Fiber cement siding is a building material designed to provide aesthetics and protection to a building’s exterior. It has been used in commercial, residential, and industrial applications and is also used as a roofing material.

James Hardie has been the leading fiber cement siding brand in the global market for a long time. Due to its popularity, it has practically become a household name for fiber cement materials. However, as the market progresses, new brands emerge and spice up the competition.

Currently, Nichiha is among the new fiber cement brands making a wave in the industry. The Japanese siding brand is relatively younger than James Hardie. But thanks to the recent market boom, Nichiha has seen an increase in popularity.

In this Nichiha Vs. Hardie comparison, you’ll get to see how these two brands compare to each other.

James Hardie

Anyone in the building and construction industry knows the brand, James Hardie. They spearheaded the fiber cement revolution in the ’80s and have since dominated the market for it. 

For this reason, it is not surprising to know why James Hardie is synonymous with fiber cement in construction.

Also, the brand itself has a hundred years of reputation, which is a testament to its industry grounding.

Nichiha Fiber Cement

Meanwhile, Nichiha is a Japanese brand that has been producing impressive wall panels since the 1960s. They have been progressing as they innovate and design new products that are highly particular on quality assurance. 

The company initially focused on commercial market demands but has been branching to residential markets in recent years.

Nichiha Vs Hardie: Comparison

You will be surprised to know that the cost per square foot doesn’t differ much between the two brands. If you choose Nichiha, expect a cost of $8 or less. Meanwhile, it will cost you about $9 or more for James Hardie. 

For small-scale projects, this price difference is negligible. However, you’ve got to consider the accumulated savings Nichiha can offer for larger and more extensive projects. 

For warranty, Hardie comes with a 15-year limited warranty. Their lap siding and panel products also come with a 30-year limited warranty. On the other hand, Nichiha offers almost the same or shorter length of warranty for their products. Nichiha’s Architectural Wall Panels have a 15-year limited warranty. While their products like Nichitrim and Nichisoffit will last for at least 25 years.

It is also advisable that your panel or siding installer is properly accredited to ensure the validity of your warranty.

James Hardie siding is among the durable siding types, which means you’ll have less chance of damage in your home. It has also been accredited for excellent fire-rated resistivity as a non-combustible siding. 

Similarly, Nichiha offers some of the finest durability in the industry due to their solid mold process. This method produces a tough and durable material, fiber cement, with extra steps for moisture protection. In conclusion, one can say that the two brands stand on par in terms of durability.

Both brands have a wide variety of colors and designs to choose from. For James Hardie, their ColorPlus Technology can provide 30% better fade resistance than other finish types. More so, you can also produce more accurate and consistent colors using color-matching technology. 

The color selection for James Hardie planks include: 

  • Arctic White
  • CobbleStone
  • Gray Slate
  • Khaki Brown
  • Light Mist
  • Monterey Taupe
  • Najavo Beige
  • Pearl Gray
  • Timber Bark

As for product lines, the Hardie company has:

  • HardiePanel Vertical Siding
  • HardiePlank Lap Siding
  • HardieShingle Siding
  • HardieTrim Boards

On the other hand, Nichiha is the brand of choice for building siding that resembles wood. The brand uses a specific manufacturing process that produces more unique patterns and pronounced textures. For colors and textures, Nichiha has the following:

  • Architectural Block – Gray
  • Architectural Block – Mocha
  • Architectural Block – Tuscan
  • Vintage Wood – Ash
  • Vintage Wood – Bark
  • Vintage Wood – Cedar
  • Vintage Wood – Spruce
  • Vintage Wood – Redwood
  • Ledgestone – Bluff
  • Plymouth Brick – Crimson
  • Vintage Brick – White Wash
  • Canyon Brick – Shale Brown

Meanwhile, for Nichiha’s product styles, the following list is what’s available. However, please be mindful of the respective states the product is limited or not available to.

  • Architectural Wall Panels – US and Canada available
  • NichiFrontier Shake – US available, except Alaska and Hawaii
  • Savannah Smooth Architectural Lap Siding – Available throughout the US

Nichiha is a bit disadvantaged in terms of availability and popularity. Since it is relatively new and foreign, not all contractors are willing to install it. Some have not even remotely heard of it. This is where the century-old reputation of James Hardie is in its most potent form. 

In Selecting The Best Fiber Cement Siding

To sum it up, the verdict for the Nichiha vs. Hardie comparison is a close call. Both brands excel in quality, and their warranties offer almost the same coverage, which is favorable for all buyers. 

However, James Hardie is the best choice for homeowners who prefer a more renowned brand with a wider supply availability. Meanwhile, for those who want to try a new competitive brand with potentially less cost, then it is best to opt for Nichiha. In the end, you need to carefully check your considerations in efficiently selecting the best fiber cement siding for your home.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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