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Best material for 22" wide board and batten

qualityjob's picture


Doing a high end residential project with Board and Batten where the architectral drawings call for a mixture of patterns, the widest pattern is drawn 22" OC with 2.5" battens with the longest length is 16' - 11", though I think I can get it down to < 16' with a trim detail. I'm the developer, I can change the pattern if I have to but I really like what we developed.

Siding is intended to be smooth finish in white.

So, I am trying to decide between some possible products: price is not a primary decision point, minimal liability/callbacks and minimal maintenance are.

Anticipate installing at +/- 60F and our temperaturs are a 50 degree swing from that with humid summers.

Short list of products I am considering:

PVC sheets, which could be full length and maintain the pattern. No builder I asked has ever used PVC sheets for siding except smaller areas like dormers (which I have), but as long as I install correctly I could have the desired width and no horizontal joints as it is available 4' x 18'. I could mill it for a shiplap joint which I like, screw outside the joint, and use the batten to cover the joint with a fake batten half way between (because joints are every 48", so not every batten is on a real joint). Spoke to one manufacturers tech dept, they advise PL glue to the Zipwall sheathing which means no rainscreen, not happy about that. This is the only product I've identified that allows me to achieve 22" x 16'-11" that is called for.

LP Smartside, not widely used in our area and only available 16" wide, but I can get 16' length, so if we are willing to change the pattern it could be a good choice if reliable, but I read one comment by a builder that even if he primed&painted cuts he sometimes had problems.

Hardi, don't love the product and would require introducing horizontal banding to the design as 16' is not available, but could work.

So PVC or LP are the two best choices I've identified, but I've never used LP and I've never used PVC in such large sheets.


Anyone with firsthand experience with large PVC sheets or LP want to weigh in?

Have I missed any products I should be considering?

left out .. (post #216180, reply #1 of 12)

I should mention that I ruled out natural materials and probably boral as well.

We use PVC including sheets  (post #216180, reply #2 of 12)

We use PVC including sheets  all the time and love it but 16" wide and 16' long is really going to want to move a lot. A whole wall of the stuff is liable to end up oin the neighbors house! I can't even imagine the cost of a 4' X 18' sheet. I know what I pay for 4' X 8' and it's a killer.  Have you thought about PT plywood? 

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

pvc sheets from versatex (post #216180, reply #6 of 12)

I can't use PT plywood even if it painted well, which it really doesn't, because it does not come in 16' lengths to my knowledge. I'm trying to rule in PVC because it is the only material I have identified that can do a 24" x 16' pattern that is also warrentied.

Turns out LP Smartside does make a 24" x 16' board but they won't warranty it even though they make it in that size, though they told me it is used that way frequently. I don't think I want to go there but am considering it, it would certainly be cheaper and I can get it with a 30 year diamondkote finish though presumably I loose the finish warranty.


so, right now I am pricing out versatex PVC - they claim their product moves less thenstandard PVC, only 1/8 over 16'.



However, since you install sheet pvc a lot let me ask you about how you install larger sheets because I've only used smaller sheets in places like dormers.

I'm not comfortable with Versatex's recomended installation practice which is fastening and PL gluing directly to the zip sheathing because I'm afraid moisture could get into gaps on the backside and cause issues.

Do you commonly install large sheets by gluing to sheathing? If so, have you seen any issues? 

We do glue and use 8# SS (post #216180, reply #9 of 12)

We do glue and use 8# SS ringshank nails to fasten it down.  My supplier gets it from 3 different suppliers so have no idea what brand we use.


But I had another thought. What about sheet aluminum or even sheet metal? You can get it with a wood grain, it comes in any length you want, goes up fast, is economical, and last almost forever. Once the battens and a water table were installed no one would know it wasn't boards.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

siding (post #216180, reply #10 of 12)

I don't think I can get the right look, I did look into it some but was not seeing what I needed for a luxury house.

I'm leaning toward using 1/2" PVC 48"x16' because LP Smartside won't warranty 24" boards, but know any brands of metal products I should investigate?


furring strips (post #216180, reply #11 of 12)


Can you offer an opinion on installation?

The PVC manufacturer wants it screwed and glued to the sheathing.

ZipWall wants a rainwall gap, and I'm strongly inclined that way; they also don't like adhesives on their product.


So, I thought of attaching vertical 1x4 furring strips to the sheathing on every stud as well as where two panels but joint, leaving a 1/2" gap covered by a batten. The furring strips would give me a place to screw and glue to while maintaining the gap.

The PVC manufacturer does not like this idea, they are afraid the 3/4" x 4' x 16' PVC will warp and look wavy even if I'm screwed and glued a max 16" oc.


Have you ever installed over furring strips? Have you ever seen an issue?

My concern without the strips is that moisture condensing on the back of the pvc will cause issues.

Your choice would be mine as (post #216180, reply #12 of 12)

Your choice would be mine as well. I've never installed an entire sheet. I would rip the sheets to the board dimensions and install the battens as if you were using boards. I'm not sure you could lock a 4' X 16' sheet down tight enough to keep ripples and puckers out. 

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Marine Plywood. (post #216180, reply #3 of 12)

You could use 16' marine plywood. Shipping might kill you.

marine plywood (post #216180, reply #8 of 12)

interesting, there is a 4' x 16' product but 1/2" is $260 a sheet plus shipping, I'll have to see how the PVC prices out.

huh.... (post #216180, reply #4 of 12)

I do not mean to be snarky when I say I think it's time for a new design.


Smartside sounds like a good (post #216180, reply #5 of 12)

Smartside sounds like a good idea to me.  I'm not familiar with that brand, but have worked with similar materials and it is easy to work with, stable, and durable.  (Dunno about the cost.)  Most other materials would not be stable in 16-18" widths.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

brands (post #216180, reply #7 of 12)

what brands have you worked with, I can look into available sizes?