James Hardie will nationally debut a new siding category next year, moving past its wood-look building products into contemporary, textured fiber cement panels.
Hardie Textured Panels rolled out mid-May this year in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest regions and will launch nationally in early 2022 with additional colors. The new line features three different textures and colors of exterior panels and trims: Smooth Sand Panel, Multi-Groove Panel, and the Knockdown Panel.
It’s James Hardie's most significant expansion outside the wood-look sphere that the brand is known for. These panels can be used to to replace a variety of materials, depending on how the home is designed, says Sami Rahman, vice president of product management at James Hardie.
All three panel products come in a 0.312-inch thickness and the choice of 120, 144, or 96-inch lengths. Panels can be installed horizontally or vertically, and the Knockdown and Smooth Sand panels' shiplap joints create V-grooved lines while the Multi-Groove panel has milled grooves every 16 inches. The same strength found in other Hardie fiber cement products are found in the Textured Panels category, including rot- and decay-resistance, non-combustible fire resistance, and weather resistance.
Builders’ and homeowners’ needs for durable, low-maintenance products offering a contemporary look and solutions maximizing productivity were the driving forces behind this introduction, says Rahman.
“Everybody in our industry knows that labor is short, and the shortage of labor means that we have to find solutions that can enhance productivity compared to other solutions in the market,” says Rahman. “What we know is for homeowners, it’s always going to be the expression of their design style that becomes paramount, without compromising the durability and low maintenance of what they want to last for many, many years to come.”
Rahman says the Hardie Textured Panels cut down on time by 40% to 50% when compared to traditional stucco processes, which require time for application, curing, and painting, and that can benefit many architects who have moved away from stucco due to its performance. And though it’s a different product, those who have worked with fiber cement products in the past will be familiar with the Textured Panels installation.
In addition to durability and low maintenance, homeowners also desire exterior products that offer a contemporary edge in the form of clean lines and textures. Professionals can achieve this desired look by mixing and matching the Textured Panels with other products, making it a solution that works for an array of housing designs, says Rahman.
“One of the things that’s really interesting about the contemporary design aesthetic is that by definition, it’s really a new take on many things that are maybe already out there,” he says. “We’ve seen homes that were traditional, moved to a more contemporary home by using Hardie Textured Panels, and we’ve seen on the other end of the spectrum, modern architectural styles incorporating Hardie Textured Panels because the versatility of this product allows it to fit many different architectural styles.”