technology is made to resist fading, chipping, and will last for many years. Engineered wood can fade and can be hard to match the same color after time.

One of the biggest selling points is that fiber cement is resistant to fire, whereas engineered wood is the opposite. James Hardie siding compared to engineered wood siding doesn’t even compare when it comes to fire safety.

James Hardie Siding Compare to Engineered Wood Siding

While the engineered wood is still popular, ultimately, you still come ahead with the fiber cement. It is made to last, it looks great, and it can resemble almost any other material you want.

For more information, contact us here at Craftsman’s Choice. We make the entire process as easy and stress-free as possible. With James Hardie, you only need to replace your siding once.

Ben Juncker


When Ben Juncker was sitting in his high school career planning class, siding installer was not on his list of potential career paths. As with most people in the construction industry, certain questionable life choices led to a point where they were wearing a tool belt, working with their hands. His path started just this way and he would not change a thing. Those early years in his business of scraping and clawing their way to profitability and stability, have helped him to build a culture of hard work and perseverance at Craftsman’s Choice. Ben started his company in 1998 and they installed their first James Hardie job in 2000. Since that time Craftsman’s Choice has become one of the nation’s top James Hardie Remodelers. They have won James Hardie’s prestigious President’s Club award every year since it’s inception in 2015.

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