Can You Screw into Hardie Board Siding?

Hardie Board is a commonly used siding. But the Hardie plank is not a soft material like wood or vinyl sidings.

Can you use screws in this siding, and if so, which ones? Are these screws secure enough to hang things from?

What is Hardie Board?

Hardie Board siding Image credit: digitalreflections/

Before we answer the question of screwing into Hardie Board, let’s first look at what Hardie Board is. Hardie Board (also known as HardiePlank) is a special type of lap siding. It contains cement fibers, rendering it highly durable. While you can cut and drill it similar to wood siding, you’ll need a special masonry bit to drill through it since it’s so tough.

Can You Screw into Hardie Board?

Yes, you can drive screws into the Hardie board if you use suitable screws. Hardie Board requires using specific screws to work effectively. For best results, use ribbed stainless steel screws with wafer-head.

What kind of Screws Do You use for Hardie Board?

Screw into Hardie Cement Board siding
The manufacturer recommends using 1-1/4″ No.8-18 by 3/8″ HD Hi-Lo S or S-12 for metal studs, ribbed Phil wafer head, self-drilling, corrosion-resistant screws. If these don’t work for you, you could switch to 1-1/4″ galvanized roofing screws.

Using the correct screws ensures that your screw head will be flush with the board once installed. These screws are strong enough to rout the material to get this right. When you use the wrong screws, you’ll probably end up with screws sticking out of the finished product or having to countersink holes to get them flush. So, save yourself the effort and just use the correct screws.

Nail or Screw for Hardie Plank

I like to use crews better for hanging things on the cement board. However, for the installation of the sidings, you can use nails as well. The recommended nail for James Hardie singing planks is 0.121-inch diameter roofing nails (hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel) with a length of 3/8″.

Can You Screw Things into Hardie Board Planks?

Yes, you can, provided that they’re light enough. Anything weighing less than one pound (half a kilogram) can be attached directly to the Hardie Board. If it’s heavier than a pound, you’ll need a stud finder and attach whatever you’re hanging to this stud. If you don’t, the thing you’re hanging will pull the screw from the Hardie Board, and everything will tumble down.

Plant Hangers on Hardie Cement Board

Plant hangers are often heavy, so make them lighter. This allows you to attach them to the Hardie Board more easily.

Here’s how:

Insert some Styrofoam board into the bottom of your pot or basket before adding potting soil. You could also opt for plastic containers rather than the heavier pottery variety.

Plant hanger on Hardie board siding

How to Hang Decorations on Hardie Board?

You can hang many things from Hardie Board. Ensure that you do this safely, though. Always wear the correct PPE, comprising at least safety glasses and gloves. If you plan to drill many holes in a short time, wear a dust mask, too, since the cement board emits a lot of dust.

Christmas Wreath

How you hang your wreath depends on how heavy it is. All you need is a regular screw if it’s a light decoration. However, Hardie Boards are typically used outside as siding, and the Christmas wreaths you use outside tend to be rather heavy. If this is the case, you need a large size screw and have to put in slightly more effort.

Here’s how:

  • Use a stud finder to locate studs behind the Hardie Board and mark the spot.
  • Drill through the Hardie Board to reach the stud.
  • Bolt an eye-hook into the stud through this hole.
  • Weatherproof this hole using a bead of caulk.
  • Use a double-ended snap hook for a quick change-over to attach the wreath to the eye-hook.

The double-ended snap hook allows you to quickly and easily change the artwork as the seasons change.


Decorations come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re hanging something small and light, install a screw straight into the Hardie Board to hang your little elf from. If it’s something heavier, like a plant basket, you’ll need a bit more effort. Here’s how:

Select the spot you want your plant basket to hang. Use a stud finder to locate a stud behind the Hardie Board in this area. Once you find it, mark it using a marking pencil. Ensure that this is at least 3/8 inches (1 cm) from the plank’s side. It could damage the edge and rip out if it’s any closer to the edge.

Next, measure your plant basket’s diameter. Halve this, and add 3 inches (7.6 cm) to the result. Your basket bracket should be at least this length to prevent the basket from hanging against the Hardie Board.

Now, it’s time to place the bracket on the mark you made earlier. Mark the bracket’s drilling holes, and set it aside. Drill ¼ – ½ inch (0.6 – 1.2 cm) deep pilot holes on these marks. Place the bracket over these pilot holes and install the screws.

There you have it! Your bracket is installed and ready to house a plant basket.

Hanging Lights

Hanging Christmas lights can be tricky. If you want them to be secure, we recommend hanging them on something that’s screwed through the Hardie Board, not just into it.

So, installing screws or nails in the Hardie Board and hanging your lights on there isn’t the best idea. It’s better to use a stud finder, drill pilot holes, and attach the lights to something attached to those studs.

Unfortunately, this means that when you remove the lights, there will be tiny holes in your Hardie Board, marring the aesthetic finish or comprising the weatherproofing. To fix this, you can use wood filler in the holes, sand them down, and paint them. Just as you would do for wood.