What is the better choice, fiber cement or engineered wood siding?
When it comes to new siding, fiber cement and engineered wood are the top contenders. Both materials are newer siding options than vinyl and wood siding. (Looking for more helpful tips on your home’s siding? Check out our Ultimate Siding Guide.)
Engineered Wood Siding
What is engineered wood siding?
Engineer wood siding boards are made to look like real wood, but they are way more durable than their older ancestors. You won’t have to deal with wood rot or termites with engineered wood. The siding is more cost effective and lighter than wood too.
Popularity: Very popular. This siding is found on over 1.5 million homes.
Fiber Cement Siding
What is fiber cement siding?
Fiber cement siding has been around for a bit longer than engineered wood. This siding option is still more durable and cost effective than wood or vinyl siding. Fiber cement is often made with Portland cement, wood pulp or sand, fly ash, and water.
This siding option can look like wood, it can be smooth, or have other textures. This gives you a ton of design options. It can also be painted or stained pretty much any color.
Popularity: 15% of new homes choose this siding option.
Engineered wood is reportedly more durable than fiber cement siding. Check out this awesome video from LP SmartSide. It compares their material to fiber cement.
Fiber cement is still a more durable choice than wood or vinyl. Fiber cement siding also has some fire resistant qualities, making them a great choice for cautious homeowners or homes in wildfire-prone areas. The siding is also resistant to rot and insects.
Both should be sprayed down by a garden hose at least every 12 months.
Both of these products get 5 stars for being environmentally friendly. They use little wood and reuse have a small impact on the environment.
Engineered wood is easier to install than fiber cement. This siding can come in longer 16-foot planks.
Fiber cement requires special tools for installation. It also weighs about 1.5 more than wood siding. Installers need to wear protection while cutting fiber cement siding due to harmful dust. It comes in 12-foot long planks.
Engineered wood can have some moisture issues if they siding is defective or installed poorly.
Fiber cement can also have moisture issues if the product is not installed properly. If you do your homework and choose a certified installer for these products (like Exteriors by Highmark) you won’t have to worry about this.
Both options are durable and require little maintenance.
Engineered wood siding costs about $6 to $10 per sq. ft.
Fiber cement siding costs roughly $10 to $12 per sq. ft.
Please contact your local siding company for the best cost estimates.
Engineered wood LP’s SmartSide and TruWood siding brands offer 30-year transferrable warranties. LP also offers a 7-year replacement warranty too.
Fiber cement CertainTeed’s WeatherBoards offers a 50-year transferable warranty. Ask your siding experts for more information on brand warranties. The siding company should offer their own labor warranty too.
Honestly, both are fantastic options. It all depends on the style of your exterior, your budget, and what you value most when it comes to investing in siding. Talk to an expert about what option is best for your home!