U.S. fiber cement product demand will grow by 8.5% a year through 2017 to 2.9 billion square feet, valued at $2.2 billion, according the Freedonia Group.

“Advances will be driven by a rebound in residential building construction spending, particularly in the new housing segment,” says analyst Matt Zienlenski.

The Cleveland-based research firm's report Fiber Cement says the new home market will see the fastest growth in fiber cement products, with demand rising 16% a year as housing starts rise from the low 2012 base.  Home builders will turn to fiber cement products because they can be made to look like brick and stone, but are less expensive. Also, Freedonia says fiber cement siding is “perceived as more attractive than vinyl.”

The remodeling and repair market accounted for the largest share of fiber cement demand in 2012.  Consumer interest in bathroom renovation projects further drove demand for fiber cement backerboard installed beneath decorative tile flooring and bathtub and shower surrounds.

Nonresidential demand for fiber cement is forecast to rise steadily through 2017, spurred by rebounding nonresidential building construction.

Fiber cement siding will also become more popular in coastal resorts and high-end hotels, based on both aesthetics and durability.  Fiber cement backerboard will be installed in bathrooms because it is less costly than fiberglass-reinforced cement, while providing comparable moisture resistance.

Siding accounted for the largest share of fiber cement products demand in 2012 with more than two-thirds of the total.  Fiber cement siding has seen its share of U.S. siding demand rise over the past decade as builders and homeowners became more familiar with the performance and aesthetic advantages of the material.

U.S. Fiber Cement Million Sq. Ft. – 5/16 inch basis

2007 2012 2017 2007-2012 2012-2017
Fiber Cement Demand 2315 1895 2850 -3.9 8.5
Siding 1745 1285 2000 -5.9 9.3
Backerboard 419 499 690 3.6 6.7
Molding & Trim 140 101 140 -6.3 6.7
Other 11 10 20 -1.9 14.9

Source: Freedonia Group U.S. demand for fiber cement products will increase 8.5% per year through 2017. Demand for fiber cement siding will grow 9.3% throughout the period.