Fiber Cement Siding vs. Engineered Wood Siding



Whether your home is a Colonial or a Craftsman, one thing remains true; its appearance and façade are crucial to both its curb appeal and its value. For this reason, many homeowners go to great lengths to try to keep their home exteriors looking great. For some this means a lot of tedious scraping, painting, and other maintenance. For others, it means attempting to bypass that maintenance by residing their homes in a more durable, low maintenance alternative with the idea being that their home’s façade will continue to look great year after year.

For those interested in making the switch to a lower maintenance material, there are several on the market to choose from. Two materials that a number of homeowners consider include fiber cement and engineered wood siding. Both materials are less maintenance than regular wood and more environmentally friendly than vinyl. However, in the comparison of fiber cement vs engineered wood siding, only one meets all the needs that most homeowners have, and that’s fiber cement.

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood siding is an alternative product to real wood siding. It’s made up of thin strips of leftover wood that have been pressed and bonded together using a resin. This resin helps make the material more resistant to rot and insect activity than real wood. The bonding process also creates a lighter material that’s available in longer lengths, so you can have fewer seams. The boards are finished with a cedar-look top surface, giving them the look and feel of real wood.

Engineered wood comes ready to be primed and painted or can be found already painted in a wide range of colors. The resin surface means that it doesn’t peel or chip as quickly as real wood, although it can crack and fade over time.

Unfortunately, engineered wood siding has some significant drawbacks that mean that even though it’s a better alternative than real wood, it still isn’t the low maintenance option that most homeowners want for their homes. The biggest issue is moisture. Engineered wood is just as susceptible to moisture damage as real wood, which means that in climates that see a lot of heavy rainfall and in homes that don’t have a rainscreen installed, the material can begin to delaminate and rot over time. It may also have issues with mold and mildew growth.

In addition, engineered wood siding is subject to freeze/thaw cycles in colder weather. This is because it can absorb moisture, which when it freezes, expands and cracks the boards. So, while you’ll certainly spend less time scraping and painting, the material will still need frequent repairs and replacement over the lifetime of the home – not the durability that most people are looking for.

Fiber Cement Siding

Like engineered wood siding, fiber cement siding also comes ready to be painted or in a wide range of colors, all with the option of a real, cedar-look finish that can give you the appearance of real wood siding. The comparison ends here, however.

Fiber cement is incredibly durable and resistant to moisture, rot, insect activity, freeze/thaw cycles, and impact. The proprietary paint application system ensures that the color will last without peeling, chipping, or fading for 10 or more years, which can ensure that your home continues to look great without the need for a lot of maintenance and care.

Unlike engineered wood siding, fiber cement resists moisture, so not only will it not swell, warp, rot, or encourage mold and mildew growth like engineered wood, it also won’t crack during the colder months of the year. This durability is what sets fiber cement siding apart from the competition.

Fiber cement is also available in a wider range of styles, suitable for complementing a great range of home styles. In addition to traditional lap siding, fiber cement can also be installed as board-and-batten siding, cedar-look shingles of a variety of styles, decorative shingles, and architectural panels for a contemporary appearance. And all of these styles have the same durability and low maintenance care, so it’s possible to cover your entire home in fiber cement siding, getting a customized look for the façade that won’t require constant upkeep or replacement.

Make the Right Choice

Stop worrying about the way that your home’s façade looks and start enjoying it instead. In the comparison of fiber cement vs engineered wood siding, only fiber cement has the durability, versatility, and style that homeowners need to create the dynamic and low maintenance exteriors they want for their homes. When the times comes to give your home’s exterior an upgrade, consider durable, low maintenance, and attractive fiber cement siding every time to get the best possible for your home.