Fiber cement, a century-old material, has become popular in recent decades as a cheaper, more durable alternative to wood siding. It used to be reinforced with asbestos until the 1980s, when that hazardous substance was eliminated from itsmanufacture. Now the material is typically made with cement, sand, wood fibers and additives.

In recent years, designs made from the mixture have expanded from wood-grained boards to paneling resembling brick, stone and stucco, and contemporary furnishings.