Innovative Product: James Hardie Artisan Shingle, VentedPlus Panel, and HardieBacker

The industry staple introduced three new products at this year’s International Builders’ Show

June 03, 2019

After 130 years of innovating, James Hardie used this year’s International Builders’ Show to once again assure customers and partners that it was still riding the cutting edge. The company introduced a range of new products, including its Artisan Shingle (a part of the Aspyre collection), HardieSoffit VentedPlus Panel, and an advancement of its HardieBacker line. 

The Artisan Shingle

The latest addition to Hardie’s luxury Aspyre Collection, the Artisan Shingle will be available sometime this summer. “It mimics traditional cedar,” says Marc Setty, James Hardie’s director of marketing. “And it’s made of fiber cement, of course.”

The shingle has all the hallmarks of a Hardie product: fire-resistant, moisture-resistant, and impact-resistant. But it also offers unique advantages, namely its customizability. The product comes in nine sizes, with different wood-grain variations and 15 pre-finish color blends. 

Installed individually, the shingles can be arranged in a variety of patterns, with some wiggle room for spacing. “The keyways you can have wide enough to stick a quarter between them, or they can be right next to each other,” Setty says. “There are a lot of options for installers and homeowners.” 

HardieSoffit VentedPlus Panel

Across the southern states this summer, Hardie is introducing its VentedPlus soffit, which Setty claims will surpass code requirements for airflow ventilation. 

“There’s a lot of markets where there’s moisture everywhere,” he says. “This will provide the pest resistance, fire resistance, etc., expected of Hardie, but also will be easier to install and increase airflow potential.” 

The panel features newly designed vent holes that deliver 12.6 square inches of net free ventilation per linear foot. “It’s more than any other engineered wood or fiber cement vented soffit product on the market.” Because of that, installers won’t need to install the cut-in vents a lot of other vented soffits need to meet code. The idea is to save on both time and cost. 

HardieBacker with HydroDefense

Finally, Hardie’s new cement backer board is an industry-first in that it’s waterproof.

“We’ve modified the composition of the board so that you don’t have to put any waterproofing agent on it,” Setty says, “only on the joints and fasteners.” It passes the ANSI 118.10 for waterproofness. 

Contractors will recognize the product as Hardie’s traditional backer board, and so the install won’t change apart from no longer having to apply waterproofing agent across the entire surface area. “We wanted to make something that was more waterproof but required less time to install and would ultimately save people money.” 

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