Redwood vs. Tropical Hardwoods

Redwood vs. Tropical Hardwoods

If you’re considering  building a new outdoor living project, you’re probably considering a lot of options. One of those being, “Which material should I choose?” One option is Tropical Hardwoods, which are often sourced from Central and South America,  and include species like Cumaru, Ipe, Tigerwood and others. 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 often sourced from Central and 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 may be substantial.

Environmental Impact

Because Tropical Hardwoods are sourced from developing nations in Central and South America, in some cases, less care is afforded to the environmental impact of these products. Disappearing rainforests and reduced native habitat for indigenous people and wildlife 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. When you’re choosing your building material, you should ask yourself; do you know where your wood comes from?

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.


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Humboldt Redwood Company 125 Main Street
P.O. Box 565
Scotia, CA 95565

(707) 764-4472 – Main Number
(707) 764-4444 – Fax

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