How to Nail Hardie Board Siding (Full Installation Process)

You can do two types of nailing on a Hardie board siding. These are Face nailing and blind nailing. Blind nailing is mainly used with Hardie board siding. This hides the nails and gives the sidings a cleaner look from the outside. Let’s flow the stream further into the details.

how to nail hardie board siding

How to Nail Hardie Board Siding | Which Nailing Method Do I Use

There are mainly two things to consider when it comes to which method to use. The first is where you want to nail it, and the second is whether it needs to look good. In our case, we have to install the siding so that it looks good. Open nail heads can often decrease the beauty of a wall. So it is better to do blind nailing.

Another thing is where the nails will be after you are done with your work. If you are using a face-nailing method, then it will remain exposed. Since the siding is outside, it will go through dust, snow, and rain at times. These exposed nail heads will come in contact with these environments, wearing them down.

Here the blind nailing will protect them from the outside environment making the siding safer and longer-lasting. So it is always better to go for blind nailing rather than face nailing unless you install the trim.

How to Install Hardie Board Siding by Yourself

Installing siding is generally done by two people. But it is possible to do it by yourself too. For this, you will need two gecko clamps to hold the sidings in position. You can get these clamps on Amazon pretty quickly.

Things You’ll Need

Other than gecko clamps, you’ll need a saw to cut the board, mask, and glasses for safety, framing nailer, and galvanized nail to secure the board. One more thing that you may or may not need is the stud finder. If you know the stud position, then you won’t need this.

Prep Work

Before you start attaching the sidings, you need to do a little prep work, which will make sure the rest of the work goes faster and smoother. For prep work, first, you need to attach trims on the two corners of the wall. This will make it, so the water doesn’t contact the siding board and harm them.

Then use your stud finder to locate the stud on the wall. When attaching the Hardie siding, you have to always nail on the stud for better grip. Studs are usually placed at a 16-inch distance. 

Use your stud finder to confirm it since it can often be different distances depending on the building. Mark out all the studs on the wall so that you can quickly nail the sidings on them when you start working on them.

Additionally, if you are changing the sidings on an old building, you should mark out the height of the sidings to line the new siding on the mark and get the exact placement as before.

Installing Hardie Board Sidings

First, we have to install a bottom trim to get the angled effect on the bottom row. You can use the same material as the side trims and face nailing to attach the base trim. The bottom hem should be 1.5 inches in height.

Attaching the Boards (Nailing Sidings)

After the bottom trim, you have to start attaching the first row. Make sure to have a 1/8 gap between the side trim and the siding board. Place the siding board in a way so that it covers the little 1 inch from the top. Now, make sure it is straight and nail the board using the nailer.

When nailing, make sure you are deciding on the stud. Here the stud line will come in handy. The nail should be anywhere between 1 and ¾ inches from the top of the board. After the first row, you can use the gecko clamps to hold the boards when you nail them. So things will get a lot easier if you are working alone.

As for all the other rows, you can follow the same steps. When working on the higher rows, make sure that you cover 1 inch of the bottom row with the top row’s board. This will cover up the nails giving it blind nailing and a nice look.

But if you want to go for a face nailing, place the 2nd row without nailing the first row. You need another person to help with it. After placing boards on both rows, determine the overlapped section with a nailer. This way, you will get your face nailed siding. Make sure to use corrosive resistance nails for it since it will be exposed outside.

Using Two Boards in the Same Row

Most of the time, the wall will be bigger than the board. Hardie board sidings are 12 feet in length. So if the wall is longer than 12 feet, you will need to add a butt joint in the middle to attach two boards in a single line.

If you need to attach two boards, end the first board on a stud. Then use a flashing behind the board and measure the rest of the distance. Use this measurement to cut the 2nd board. Make sure to wear glasses and a mask while cutting it.

To attach the 2nd board, place the 2nd board beside the first one and nail it on the same stud. Some people say you need to keep at least a 1/8 gap between the two boards. But in the case of Hardie board sidings, you can keep the space, but it is unnecessary since it doesn’t expand.

Make Sure Joints Don’t Overlap

When attaching more than one board in a row, you have to ensure that the butt joints don’t overlap. If two row joints overlap, it will create a point where water can go through or come out of the siding.

You can simply avoid this by using the 2nd board as the first board of the next row. This will make sure that the two joints never overlap. It will also create a pattern that will increase the beauty of the wall.

Measuring for Windows / Electrical Circlet

If you encounter any window, then you have to measure it before attaching the board siding. Before securing the board, count the window and cut the board in its shape. Then you can attach the board, usually around the window.

The same goes for electrical circles. If there are any electrical circles on the wall, you have to drill the board and pass the wire through the board before attaching the panel.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What nails do you use for Hardie siding?

Ans: According to their website, hot-dipped galvanized nails are the best option. But you can use any corrosive-resistant nails.

  1. Does Hardie board crack?

Ans: It can crack due to poor installation, such as nailing too close to the edge.


Depending on the nailing, Hardie board siding can be more or less rigid. Face nailing nails both top and bottom of the board, making it more rigid. But blind nailing only determines the top of the commission, but it makes it longer lasting.

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