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LP® SmartSide® Siding: A Buyer's Guide

Written by Carol J Alexander

Published on April 3, 2024


LP® SmartSide® Siding: A Buyer's Guide

Have you heard of LP SmartSide siding but are unsure what it is, exactly? Learn how it's made, the pros and cons, how it compares to other siding options, and more.

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Wood siding takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to engineered wood products like LP SmartSide. This type of siding is manufactured to offer superior protection against the elements.

In this article, we look at what LP smart siding is, how it's made, the products it offers, how it stacks up against other siding options, and more.

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What is LP® smart siding?

LP SmartSide® siding is an engineered wood product that many people mistakenly call "smart siding." It comes in multiple styles and prefinished colors to complement any home. It's also resistant to hail, wind, moisture, fungi, and termites.

A graphic of each step on how LP SmartSide siding is made

Information and reference image: LP Building Solutions

The manufacturing process of LP SmartSide siding begins with creating quality wood strands. "Then, as part of the SmartGuard® process, waxes, resins, and zinc borate are added to help protect against moisture, termites, and fungal decay," says Katie Williams, siding brand manager with LP Building Solutions. The strands are then bonded together and coated with a proprietary water-resistant overlay.

Engineered wood vs. other types of wood

How are engineered wood and plywood different?

While engineered wood is made of wood strands, plywood is made of layers of wood veneer. To create plywood, manufacturers peel a log into thin sheets called veneers, which they glue together. Once they reach the desired thickness, they press the product to ensure bonding. Finally, the plywood is trimmed, cut to size, and sanded.

How are engineered wood and composite wood different?

Composite wood is primarily made with wood fiber, like sawdust, not strands of wood product. Unlike engineered wood and plywood, composite lumber includes non-wood material. The other material can be plastic. Trex is a brand of composite lumber that uses plastic. Composite siding might also include cement, but it is more commonly called fiber cement, like James Hardie. Finally, particleboard is a composite lumber made of wood fiber and adhesives.

How is LP® SmartSide® finished?

"All SmartSide products come with two finish options," says Williams. They are primed for painting or include an ExpertFinish® in one of 16 colors. We regularly evaluate our color options for trends and popularity," says Williams. In response to research, the company launched three new colors in 2023: Garden Sage, Midnight Shadow, and Harvest Honey.

In addition to color, all ExpertFinish products have a cedar-like or brushed smooth texture. "The smooth texture gives a nice modern look," says Williams. “It almost looks hand-painted." Primed products have a cedar texture.

What are LP® SmartSide® trim & siding products?

LP makes several styles of SmartSide siding products and trim. Here are the options.

Lap siding

LP lap siding close-up

Photo courtesy of LP Building Solutions

LP's lap siding consists of planks of engineered wood applied in a horizontal pattern. The planks come in several widths. You can use it alone or pair it with other cladding options like brick, stone, or stucco.

Nickel gap siding

LP nickel gap siding close up

Photo courtesy of LP Building Solutions

For a modern profile that resembles shiplap, nickel gap siding features locking flanges and a fastener groove that hides nails.

Shake siding

LP shake siding close up

Photo courtesy of LP Building Solutions

LP SmartSide shakes come in 4-foot-long panels that resemble individual pieces. This profile takes curb appeal to the next level, whether used for entire walls or to accentuate gables. Installing shake panels is less labor-intensive than individual shakes and, therefore, should incur a lower labor cost. You can choose from staggered or straight edges.

Panel and vertical siding

LP panel and vertical siding close up

Photo courtesy of LP Building Solutions

Panel siding comes in 4-foot wide sheets in lengths up to 10 feet. It can be applied horizontally or vertically as is. Or, combine the panels with trim pieces to create a board-and-batten style for your modern farmhouse. 

Vertical siding comes in panels 6 inches wide and 16 feet long. "The longer length draws the eyes up," says Williams. "Which means this panel creates a more attractive board-and-batten style than the shorter panels."

Pebbled stucco panel

LP pebbled stucco panel close up

Photo courtesy of LP Building Solutions

This siding option resembles a stucco coating and comes primed for painting. "It offers a great alternative to traditional stucco," says Williams, "and requires less maintenance."

Trim and fascia

Attention to detail will set your home renovation project apart from your neighbors, so you want complementary trim on your home's exterior. From window and door trim to fascia boards and accent pieces, LP has the trim and accessories to match your siding. Trim pieces are available in 16-foot lengths and in finishes to match your siding. 


LP soffit on a residential home

Photo courtesy of LP Building Solutions

LP offers complimentary soffit products because no one wants to pair their brand-new engineered wood home siding with vinyl soffits.

The pros and cons of LP SmartSide products

Before choosing LP SmartSide over natural wood or stone veneer siding, you should know its strengths and weaknesses.

  • + Impact, water, and termite resistant
  • + Authentic wood look
  • + 45% lighter per square foot than fiber cement
  • + Easy to install
  • + Affordable
  • - Less desirable warranties
  • - Will require repainting
  • - Not fire-resistant when not combined with LP FlameBlock Fire-Rated Sheathing

How does LP® SmartSide® compare to other siding?

Engineered wood siding may be more affordable than traditional wood or metal, but you may find other reasons to choose another material. Here, we compare the most popular siding materials and illustrate how they differ in terms of the main issues.

A graphic illustrating the different types of siding and how they compare to LP SmartSide siding

LP SmartSide vs. vinyl siding

While vinyl siding is affordable and the most popular choice for homeowners due to its low-maintenance and abundance of color options, its durability doesn't stand up against that of engineered wood. LP SmartSide withstands winds up to 200 MPH when installed according to the manufacturer's directions and fastening guidelines. It's also impact-resistant against hail up to 1.75 inches in diameter. It also has a higher R-value than vinyl siding, making it more energy efficient.

Aesthetically, engineered wood more closely resembles natural wood than vinyl siding. It's also more environmentally friendly than vinyl, which is made primarily of polyvinyl chloride.

LP SmartSide vs. fiber cement siding

While both fiber cement and engineered wood siding are beautiful natural wood alternatives and have several attributes in common, engineered wood is more durable. It's a lighter material, making it much easier to install. DIYers can also handle engineered wood without the learning curve required for fiber cement.

LP SmartSide vs. metal siding

Metal siding may be impervious to insects and moisture, but engineered wood is superior. An errant baseball or rock thrown from the mower will leave a noticeable dent in the steel siding. Thankfully, LP SmartSide siding is impact-resistant.

LP SmartSide vs. wood siding

Natural wood siding is beautiful, but that natural beauty comes with a cost – literally and figuratively. Compared to wood like cedar and redwood, engineered wood is less expensive. It's also resistant to termite damage, repels water, and withstands high winds and impacts.

LP SmartSide vs. stucco siding

Stucco is a traditional siding option made of a cement mixture installed over wood lath or concrete blocks. It's durable, though prone to cracking, and easy to repair. It's also resistant to fire and insects. The problems you'll encounter with stucco are non-existent with engineered wood, and you can get the same look with LP SmartSide's pebbled stucco panel.

Other engineered wood siding brands

LP Building Solutions is not the only manufacturer of engineered wood products. Here is a brief description of others and their products.

KWP siding

KWP is a leading manufacturer of engineered wood siding and trims in lap, vertical panels, and shake profiles. Based in Quebec, Canada, the company owns and operates over 18 plants. KWP siding is made with recycled wood, and its profiles ensure that all nails are hidden.

TruWood siding

TruWood Siding and Trim is manufactured by Collins Products, a family-owned business in Klamath Falls, Oregon. TruWood offers lap, panel, shingle, and shake profiles and accessories. Its products are available in 19 Western states through distributors, dealers, and The Home Depot.

How to care for engineered wood siding

Caring for and maintaining your engineered wood siding is pretty simple. "It doesn't require anything fancy," says Williams. So, it should last longer than you live in the home.

At least yearly, inspect its condition, looking for areas needing attention. Clean your siding with a cloth or soft brush and a mild detergent solution. Then rinse. You may safely use diluted vinegar 1:3 with water for mold or mildew stains. Never use a pressure washer, abrasive cleanser, or solvents on your siding.

If you find chips in the paint, apply a matching touch-up paint. Also, ensure that any caulking is in good condition and replace it if necessary. Never let sprinklers hit the house, and ensure water from gutters doesn't run down the siding.

LP® SmartSide® warranties

LP SmartSide carries a transferable 50-year limited warranty that prorates 2.22% each year after five years. The company also offers a 15-year limited warranty on its ExpertFinish colors against discoloration, peeling, blistering, cracks, or erosion in its first five years.  

Is LP® SmartSide® right for your home remodeling project?

If you want the look of natural wood without the care it requires, LP SmartSide siding is a beautiful choice. Its light weight makes it more suitable for wood-framed homes, its beauty improves curb appeal, and it's made to last. Whether replacing your siding or installing something new, consult a siding professional near you to learn more about this fantastic option and get pricing quotes for your home.

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Written by

Carol J Alexander Content Specialist and Subject Matter Expert

Carol J Alexander is a home remodeling industry expert for Fixr.com. For more than 15 years as a journalist and content marketer, her in-depth research, interviewing skills, and technical insight have ensured she provides the most accurate and current information on a given topic. Before joining the Fixr team, her personal clients included leaders in the building materials market like Behr Paint Company, CertainTeed, and Chicago Faucet, and national publications like This Old House and Real Homes.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The substrate of LP SmartSide is warrantied for 50 years, and the ExpertFinish is warrantied for 15 years. It stands to reason your LP SmartSide siding will last longer than you live in your home.

While costs vary by region and from one brand to the next, vinyl is generally less expensive than engineered wood siding.

LP SmartSide is a wood siding. And though it is treated to resist moisture, insect, and impact damage, it will burn. However, LP does offer FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing that, when installed under the siding, prevents fire from reaching the house framing.