Compare LP SmartSide vs. Fiberglass Siding

A view of LP SmartSide’s front (at top) shows the wood texture and the rear view (bottom) shows how the product is manufactured.

Choosing a new siding for your home involves sifting through many options, including style and material.

If you are seeking wood siding you likely already know there are alternative siding materials for lap, shake and panel siding.

Two such wood siding alternatives are LP SmartSide — an engineered wood product — and another relatively new siding material, fiberglass.

Both LP SmartSide and APEX fiberglass siding by Marvin, give the appearance and finish of wood.

LP SmartSide is made using treating wood strands with a resin binder and compressing them to give the board superior strength while being light weight. Use of the small, fast-growing trees means strong forestry practices limits the tree acreage needed to make the siding. The process includes adding a textured face that is embossed, providing a rough, cedar-like texture at a percentage of the cost of wood.

A view of APEX Fiberglass siding’s front (at top) shows the clips used in the water management system. The rear view (bottom) provides a perspective on the thinness of the durable siding.

APEX Fiberglass siding is made using a proprietary process that begins with fiberglass filament made from sand and ends with siding material. The process includes adding a acrylic finish with the color bonded into the material during manufacturing, not applied on the finished product. This means no painting decisions and no added cost. 

There are similarities between the two siding products when comparing them to wood siding. Those include:

  • Being more durable than wood siding.
  • Requiring less maintenance than wood.
  • Resistance to warping and buckling, giving them a longer lifespan than wood.
  • Being eco-friendly by using sustainable materials.

There are those similarities, but there are also differences. Among them:

  • APEX fiberglass siding requires custom installation, including precision cuts with a diamond tip blade while SmartSide can be cut with different types of saws and shears.
  • SmartSide requires caulk to properly keep water from intruding behind the siding. Caulk dries and fades as it ages, requiring future replacement. APEX requires no caulk.
  • APEX fiberglass siding installs with a proprietary water management system, keeping a small space between the siding and the wall allowing any water to stream down, out and away from the house.
  • APEX fiberglass siding offers a high resistance to denting, chipping, splintering or dinging.
  • SmartSide is pre-primed for painting and can came pre-painted. Paint fades and requires future maintenance while APEX fiberglass siding comes with a baked acrylic finish integrated into the manufacturing process that is three times thicker than factory applied paint on other siding materials.
  • Fiberglass by its nature is impervious to water while SmartSide isn’t.

For more help in understanding the pros and cons of both fiberglass and SmartSide siding contact AMEK Exteriors for assistance. Call 952-888-1200.