Home Innovation Research Labs Study Finds James Hardie Trim Faster, Less Costly to Install

HardieTrim® NT3® Boards Perform Better than PVC and Engineered Wood Trim

CHICAGO (Jan. 20, 2015) – James Hardie’s HardieTrim® NT3® Boards are faster and less costly to install than PVC or engineered wood trim, according to a study recently released by Home Innovation Research Labs,, an independent subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Home Innovation Research Labs evaluated the cost and installation time of HardieTrim NT3 Boards against other popular exterior trim systems in a side-by-side study on its two-story research home. The fiber cement trim board comes in 12-foot lengths, is available in pre-finished color options featuring James Hardie’s ColorPlus Technology finish and is designed with a patented concealed fastening system to reduce nail holes and improve design aesthetics.

For the study, a professional exterior trim carpentry crew with no prior experience using fiber cement trim boards installed HardieTrim NT3 Boards and competitive products. The study found:
  • Installation time for HardieTrim boards was about the same as PVC and engineered wood trim on the crew’s first attempt.
  • The crew installed HardieTrim boards 16 percent faster as experience grew from their first to their fourth attempt.
  • When using a concealed fastening system, HardieTrim NT3 Boards was installed 33 percent faster compared to PVC.
  • The total cost of using HardieTrim boards is 13 to 20 percent lower than using PVC, and up to 6 percent lower than engineered wood.
  • A single crew member could install the stiffer 12-foot HardieTrim boards, while the longer and more flexible PVC and engineered wood trim boards required a pair of installers.
  • The HardieTrim boards remained straighter than the others when fastened to imperfect framing.
“After a few days of working with NT3® boards, the installation crew members agreed that the product could be handled, cut and nailed like other popular trim materials with no penalty in installation time, and the time study data bears out these views,” said Ed Hudson, the director of market research at Home Innovation Research Labs.

“James Hardie strives to offer products that are durable, easy-to-install and cost-efficient to benefit everyone from the builder to the homeowner,” said Mark Longfellow, general manager of trim business at James Hardie. “Our trim boards – and our broader portfolio of fiber cement products – help contractors build smarter, high-performance homes they can be proud of.”

Watch the video of the study.