Redwood vs. Other Wood
Planning your next, big outdoor construction project? If so, you are probably trying to figure out whether Redwood is the best material to use and that all depends on what you’re concerned with most. Are you looking for an eco-friendly building material? Will you be doing the work yourself or do you plan to hire contractors with specialized tools? Do you want a material that is easy to work with?
The comparisons below will help you weigh the pros and cons of using Humboldt Redwood versus other woods.
Humboldt Redwood vs. Western Red Cedar
Redwood and Western Red Cedar have many similarities; however there are significant differences that set the two apart.
This is the most obvious difference between Redwood vs. Western Red Cedar. Redwood has a deep reddish-brown color whereas Cedar typically has a yellow-brown hue. If left unstained Redwood takes on a silver-gray tone while Cedar turns grayish. As far as grain goes, many grades of Redwood feature tighter grain patterns and fewer knots than comparable grades of Cedar.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wood Handbook, second growth Redwood offers higher strength properties than Western Red Cedar. One measure of strength compared is Work to Maximum Load, which is a measure of the combined strength and toughness of a particular wood species under bending stresses. Redwood measures 5.7 inches/board foot, while cedar comes in lower at 5.0 inches/board foot.
Made in the U.S.A
All Redwood trees grow and are harvested and manufactured into lumber in the U.S. Western Red Cedar, most commonly used for decking, on the other hand is largely sourced from Canada where standards for environmental stewardship and sustainability are less restrictive. Redwood lumber supports jobs and local communities right here at home.
Humboldt Redwood vs. Tropical Hardwoods
Tropical hardwoods, many of which are sourced from South America, include Cumaru, Ipe, Tigerwood and other species. When comparing Humboldt Redwood vs. tropical hardwoods there are a number of important differences.
By nature, tropical hardwoods are extremely dense and heavy. This means that working with and installing tropical hardwoods is much more expensive than Redwood. Special wood-working tools and extra labor are generally required when installing a tropical hardwood deck.
In addition to added costs for installation, tropical hardwoods are much more expensive than redwood on a square foot basis. As these materials are sourced from South America, they must travel a great distance to reach your local lumber yard. This transportation cost in naturally included in the purchase price and is substantial.
Because tropical hardwoods are sourced from developing nations in South and Central America, in some cases, less care is afforded to the environmental impact of these products. Disappearing rainforests and reduced native habitat for indigenous people are the result of destructive harvesting practices. Because Redwood is 100% grown and harvested in the U.S., consumers can be assured that state and federal forestry regulations are strictly adhered to.
Redwood benefits are significant compared to other types of wood, but what about plastic composites? See how these compare on our Redwood vs. Plastic Composite page.