Masonite Siding: A Strong Alternative

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 20, 2016

Masonite Siding Boards

If your wood siding is swelling, cracking, or constantly needs repainting, then you may want to look into Masonite siding. Masonite boards are synthetically constructed from a mixture of wood fibers, wax, and other resins. As they are manufactured, these elements are bound together through a process of heat and pressure, fusing these components into a smooth, strong hardboard that is equally dense from every angle. It is remarkable how much this product resembles traditional lumber in terms of its look, yet avoids the flaws of conventional wood due to its strength.

Avoid the Hassle

The main reason many homeowners choose Masonite siding is because it looks like wood but doesn’t come with the same troubles. Because of its strength, there is no swelling, shrinking, or blistering. It still retains that traditional, classic look of wood, but is cheaper than lumber to cut down on siding cost. Also, since the material is partially synthetic, it creates a gentler impact on the environment since it uses fewer trees in its initial production. And due to its artificial nature, there is also less risk of insect infestation.

You Have Choices

Masonite boards are pre-manufactured, which means that they can come in a variety of states: pre-stained, pre-primed, and pre-painted. If you want to completely avoid painting, you can select from an assortment of colors so when the contractor arrives they’ll simply have to nail up the pre-painted board. This manufactured material is known for being a strong paint support, so if you have a specific color pallet in mind, then you may want to buy it pre-primed in order to do the job yourself. It also comes in a range of textures that match the look of wood, but unlike lumber, the paint won’t crack or chip as easily. This is not to say that it won’t ever have to be re-painted, but you may only have to hire a house painter every 8-10 years.

Keep an Eye Out

There were problems with some Masonite boards during the 80s and 90s. The Masonite Corporation, just one of many manufacturers on the market, was taken to court in a class action law suit after many of its customers complained about mold and swelling problems. Between 1980 and 1998 the company was creating low-quality boards that weren’t properly compressed or installed; therefore they didn’t retain any of the benefits Masonite siding is supposed to create, thus the reason for the Masonite recall.

So if you have an older house built around this time, inspect the exterior and look for any rot, discoloration, buckling, blistering, or deterioration, for your siding might be part of the Masonite recall. This corrosion can be slowed down by repainting and caulking, but it’s not a permanent fix so make sure to take care of the problem quickly to avoid further damage to your house, such as leaks, mildew, and warped wall studs. But this is only a single, rare case (this manufacturer has since stopped making the product). Most companies out there are able to offer reliable service. But if you’re building a new house and considering Masonite siding, make sure you buy from a credible company that offers warranties and hire a qualified contractor who has specific knowledge about installing this material and guarantees their work.

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  1. J. Fewnet, August 6:

    I put Masonite on my house in 1973. Is there any trouble with it?

  2. S. Mishra, August 17:

    Hello: I need to repair some pieces of siding bought 35 years ago. It is Textured Masonite. Do you have some pieces in stock?

  3. Stephen Carlson, October 3:

    I built my home in 1982 and have painted it 3 times. I now have some deteriorated a nd blistered areas mostly along the bottom edges . And mostly on the west and north sides. I need to replace at least 30 t0 50 feet. were can I get this siding in the Sacramento California area.

  4. Pat Penn, October 14:

    I am having problems in finding textured Masonite siding in the Houston texas area. plenty of sites for installers. I am not looking for an installer, I am just looking for a place to purchase the siding thanks

  5. Mike eisenhart, November 29:

    Where can I purchase pecky cypress masonite siding. I need to repair some places on my home buildt in 1985

  6. Patricia, December 2:

    My rental property was built in 1969. Due to a hailstorm in July 2016 and prolonged water leak from damaged soffit board, my insurance has given me a nominal amount to have this repaired vs replaced. I have been unable to locate “smooth” masonite board, with the intent of researching companies who could possible replace these boards.

    I would like to know if you are able to direct me to a company in Colorado Springs, CO., who has the aforementioned boards and could provide an estimate for repair and/or replacement.

    Thank you for your assistance.

  7. Andrea, December 5:

    Hi Patricia — please check our local pros list to see if one of them would be able to give you an accurate estimate: Thanks!

  8. Richard8655, April 1:

    Masonite siding is crap. We looked at housing options in Virginia in the 90’s, and visited a few building sites where Masonite end pieces where strewn about. I grabbed one board from the ground and easily snapped it in half with minimal effort. The inside was a soft foam covered by a thin vinyl-like laminate. No thanks I decided at the time, and stayed determined to go with vinyl or brick siding. Very cheap, lightweight stuff you’d never see in other parts of the world.

  9. R. Friend, April 10:

    How can Masonite siding be replaced and- or repaired. All of my home still looks great except the back half of it. Who sells it, where can I buy it? What other siding could I replace the bad part with? I need something good but low priced as possible. What else could I do to replace the bad part and to blend in with the Masonite? I have thought of changing the siding on the bottom half (first story) and paint the same color as the rest of my home. Just not sure what to do or what to buy. Thanks

  10. Phyllis Langston, June 22:

    Where in South Carolina can you buy textured Masonite siding?

  11. Ken Boyle, September 2:

    I have some Masonite siding that is suffering from weather fatigue, where might I find replacement for same.

  12. Doug Leopold, September 22:

    can you still buy masonite 4×6 sheets to replace a home built in the mid 70’s? (vertical design)

  13. Carol Watkins, May 13:

    I am interested in how I can contact the company that makes or did make exterior Masonite siding we used in 1987. I wish to talk to someone as some of the bottom edges of the boards are soft when wet and I wish to protect when dried out. Caulk? Spackle? or anything. Thanks, Carol

  14. Dennis Ward, July 30:

    I have a modular home built in the 80’s I am told the siding is Masonite. Some of it needs to be replaced, I cannot find anything that matches. Can you tell me where I can find Masonite?

  15. Richard Eroh, April 3:

    After sawing a Hardy board do I have to seal the edge or is calking it after installation satisfactory?

  16. Richard Cleek, July 8:

    Where can I buy Masonite siding? I’ve looked at Lowe’s and Home Depot. I’m in east TN area.

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