How to Select the Best Wood Siding Material

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When deciding on wood exterior cladding, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the choices available. Natural wood, rainscreen, high pressure laminates, thermally modified wood siding, the list goes on. Here’s a brief breakdown of the benefits of each to help you decide. 

Ipe wood siding works great with EIFS and black trim-1Ipe Hardwood combined with EIFS (synthetic stucco) and black trim looks sharp on this residential façade.


The beauty of natural wood can’t be ignored when deciding on exterior siding for your project. Both real wood siding options and engineered wood siding looks have evolved and are amazing options for your budget. You have choices, so let's compare.



Ipe Hardwood Siding

The most durable and long-lasting wood species available in cladding is Ipe hardwood siding. (Pronounced E’-pay). It’s beautiful, with rich graining and color variation from light to olive brown to dark brown to reds. Ipe siding can be enhanced and kept “like new” with a natural oil finish.

We tested Penofin Hardwood Formula on Ipe (and other hardwoods) and found it to be the best finish for absorption into its dense fibers. Or you can allow Ipe to weather naturally to a silver-gray patina, a popular and gorgeous finish option.

All of this together creates a warm look and an attractive exterior, but what about maintenance and safety? Ipe is known for its strength and high density. You can't go wrong with its low-maintenance, hard-wearing strength of Ipe and its Class A fire rating.  When used in a rainscreen, the Climate-Shield system will allow moisture to naturally escape from behind the cladding, so no caulking or sealing is needed.


Ipe rainscreen siding, outside corners and soffits with Climate-Shield systemIpe hardwood rainscreen siding installed horizontally with wood corners and soffits



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Machiche Hardwood Siding

Another rugged and attractive wood species, FSC Machiche has a rich, chocolaty brown finish that can also by enhanced with a UV protectant or allowed to weather to a natural gray. Often compared to Ipe in durability and beauty, Mataverde Machiche (pronounced ma-CHEE’-chay) hardwood is also eco-friendly and FSC Certified. It’s unrivaled weather resistance and sustainability will bring your exterior cladding project to the next level.

FSC Machiche is sustainably harvested, holds a 25-year warranty against insects and decay, is Class A fire rated, and has incredible strength. This is another hardwood that lends itself to use as rainscreen in climates from hard winters to heavy sunshine.


Machiche cladding- front of residenceMachiche cladding adds impressive curb appeal to this home.


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Garapa Hardwood Siding

Another durable and high-density wood siding option is Garapa hardwood (also referred to as Brazilian Ash or Grapia). Garapa offer a light color variation, from light honey blonde to deep golden tones with soft, satin-y graining look. You can maintain the golden tones of like new” Garapa with a UV protectant oil finish, like Penofin hardwood formula.  Or you can choose to let your hardwood siding naturally age to a soft silvery tone. for a low maintenance siding option.

Interested in your finishing options?

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Garapa is also a budget-friendly natural wood siding that doesn't compromise on appearance, durability, or comparatively dense wood with very good dimensional stability. It has a high decay resistance throughout the fibers, and its natural oils make it resistant to termite attacks. As a rainscreen, it gives your exterior a moisture resistant system that does not require regular maintenance and is tough enough for wind and storms.


Garapa wood rainscreen vertical installation LaSalle UniversityLasalle University chose Garapa rainscreen installed vertically on their newest housing for a contemporary, budget friendly, and beautiful look.


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Cumaru Hardwood Siding

Cumaru is yet another strong and durable hardwood option that’s a little easier on the budget. With a Class A fire rating and a high resistance to rot, insects, and decay, Cumaru has lively grain variations with exotic appeal. The reddish tones of Cumaru add a warm appeal to rainscreen siding designs. It is also sustainably harvested and incredibly strong.

Cumaru is an outstanding outdoor performer and can be finished, enhancing the graining with UV protectant such as Penofin Hardwood Finish, or let it age to a natural weathered silver gray.


Cumaru siding rainscreenCumaru rainscreen offers a range of natural colors and design options.




ThermoWood siding

Mataverde Thermowood is a real wood siding that is a sustainable, natural wood cladding option for exteriors. It is thermally modified which gives it an exceptional performance and stability (minimal expansion and contraction). It is real wood that is durable and naturally beautiful.

Thermowood's chocolatey brown tones are alluring in a rainscreen siding exterior or wood siding. It looks and acts very much like other hardwood siding materials, is sustainably harvested, non-toxic and safe for the environment and humans.

Thermowood siding requires no maintenance other than an occasional cleaning. Like many other hardwood siding materials, it can be finished with Penofin Hardwood Finish to enhance the tone variations in the wood or left unfinished to age gracefully to a silver gray.


Mataverde novathermowood rainscreen sidingThis residential home project uses Thermowood siding for a beautiful façade.



Pura NFC Sidings by Trespa

For the Beautiful Look of real wood siding, without all the maintenance, Choose Pura NFC® by Trespa


Trespa Pura cladding is a manufactured high pressure laminate siding material. Pura has the beautiful look of real wood siding, is high quality and is available in many wood décor color options

Trespa Pura NFC Wood decors jpeg

Pura provides that warm look of wood, without a lot of grain and color variations. Trespa Pura NFC siding requires no pre-finishing or re-finishing over its lifetime and is low maintenance. Mataverde offers a 10-year guarantee on product performance and color stability.


Download the Trespa Residential Design Portfolio Here

As a rainscreen siding, Trespa Pura can’t be beat for artificial wood siding. Its modern, clean lines are sought after by architects and property owners. With 8 wood décor colors and vertical or horizontal installation, you can design your siding anyway you like. It creates a contemporary feel and can be used alone as a rainscreen or siding option, or combined with glass, stone, or brickwork for a variety of curb appeal.

Trespa Pura wood decor color combinationsPura NFC by Trespa design using multiple wood décor colors for interest.

Trespa Pura NFC sidings may be installed using the traditional furring strip method. Alternatively, you may install Trespa Pura with the Climate-Shield rainscreen system for cost savings and a higher performance rainscreen design. 




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