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Fiber cement siding is also known as cement board, concrete siding, fiber cement cladding, hardie plank/board. This is a brand name and it was first introduced by Hardie James Company. Cement board fiber panels can be installed both for the interior and exterior of the building.
In this article, we will introduce you fiber cement board for exterior wall which is mostly used for residential siding. You will also know the price range, advantages, disadvantages and the best alternatives.
Fiber cement board is made of some elements: Its fiber is a kind of cellulose which comes from wood pulp of special plants such as bamboo. Cement part is a mixture of Portland cement, sand, water and other additives to improve the durability of the siding.
Cement boards are most commonly made in sheet forms and installed vertically or horizontally. Thickness of the sheets are from 4.5 – 20mm. Common width is 1220 and 1500 mm. standard length of hardie board siding is 1200, 2500, 3000, 3600 mm.
As we mentioned above, fiber cement boards can be used for both interior and exterior siding of houses. However, it is mostly recommended for exterior wall. Fiber cement boards can be easily installed on wood and brick.
Fiber cement cladding can be installed on either steel or timber Substructures.
In order to install cement boards masterfully, first you need the right tools and know how to cut and set the nails. The tools are:
Cost of installing fiber cement boards is around $5 to $14$ per square foot in 2023. For instance for a 2000 square feet house, the average price for fiber cladding would be $10,000 to $25,000.
There are different types of fiber cement siding since by changing the ingredients of the material, you can get different components. But still, the features of this material is similar to its other types, and here we mention the most important downsides and benefits of cement boards.
Here are some features of fiber cement board for exterior wall siding:
Cement and pulp fiber surround the wood parts and make it impossible for termites and pests to reach and damage the wood inside.
Although fiber cement board looks like wood, but the facade cannot be broken easily. However, you need to pay attention there are 2 types. One has the lighter weight and not very hard. The other type is much harder and heavier. Due to its hardness, pre-drilling of fasteners is recommended.
Versatility and flexibility is obvious in these panels. Bending feature of cement board is due to its cellulose fiber and composites added to the siding material.
Fiber cement boards that are used for siding are made of 90% noncombustible materials. So it is a better choice instead of wood cladding.
Here are the most important problems in fiber cement siding:
Due to structure of cellulose fiber and also cement ingredients in hardie Plank, moisture will be absorbed to the siding. Whether it is floor or wall or even roof, there is always the probability of water penetration between cement boards and walls. Moisture can swell, crack, and peel off the surface layer of the cement board wall
Water can be drawn to the alkali ingredients of fiber cement and create efflorescence on the siding. The crystalline substance left over from this process causes the paint on the cement boards to peel off. A good latex primer to prepare the surface for painting and acrylic exterior paint can reduce damage to your wall cladding.
Fiber cement siding panels are heavy. 2 people must carry the boards for cutting and installing. 12 mm thickness cement board is 25 to 40 kg depending on the length and the quality of the planks.
Installing fiber cement board is not easy, and if it is not installed according to the seller/manufacturer’s standards, its warranty will be void and useless.
Washing, cleaning and painting of the siding and the cost for replacing and maintenance in cement board may cause doubt in you. This make some house owners to look for a better and cheaper alternative for their house cladding.
Your options very much depends on your budget and personal taste. But of all the materials those that are more like the shape of cement boards, are wood, vinyl and uPVC. In addition to being a new and modern option for the facade of residential or industrial buildings, UPVC has a cheaper price and significant advantages over fiber cement siding.
What added value will you get by purchasing uPVC siding material? Due to the following features: anti-corrosion material, high durability without the need for paint up to 50 years, no need for thermal insulation, light weight, easy installation, and lower costs – much cheaper than fiber cement or wood cladding – you will save money and time.
Cost of UPVC (the material + installation) ranges from $4 to $8 per square foot. But for fiber cement boards is more expensive as $5 to $14$ per square foot in 2023.
Not only is the price of buying and installing UPVC siding cheaper than fiber cement, but it is also lighter and the cost of underlying and maintenance is much lower. Unlike fiber cement, uPVC claddings prevent energy loss and help with cooling and heating costs, hence can save money.
fiber cement vs upvc cladding
Sepidfam Varna is a leading manufacturer and installer of UPVC siding and roof coating in Iran. You can choose different types of uPVC products with different thickness, color and quality according to your siding requirements – ceiling or wall – at an affordable price and much lower installation and substructure costs than fiber cements. Wherever you are, our suppliers will send you the best quality siding materials in fastest possible way.
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What are fiber cement cladding advantages and disadvantages?
Benefits of fiber cement siding: fire-resistant, flexible, resistant to termites, durable. Drawbacks of cement board cladding: not water-resistant, paint peels off of the siding, being brittle, it can easily crack.
Can you paint fiber cement wall?
Yes, you can. Because it renews the appearance of cladding and make it more durable. But you need to apply primer before painting cement boards. Every cycle of painting can last 10 – 15 years.
What are the best alternative materials to fiber cement installation?
UPVC, Vinyl and Wood are some examples of best alternatives. Wood is a traditional and more expensive option, and uPVC is a modern and cheaper alternative to cement board siding.
What are the advantages of uPVC over fiber cement?
Fair price of sheets – low cost of substrate installation – very low maintenance siding materials, anticorrosion roof and wall coating – hydrophobic, waterproof and heat resistant material and lightweight, etc.