Wood offers so many attractive characteristics… warmth, a reflection of nature, the unique grain texture. It’s a gorgeous addition to any home’s exterior. There are downsides to real wood siding, however, including being prone to damage and sturdiness issues. Enter engineered wood siding. In this guide, CLAD Siding discusses what this alternative is made up of and how it differs from real wood siding. Let’s go!

What Is Engineered Wood Siding?

Offering all the beauty of wood minus many of the disadvantages, engineered wood siding is a far more robust option when compared to genuine wood. Is it real wood? Simply put, it’s composed of wood chips or fibers combined with a resin. Zinc borate is often added to the mix to safeguard against termites and deterioration, as well as to provide increased strength.

Is It Durable?

Due to its manufactured nature, this type of siding offers outstanding durability. It’s also low-maintenance compared to real wood siding, only requiring cleaning once a year with either a garden hose or power washer. (Note: this does not include any damage that occurs during its lifecycle, which should be addressed quickly to prevent further issues.)

Does it rot? 

For the most part, engineered wood siding provides fantastic protection against degradation. However, especially if you live in a more humid region (and the siding hasn’t been properly installed or taken care of), this siding can still be prone to mold, mildew, and overall rot. But compared to genuine wood, it is much more resistant to these problems.

Engineered wood siding also allows for pre-finish options. What this means is that you can order panels that are already stained or painted. This results in a highly durable and even finish. 

Is It Easy to Install?

As well as affording the choice of being pre-treated, this siding offers easy installation as it comes in convenient lengths and can be cut with standard saws and other woodworking tools. It can also be installed with a hammer or nail gun.

So, to sum it up, engineered wood siding offers the natural beauty of wood without many of the hassles. It’s much more resistant to moisture, pests, and rot while significantly reducing the chance of warping or buckling. It’s also more cost-effective than natural wood, as well as eco-friendly considering it’s composed of recycled and waste wood material. That way, you know that you’re going to have a beautiful exterior while also helping the environment!

Engineered Wood Siding Profiles

Along with less upkeep and greater affordability – engineered wood siding can cost two times less per square foot than genuine wood siding – this popular exterior option comes in a variety of profiles to fit your home’s aesthetic. There are so many styles and colors, from natural wood finishes to even stucco looks. Below, you’ll find the most common profiles.

Adobe Stucco Look

Are you a fan of all things Southwestern? Want to go with a more unique look (and one that requires less effort or maintenance)? The adobe stucco look might be right up your alley! If you live in a region where genuine adobe just doesn’t work, engineered wood siding can provide you with the aesthetic without any of the headaches. The two main options are smooth and rough finishes, providing the warmth and charm of real stucco. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the more complex process of stucco installation.

Shingles, Shakes, and Scallops

A time-honored approach, these profiles add a traditional and timeless look to any home. As opposed to real wood, which is beholden to the physical nature of a particular wood species, engineered wood siding comes in a host of choices when it comes to shingles, shakes, and scallops. Shingles are smoother, while shakes provide that rougher, more rustic finish. Scallops are just shingles that are cut in half, providing a charming scaled pattern.

Vertical Siding

Providing an elongating effect of varying degrees, vertical siding is a highly popular option. The most popular type is known as board and batten. This style incorporates wider vertical planks spaced from one another, with smaller strips placed between them. The strips jut out, creating an appealing look. Typically, the panels utilized in this profile are made to look like certain tree species, including cypress, pine, and cedar. You can get a deep-channel look out of this technique as well, which adds a lot of curb appeal to your property.

Engineered Wood Siding Manufacturers

In recent years, there has been an explosion in popularity with engineered wood siding. Many companies have popped up, but it’s important to know that not all products are created equal. To help steer you in the right direction, here are the top manufacturers.

Collins TruWood

Having been in the game for over 40 years, Collins TruWood is a highly reputable company that offers many profiles. This manufacturer is particularly known for its many textures and lengths, making it much easier to customize to your exact specifications. However, one downside is that they offer a more limited range of colors. Key benefits of choosing Collins TruWood include its EcoGuard technology and 30-year transferable warranties.

Georgia Pacific Catawba

Next on our recommendation list, we have Georgia Pacific Catawba. As opposed to Collins TruWood, this manufacturer utilizes higher-grade wood pulp. Pressed at super high temperatures and pressures, the siding has a boosted lifecycle and more robust performance. Added bonus? Georgia Pacific Catawba offers a 50-year Substrate Limited Warranty as well as a 25-year Finish Limited Warranty. With these warranties, you can have peace of mind knowing that your siding is safeguarded for many years to come.


Along with Collins TruWood, KWP has been around for more than 40 years, offering a ton of experience and knowledge when it comes to engineered wood siding. It is also well-known for its multitude of profiles and colors. From rustic to modern, the company provides more profiles and colors than some of its competitors. Another major advantage of going with KWP? The company utilizes high-quality, eco-friendly additives and manufacturing processes. As with Georgia Pacific Catawba, KWP stands behind its products with a 50-year Substrate Limited Warranty as well as a 25-year Finish Limited Warranty.

LP SmartSide

Offering both textured and smooth options, LP SmartSide has one of the best warranties in the industry. Along with a 50-year prorated warranty, the company provides 5-year coverage that takes care of 100% of replacement and labor costs. That’s quite impressive. One downside is that there have been reports of higher rates of rot and flaking. But overall, LP SmartSide is one of the best in the business, utilizing a mixture of wax, zinc borate, and other additives for a beautiful and durable engineered wood siding.


Okay, so there you have it. We hope you now have a better understanding of what this phenomenal product has to offer, along with how it differs from real wood siding. Whether you’re building a new home or planning on replacing your current siding, engineered wood might just be the solution you’ve been looking for. Just make sure to hire a reliable siding contractor to ensure years of hassle-free performance and stunning looks.

Need to find a licensed wood siding contractor near you? Look no further than CLAD Siding. We take all the guesswork out of the equation. All of the contractors in our network are fully vetted, qualified, and affordable. Click here to request your quote today!