The top two engineered lap siding brands are the defending champion HardiePlank fiber cement and the up-and-coming contender LP SmartSide engineered wood siding.via Upside to SmartSide
This guide covers both products from all angles that matter to a homeowner – Looks, durability, cost of materials and installation, and pros and cons of each option. Let’s get started!
Material Composition Comparison
Both materials are engineered rather than naturally occurring.
HardiePlank Construction: The James Hardie company blends cement, fine sand, wood fibers and water to form HardiePlank siding.
The cement gives it strength and impact resistance, while the fibers hold the cement together to prevent cracking. The materials are naturally resistant to rot and insects.
LP SmartSide Construction: LP Building Products makes SmartSide siding from wood strands that have been coated with wax for moisture resistance and bonded with resin and other binders.
Zinc-borate SmartGuard solution is added to protect against rot and insect infestation. The coated fibers are compressed for hardness and durability. Planks are finished with a resin-saturated overlay.
These are very attractive siding products made in a range of options.
HardiePlank appearance: There are four series of HardiePlank siding. They are Cedarmill plain and beaded and Smooth plain and beaded.
The cedar-style siding has an open-grain finish. Each of the series is available in more than 15 colors, and all are applied with Hardie’s baked-on ColorPlus technology. HardieTrim boards are often used to complete the installation.
via James Hardie
LP SmartSide appearance: This siding is manufactured in six different styles. They are Cedar Texture lap, Cedar Texture shakes, 12” bold double-lap and triple-lap profiles, 16” double/triple/quad profiles, Colonial beaded and Smooth.
LP has a unique program of selling unfinished siding to qualified prefinishers that put a finish coat on the material for retail sale. As a result, LP SmartSide lap siding is available in dozens of colors.
Some of the LP Preferred prefinishers are Diamond Kote, Coastal Coatings, PSPI and Northwest Factory Finishes. Primed LP SmartSide is available at a lower cost and is ready for you to paint.