What Is HardiePlank? 

By Amanda Lutz Updated May 1, 2024

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HardiePlank is a popular siding material for homes. It’s made of a fiber cement material that is durable, fire-resistant, pest-resistant, and water-resistant. HardiePlank siding can last 30 years or more with minimal maintenance.

HardiPlank—also spelled “HardiePlank,” as the term was coined by manufacturer James Hardie—is available in a wide range of colors and styles. Hardie-certified installers follow a comprehensive process to protect your home from the elements. Read this quick home improvement guide to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of HardiePlank, how it compares to other popular siding materials, and the installation process.


Benefits of HardiePlank

Homeowners across the country choose HardiePlank siding because it’s aesthetically appealing, resistant to damage, low maintenance, and long-lasting. Examine the benefits in more detail before selecting HardiePlank as your next siding material.

Eye-Catching Curb Appeal

Siding makes up a significant portion of a home’s exterior surfaces. You can refresh your home’s look and style by choosing the type of HardiePlank siding you like best. With its ColorPlus technology, James Hardie siding, trim, and soffits come in a variety of colors. Hardie board has an imprinted wood grain surface that mimics the look of wood.

You can choose among different styles, such as vertical boards, traditional plank lap Hardie board siding, shingle siding, lap siding, and more. The wide range of options allows you to match your preferences and your home’s architectural aesthetic.

Fire and Pest Resistance 

HardiePlank is resilient to damage, which helps protect your home. It has a Class A fire rating, which means it won’t ignite when in contact with fire or become fuel for a house fire. 

Also, its specialty fiber cement fabrication makes it water-resistant and pest-resistant. It’s thick and hard, so rodents and insects such as termites can’t chew or scratch their way through it. 

Outstanding Durability

Hardie products are durable because of their resistance to fire, pests, moisture, and other damage from the elements. James Hardie-certified installers follow a detailed home siding installation process to build in layers of protection that make the siding last even longer.


Drawbacks of HardiePlank

While HardiePlank is an excellent investment for any home, there are some drawbacks that other types of exterior siding products don’t have. Weigh these considerations as you make your choice.

Initial Investment

HardiePlank is more expensive to purchase and install than other types of siding. For example, vinyl siding and non-HardiePlank fiber cement siding have a lower initial price. However, because HardiePlank lasts for decades, homeowners recoup the initial cost and can see a substantial return on investment.

Longer Installation Process

Correct HardiePlank installation can take seven to 14 days, including removing the old siding. Other materials, such as vinyl, can take half that time to install. James Hardie’s in-depth process requires additional steps to ensure the final product is worth the wait.


HardiePlank vs. Other Materials

HardiePlank is one of the most durable and appealing materials on the market, but other siding materials are available. See how common siding materials compare to HardiePlank below.

Brick

Brick siding is solid and durable. It also provides a rich, cozy aesthetic. However, installing brick siding can be cost-prohibitive, and it may not be possible to color match new brick to your existing brick. HardiePlank is easier and faster to install, gives you more options on color and style, and can be easier to repair.

Vinyl 

Vinyl is a popular, budget-friendly siding option. It comes in many color options and styles. However, vinyl siding planks can become brittle and are easy to damage. They may turn yellow in the sun over time. HardiePlank is more durable than vinyl and gives you many style options and color choices.

Wood

Real wood is a traditional siding material. It has a visually appealing appearance, especially when properly maintained. However, wood siding requires maintenance, such as cleaning and repainting, and it can be damaged by water, pests, and sunlight. When you choose HardiePlank siding, you don’t have to worry about maintenance, water damage, or pests eating through the siding.


Installation Process

Professional HardiePlank installers follow a detailed installation process to provide the best possible results. We recommend hiring James Hardie-certified installers rather than an uncertified team or completing a DIY installation. 

The Hardie board installation process involves these steps:

  1. Choose fasteners and materials that comply with James Hardie standards and requirements, and inspect the flashing and adjacent fixtures.
  2. Remove the existing siding down to the studs and insulation.
  3. Install sheathing and moisture barriers.
  4. Measure and cut the corner joints, trim, and siding pieces.
  5. Install the flashing.
  6. Install siding panels, working from the bottom up. Create a staggered pattern to avoid harsh joint lines.
  7. Seal the edges with caulk for a watertight, protective finish.
  8. Clean up so there’s no damage to your landscaping and no leftover debris.

Our Recommendation

HardiePlank siding is one of the most durable siding materials available for homeowners. It’s aesthetically appealing and easy to maintain, and it protects your home from fire damage, pests, and water damage. We recommend shopping for a reputable James Hardie-certified siding company that can provide the materials and labor for you.


HardiePlank FAQ

What is HardiePlank made of?

HardiePlank is made of fiber cement. It contains cellulose fibers, sand, and Portland cement fabricated in different styles and shapes. HardiePlank, also known as Hardie board, is a trademarked type of fiber cement siding.

How long does HardiePlank last?

HardiePlank can last the life of your home. Like brick and stone, it can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. James Hardie offers 30-year warranties on the products, so the siding should last at least that long. It can outlast most other types of siding because of its hard and strong composition and its resistance to moisture and fire.

Is HardiePlank the same as cement fiber?

HardiePlank is similar to cement fiber siding. However, HardiePlank refers to a product manufactured by James Hardie, which uses better-quality materials and no filler. The products and the exacting installation process mean the product lasts longer and has more curb appeal than general cement fiber boards.

Which is better, vinyl siding or HardiePlank?

In most cases, HardiePlank is better than vinyl siding. The siding material is more durable, has more curb appeal, and protects your home from fire, moisture, pests, and the elements. However, vinyl siding is the most budget-friendly option when it comes to initial cost.

What are the maintenance requirements for HardiePlank?

The maintenance requirements for HardiePlank are minimal. Rinse it clean with a hose (not a pressure washer) once or twice a year, and scrub away any stains with a side-to-side motion.