Exterior Siding & Cladding - Fiber Cement
Fiber-cement is a mixture of cellulose fiber material, portland
cement and silica sand, water and other additives. It is rolled
into sheets; pressed with pattern, the cut to shape before being
autoclaved [baked under pressure] to reduce moisture and increase
This low moisture content gives into a material that is very stable
after installation - no warpage or excessive movement - and one
that promotes excellent paint adhesion.
The siding is compatible with most other types of material now
on the market, so you can utilize any type of natural wood or composite
wood product for corner boards and trim.
Fiber-cement siding is available in lap siding, panels, soffit,
fasica, shingles and trim.
Most Suited To:
Durability of the product suits a range of
climates. It can withstand hurricane force winds and the harsh
snow of Northern climates.
High fire resistance makes it a great choice in wooded areas
where wildfires are a concern.
It is also an excellent product for use in high-moisture
areas where warpage or termite damage would shorten the life
of wood or wood-composite siding.
|Generally costs more than vinyl siding but is less than masonry,
wood, and stucco. Pays for itself over time due to decreased
Warranted against rot, swell, and deterioration. 50-year
warranty against manufacturing defects; transferable to the
Retains paint well - 7-10 years and resists moisture.
Designed for a homeowner to install.
Heavy, can be difficult to manuever if not handled properly.
Weight is about half again as much as a comparable size composite
wood sheet or board.
Contains sand (silica), it can be hazardous to inhale the
dust. Manufacturers recommend cutting fiber cement outdoors
with pneumatic hand shears, specific saw blades, and using
dust control devices on circular saws.
|Arrives prefinished [primed] from the factory; it only requires
one coat of quality Acrylic paint. Paint bonds very well to
Fiber cement siding is very nearly maintenance free.
Does not rot, twist, or breakdown due to moisture, insects,
Sizes - Large sheets similar to plywood,
planks and shingles. Sheets match many standard plywood siding
As with plywood siding, sheet sizes are 4' wide and 8', 9'
or 10' long.
Board siding is available in 9 ½" and 12"
width and in 14' lengths instead of the 16' found in most
composite wood siding products.
Styles - Available with a smooth face or
embossed to resemble actual wood siding boards. Pattern repeats
are widely spaced.
Accessories - Most manufacturers also offer
metal inside and outside corner pieces and metal splice connectors
for butt joints on long walls. These are available in both
smooth or wood-textured finish.
Be sure to ask about accessory and trim pieces when you are
deciding what product to use.
Fiber-cement siding can be nailed with 8D common or roofing
nails. It can be configured to blind-nailing or face nailing
[fastened through the overlap for added wind shear].
See Manufacturers installation instructions. Carry on edge
and hold in the middle of the plank. You will need:
- Nail gun or hammer
- Chalk line for creating straight lines on the wall
- A 7 1/4” circular saw blade with polycrystaline
- Dust mask
Quality tool manufacturers offer product specifically designed
for installing fiber-cement.
Fiber cement siding is installed in same way as wood siding.
Over wood framing - fasten the siding using hand- or air-driven
galvanized nails or wood screws
Over metal studes – use self-tapping screws.
Before cutting, score the face side of the material about
one-third of the way through, using a special tungsten carbide-tipped
Place a straightedge along the score line, then snap the
board upward along the score.
Special guillotine cutters can be purchased or rented to
greatly speed up the cutting process or use a tungsten-tipped
circular saw and jigsaw blades.
Cutting with power saws produces a fine dust with microscopic
fibers, so it is imperative to wear both a respirator and
Manufacturers & Suppliers
- Certain Teed
- James Hardie Building Products
- Nichiha USA, Inc.
Fiber Cement Shinges
Shingles make excellent replacement parts for old homes that have
broken siding shingles or to use for room additions to old fiber
cement sided houses. They are availabe in three basic types:
- Wavy bottom edge
- Straight bottom edge
- Random notched bottom edge that resembles a thatched wood shingle.
All of the shingles have either a combed textured or a wood grained
texture. Shingles come with factory punched holes that serve as
handy alignment guides.
Single Sizes - Shingles range in height from 12
to 14 and 5/8 inches high and they are either 24, 25 and 3/32, or
32 inches long. All of them are just under 1/4 inch thick.
Most manufacturers require that asphalt saturated felt paper be
used under the siding as an air and water barrier. Do not use coal
tar saturated felt paper. The oils in this product can stain some
fiber cement products.
Cover the structure with oriented strand board or plywood to provide
a solid nailing surface.
The siding is cut with a saw fitted with an abrasive blade, a snapper,
power shears, or it can often be scored and snapped like drywall.
Afix using small headed stainless steel nails; the nail heads
Fiber cement shingles and siding can be painted. They hold paint
very well, 15 to 20 years if well maintained by washing with soap
Back to Top
Related Siding Resources