cedar vs redwood fence

Cedar vs Redwood Comparison and Differences

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It gets easily confusing when you deal with cedar vs redwood matter, especially when you are constructing a house or having a remodeling project. Both of them are the sturdy types of wood that has its own strength and downsides. Here are some of their basic differences so you know which one to choose.

Colors and Grains

cedar vs redwood fence

When it comes to colors, both of them are different. The redwood has this unique reddish brown tint while the cedar has naturally yellowish tone. Both of them are naturally beautiful. But cedar is often used to create a decorated look to the deck –thanks to the inexpensive price and lighter color. However, if they aren’t maintained regularly, both will turn silvery-gray.

For grains, cedar has 10 grades or grain while redwood has 30 grades. The redwood is more available within clear grades, resulting in no knots look. Which one is smoother? Redwood is smoother than cedar but then again, it depends on your personal preference and the nature of the project. In this cedar vs redwood difference, again, there is no winner in this element.

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Eco-Friendly Concern

Both of them are environmentally friendly and they are coming from natural products. When compared to composite products or brands, these cedar and redwood are both equally eco-friendly. They have met the environmental requirements although they are harvested indifferent parts of regions – cedar is in Canada while redwood is in the northern California.


cedar vs redwood deck

Sustainability is the concern related to environment long-lasting effect. Although both of them have the environmental certification, the question whether they are sustainable arises. Will the new trees grow fast when the old ones are harvested? Both of them have different growing rates. The redwood is able to grow more than the harvested outcome while the cedar has a slower process. But then again, they manage to create a quality product and their growing rate isn’t extremely different. The redwood is growing more and (slightly) faster than the cedar.

Durability and Longevity

To measure the hardness, the so-called Janka hardness test is being used. Based on the test, redwood has 450 lbs Janka rating while the cedar has 350 lbs. It means that redwood is stronger (about 23% tougher) than cedar. In general, the redwood is more durable and sturdier. But what kind of wood does your project need? The problem is that each project is different because it has its own unique appeal and characteristics. Although the redwood is stronger in general, it doesn’t necessarily mean that cedar is lousy.

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western red cedar vs redwood

Both woods are easily maintained and cleaned. They share identical methods of finishing, color restoration, and also cleaning. Basically, you only need water and soap to clean the stain or dirt. Both woods have tannin, a special chemical that is responsible for the product’s natural color. Tannin is responsible for insect resistant feature. Redwood is richer in tannin – the level is higher than in cedar. Because of it, redwood is more resistant to rot than cedar.

There are still more elements to consider about the two woods, so be sure to do a complete research about them. Which of these cedar vs redwood you want to choose?

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