Elite Home Exteriors NW


Hardie Board vs. Masonite Siding: Why You Should Spring for an Upgrade

Is it time to replace your home’s siding? Are you a new homeowner and concerned about having Masonite siding? 

Due to being inexpensive, many people once installed Masonite. But, there are now better alternatives — such as Hardie Board.  

By the end of this article, you will feel confident with your decision to replace your Masonite siding with Hardie Board.

In this article, you will learn: 

  • What are the problems with Masonite siding
  • How Hardie Board is different than Masonite
  • Reasons you should replace your Masonite siding with Hardie Board
  • And much more


Table of Contents


What Is Masonite Siding?

Masonite siding is composed of …

  • Wood fibers
  • Glues; and
  • Resins

… bound together by heat and pressure to form a synthetic siding product.

It is very inexpensive to make, but it is not very durable either. In the long run, it can cause some serious infrastructure issues.

If sawdust were a siding, it would be Masonite. 

Due to it being inexpensive, from the 1980s to the mid-90s, Masonite was a popular siding choice for homeowners. That’s why you often find it on homes built during that time. 

What Are the Problems With Masonite Siding?

If you own a home with Masonite siding, you may have noticed some of the problems that come with it. In fact, because masonite was so faulty, the manufacturing of Masonite was discontinued.

The biggest problem with masonite siding is that it does not repel water. As a result, it absorbs water, especially if the paint or caulk is cracked. When this happens, the siding begins to deteriorate, and its lifespan shortens. 

Incorrect installation can result in: 

  • Swelling
  • Warping
  • Buckling
  • Blistering
  • Rotting
  • Softening
  • Mold development; and
  • Insect infestation

In addition to the above conditions, water can penetrate through to your drywall and cause issues with your insulation and your infrastructure.  

Masonite vs. Hardie Board: How Is James Hardie Siding Different?

As a result of Hardie Board siding’s unique composition, it offers several advantages.

Some of these advantages include: 

  • Easy maintenance
  • Durability
  • Beautiful aesthetics
  • Excellent long-term investment
  • Environmentally friendly

Unlike Masonite, James Hardie siding is made from durable and sturdy materials: 

  • Fiber cement
  • Sand
  • Cellulose fiber; and
  • Water

James Hardie siding is a durable upgrade that does not require constant maintenance or frequent replacement.

The Pacific Northwest experiences wet weather all year long. Do you ever wonder how those damp, gray days can affect your siding and the sub-wall underneath?

This is where Elite Home Exteriors NW comes in.

As James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractors, we are highly qualified in replacing Masonite siding with James Hardie siding. 


Hardie Board vs. Masonite: 7 Differences to Consider

Why is Hardie Board considered superior to Masonite? Let’s take a look at seven differences to consider. 

#1: Hardie Board Is Specially Made for Your Specific Climate

Siding products from James Hardie are Engineered for Climate®.

It is called the HardieZone System. The siding provides specific performance attributes based on the climate where it is used.

As a result, James Hardie gives you the ability to put the optimum siding on a project regardless of your location.

There’s no need to worry about the Pacific Northwest’s cool and wet climate!

#2: Hardie Board Is Made to Last

In contrast to Masonite, which practically dissolves once water gets inside, Hardie Board is durable.

When properly installed, Hardie Board tends to protect your house during extreme weather conditions. When installed according to the Hardie company’s strict guidelines, James Hardie siding lasts 30-50 years. 

In contrast to Masonite, Hardie Board is resistant to: 

  • Harsh weather conditions
  • Heat; and
  • Flames 

Additionally, James Hardie fiber cement siding keeps away unwanted pests such as: 

  • Insects
  • Woodpeckers; and
  • Termites  

#3: Hardie Board Is Easy to Care For

James Hardie siding is very easy to maintain. 

Once every six months, you can rinse the siding with your garden hose.

When you notice your siding looks a little dirty, remove any dirt from your siding with a medium bristle, non-metal, nylon brush, and then rinse thoroughly.

Let’s compare this with Masonite. 

When caring for Masonite, you will need to caulk at least twice a year and paint every six to eight years.   


#4: Hardie Board Comes in a Variety of Styles

In addition to being durable, James Hardie siding is also stylish and versatile. It doesn’t matter what type of architecture your Pacific Northwest home has; there’s a Hardie Board style for it.

  • Historic Tudor and Victorian homes benefit from Hardie Board’s ability to mimic wood grain.
  • A board-and-batten look can be achieved for Craftsman and Ranch homes by mixing and matching Hardie siding styles.
  • Do you own a Greek Revival or Cape Cod-style home? No worries, there are options for you, too.

 Anything is possible with Hardie Board siding.

What is possible with Masonite? If Masonite siding is available, it is only available in 4′ x 8′ or 9′ panels or as individual lap boards. 

#5: Hardie Board Comes in a Variety of Colors

Hardie Board siding comes in various colors, so you’re sure to find the one that complements your home. 

Using James Hardie’s patented ColorPlus Technology, color is baked onto the siding in layers to create vibrant looks that last up to 15 years. You will not need to worry about fading. 

Hardie Board’s pre-primed siding will also provide the exact look you want if you prefer to paint after siding replacement installation.

Additionally, Masonite siding is available in various colors and can be painted to match a homeowner’s desired shade.

#6: Hardie Board Is an Eco-Friendly Choice

James Hardie cement fiber products are made entirely with natural, non-toxic ingredients. In contrast to petroleum-based products, these pose no environmental risks. 

On the other hand, Masonite has been classified as hazardous

Furthermore, since Hardie Board is durable and lasts for so long, it doesn’t end up in landfills often and doesn’t require as many materials to create or replace.

James Hardie sidings have a minimal carbon footprint and cause minor environmental damage, so they’re an excellent choice for you and the environment.

#7: Hardie Board Provides a Great Return on Your Investment

Its long-lasting nature makes James Hardie siding replacement an excellent investment.

Masonite was popular in the 1970s because it was inexpensive, but it is being replaced because the quality has not stood the test of time. In contrast, once you install Hardie Board, you may never have to replace your siding since James Hardie siding lasts 30-50 years.

Furthermore, James Hardie siding boosts a home’s resale value and gives you peace of mind.

Due to its durable framework, James Hardie siding pays off for years.

When the siding is installed by a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor, a non-prorated,  30-year warranty backs James Hardie siding. 


Elite Home Exteriors: Your Elite Preferred James Hardie Siding Installer and Contractor

Now that you know more about Masonite siding vs. Hardie Board, you are probably ready to take the next step — replacing your current Masonite siding with James Hardie siding.  

Elite Home Exteriors NW can help.

Getting your home siding replaced is easy when you work with our experienced siding contractors.

  • With our help, you can choose the siding you love.
  • Our communication is clear, so you know exactly what to expect.
  • With our precision installations, you can enjoy your siding for many years.

We are James Hardie ELITE Preferred Contractors, which means: 

  • For optimal performance, we ensure that all products are correctly installed; and
  • We follow James Hardie’s Installation Best Practices

As a family-owned business, we are committed to providing our customers with: 

  • Respect
  • Integrity; and
  • Transparency 

Contact Elite Home Exteriors today for your free estimate — and find out just how beautiful your new siding can be.


Posted on by PortlandSEOGrowth
Hardie Board vs. Masonite Siding: Why You Should Spring for an Upgrade

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