What Nails Do You Use With Hardie Siding? (Quick Guide!)

Nails play such an important role in the overall functionality of not just Hardie siding but every brand of siding on the market.

While it is not impossible to secure a siding board in place with any type of nail, we do not recommend carrying out an installation without first finding out what nail type is best suited for it.

All specifications or models of siding have nail types allotted to them by their manufacturer.

You can even get nailing recommendations from your local building code, but the recommendations are based on the type of siding you have and not the brand.

To be safe, consult both building codes and manufacturer instructions before choosing a nail type.

Now to the topic of the day, what nails do you use with Hardie siding?

Keep reading to find out!

Here’s the Kind of Nails You Should Use for Hardie Siding:

Generally, the best type of nails for Hardie siding is corrosion-resistant nails. These nails can be used on Hardie Siding through a blind or face nailing technique. They should also be long enough to penetrate the siding and substrate beneath.

Do You Need Special Nails for Hardie Siding?

Hardie siding requires certain types of nails to be properly secured in place; these nail types must be resistant to corrosion and have a sizeable head diameter. Here’s a full specification of the types of nails that can be used on a James Hardie Siding.

  1. Hot-Dipped Galvanized Nails

One type of nail that is the absolute best for a Hardie Siding installation is a hot-dipped galvanized nail.

Hot dipped galvanized nails are highly resistant to corrosion because they are coated with several layers of zinc.

These nails can last for 30 to 50 years and are moderately priced.

  1. Stainless Steel Nails

Stainless steel nails can also be used on Hardie Siding, but you must use a particular grade of these nails.

A 316-type stainless steel nail is perfect for installing Hardie siding because it contains nickel, molybdenum, and chromium; these components make the nail rust-proof or resistant to corrosion.

  1. Electro-Galvanized Nails

Hardie siding can be nailed with electro-galvanized nails, but they are not so resistant to corrosion.

These nails are covered with a very thin coat of zinc and should be seldom used for outdoor projects.

What Size Nails for Hardie Siding?

We previously discussed the nail types acceptable for a Hardie siding installation. Now let’s look at what size these nails should be to secure the siding properly. 

Nails used on Hardie siding are usually 1¼ to 2 inches long, with a head diameter between 0.221 and 0.371 inches. The shank of these nails is typically 0.089 to 0.121 inches thick.

The exact size of nails you use on a James Hardie siding depends on two factors,

  • The framing material of your building and,
  • Your desired nailing technique.

For instance, a Hardie siding face nailed to the steel framing of a building will have a different nail size from one blind nailed to a wood framing. 

The good thing is there is little difference in size from nailing technique to nailing technique and framing material to framing material.  

So, if you ever mix up the sizing recommendations of your nails, the consequences aren’t severe. 

Nail sizes commonly used on this brand of siding include 6d siding nails and 11-gauge roofing nails, just to name a few.

Always check your Hardie siding’s instruction manual for the right nail size recommendation. 

What Kind of Nailer Do You Use for Hardie Siding?

Siding boards produced by James Hardie Industries® PLC are pretty heavy and thicker than the average cement board, so it would take a lot of effort to nail them in place manually.

Nailers or nail guns are strongly recommended for a Hardie siding installation. They reduce nailing errors or mishaps, help conserve time, and are very easy to operate.

The type of nailing job you have determines the type of nail gun or nailer you should use on your project. With that said, let’s look at the kind of nailer you should use on Hardie siding.

To properly nail a Hardie siding, you’ll need a nailer that can drive a nail neatly and effortlessly through the thickness of the board. A pneumatic nail gun is the best type of nailer for the job.

This type of nail gun is suitable for a Hardie siding installation because it has an advanced design and pressure adjustment knobs that give you the best operational support.

Driving a nail into a thick material like the James Hardie siding requires a high-pressure nail gun. Traditional or regular nailers should never be used for this kind of job.

Kindly note that the pneumatic nailer you use must be able to accommodate the recommended nail size for Hardie siding.

How Do You Nail Hardie Panels?

Hardie panels aren’t so tricky to nail in place. You can learn how to go about it by simply going through your James Hardie instruction manual and local building code. Do not hesitate to seek professional help at any point in time you’re unsure of what you’re doing.

The following steps detail how to nail a Hardie panel to a substrate:

  1. Find the seal plate’s or the covering’s lowest point.
  2. Try to gauge the covering’s height from one side to the other.
  3. Using a pencil or white chalk, draw a straight reference line across both ends of the panel.
  4. Check if the reference line is straight with a four-foot level starting from one end.
  5. Walk along the wall to measure and trim the first panel and make sure that the panel’s edge falls in the middle of a stud.
  6. Align the top edge of the panel with the chalk line you drew previously and secure it in place with a suitable fastener.
  7. Use a four-foot level to check if the vertical edge is straight. 
  8. Leave a gap between the panels when enforcing a vertical joint in Hardie sidings. Install the panels with at least 1/8 inch of space between them.
  9. Use a high-quality paintable caulk to cover the gap. The caulk you use should be suitable for your panels.

How to Calculate How Many Nails You Need?

You don’t want a poorly secured Hardie siding as a result of not using enough nails, nor a damaged one because you used more nails than necessary. To calculate how many nails you need for an installation, follow the below steps:

  1. Identify the compartment of your project. For Hardie sidings, it is grouped in panels.
  2. Calculate the number of nails per panel. To do this, you must determine the spacing between the nails that would suit your siding. You should also remember that the spacing for a Hardie board is regular.
  3. Calculate the total area of the space and determine the number of panels you will need.
  4. Multiply the number of nails per panel by the number of panels you need for your building. You’ll have the total number of nails you need after doing this.


To fix a Hardie siding, you mustn’t use a regular nail. Hot-dipped galvanized nails and stainless steel nails are the best type of nails to use on these materials.

A pneumatic nail gun should also be employed to drive a nail through these finishes. Using the traditional hammer to nail method is also a viable option but it requires a lot of effort.

Make sure you go through your James Hardie instruction manual for the proper nail size recommendations and don’t hesitate to seek professional if you don’t think you can handle the job.