Tips for Quality Installation of Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is gaining traction in the marketplace for exterior cladding because it is extremely durable, resistant to everyday “dings” and can not be penetrated by wood-boring pests. As more consumers choose fiber cement siding when residing their homes it is important to be aware of the best installation methods.

Improper installation is the number one reason for callbacks, repairs, and warranty claims.  To minimize problems and keep customers satisfied, contractors need to be sure they understand and implement proper fiber cement siding installation techniques.

The following are some helpful tips to keep in mind when installing fiber cement siding:

1. Nail Placement 

  • Use non-corrosive double hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel siding nails.
  • Do not use D-head nails, staples, finishing nails and/or construction adhesives to install fiber cement siding.
  • When fastening, nails must penetrate a minimum of 1-1/4″ into structural framing.
  • Structural rated sheathing must be a minimum of 7/16″ Oriented-Strand Board (OSB) or 1/2″ plywood.
  • Nails must be flush to the surface of material.
  • When blind nailing place nail 1″ down from the top of the board and when face nailing place nail 3/4″ up from the bottom.

2. Do not over drive or angle nails

  • Improper fastening can affect the performance of the siding.
  • Overdriving the nails can weaken the holding power, can cause moisture management issues and can cause hairline fractures in the siding. 

3. Leave room for expansion and contraction

  • Allow 1/8” at all trim locations.
  • Butt end/joints should be installed with factory-sealed or factory-prefinished ends butted together in moderate contact.

For more information on proper installation techniques, consult the current CertainTeed Fiber Cement Siding Installation Manual on certainteed.com, or call 800-233-8990 for a copy.