Cedar vs Redwood: Which Wood Plank is Best for Your Home?

Picking the best wood planks for your home improvement project is important, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Two popular choices used to transform living spaces around the world are Cedar and Redwood. Both materials have unique characteristics and benefits, but which is right for you?

Read on for an in-depth comparison between Cedar and Redwood planks. We’ll look at their uses, durability, cost, maintenance requirements, aesthetics and–ultimately–which wood to use for your project.

Did you know? It’s common for a Redwood tree to grow taller than 200 feet (61m). And in areas where soils are deep and moist, many are over 300 feet (91m) tall!


Introduction to Cedar and Redwood

Cedar and Redwood are two of the most popular choices for wood planks. Both possess qualities that make them ideal for interior and exterior uses such as walls, ceilings, fencing, decking, siding, and furniture.

Origin and History

Cedar is a coniferous tree that can be broken down into two main types: Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata) and Eastern White Cedar (Chamaecyparis Thyoides). Western Red Cedar trees are some of the oldest in existence and have been used by homeowners for hundreds of years. Eastern White Cedar has also been used for centuries due to its superior resistance to moisture. 

Redwoods are part of the Sequoia family found mostly in Northern California along with Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine forests. They’re sourced locally and are an environmentally friendly choice. In addition, Redwoods are the world’s tallest tree species with many growing to heights greater than 300 feet.

Cedar and Redwood Characteristics

Cedar and Redwood share a few characteristics that make them a popular choice for homeowners, but each possesses unique traits as well.

Both types of wood are renowned for their durability, insect resistance, and weather resistance. This makes them a great choice if you’re looking to replace a fence or deck. In contrast, softer woods like Poplar can easily succumb to infestations if left untreated outdoors for extended periods of time.

Cedar’s coloration ranges from light yellowish browns to reddish hues, while Redwoods have a more uniform dark tone.  

Before deciding, make sure you do your due diligence so you get exactly what you want. Northern California typically yields lighter colored woods while planks from trees in Southern California are often darker. Western Red Cedar has finer grains, whereas California Redwoods can be coarser. To avoid any potential disappointment after installation, it pays to know exactly what type of wood you’re buying!

Cedar and Redwood are two widely-used woods for DIY projects, and there are reasons why you should choose each. Now let’s look at some of the ways these materials can be installed–both indoors and outdoors. 


Key Takeaway: Cedar and redwood are both popular outdoor woods renowned for their durability, insect resistance, and weather resistance. Where they differ is in coloration and density.


Uses for Cedar and Redwood

With natural beauty, durability, and versatility, Cedar and Redwood planks can be used in numerous ways to create stunning spaces – both indoors and outdoors. Here are a few popular applications.

Interior Applications

Inside the home, Cedar and Redwood planks are often used as flooring or siding. The warm colors add depth to any room while adding an elegant touch.

Cedar is ideal for crafting pieces of furniture due to its strength and durability. It’s ideal if you’re looking to create striking tables, chairs, cupboards, dressers, and more.

Redwood is naturally resistant to heat damage and staining from foods and liquid, making it a great choice for crafting custom countertops.

Exterior Applications

When used outside, Cedar and Redwood planks are perfect materials for decks. They’re both naturally resistant to rot caused by moisture buildup, though Cedar is slightly more so. They also make great fences that last longer than traditional wooden fencing options.

Pro-tip: Use a semi-transparent stain to enhance the natural beauty of your wooden planks while protecting them from damage from the sun.

Cedar and Redwood planks are also insect resistant. They can be safely installed as fencing around a garden, without having to worry about pests destroying them. Redwood is particularly well suited for fencing, since trees take longer to mature and are incredibly strong.

Finally, both woods are durable enough that they can even be used on docks where constant exposure to water won’t cause damage like it would with other materials. This makes them a better choice when compared to pressure treated lumber or composite decking boards.

Cedar and Redwood are both highly versatile materials, with a range of indoor and outdoor applications. The robustness of these woods is a key element to think about when deciding between the two. Whatever you choose, natural weather-proofing and insect-resistance will ensure the lasting quality of your finished project.

Key Takeaway: Cedar and Redwood planks are the perfect materials for transforming any home or office space. Natural beauty, durability and versatility make them ideal for a variety of interior and exterior projects. Use them in flooring, siding, furniture, countertops, decks, or fencing!


Durability of Cedar and Redwood

Both woods have natural weather-resistant properties, making them ideal choices for decks, fences, siding and other exterior applications. However, Cedar and Redwood have varying levels of durability when it comes to outdoor projects.

Weather Resistance

Western Red Cedar is renowned for its excellent resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage. It features naturally occurring oils that protect against the elements so you can enjoy its beauty for years. It’s also a lightweight wood which makes it easier to work with than heavier woods like Redwood or Oak.

Redwood, on the other hand, is more resistant to water damage than Cedar due in part to its higher density as well as the fact that it has fewer pitch pockets (where moisture can collect). This makes it an ideal choice for exterior projects where moisture is more likely.

Insect Resistance

When it comes to insect resistance, both Cedar and Redwood have their advantages – but they do differ slightly depending on the tree’s age when used. Older trees tend to produce harder wood which is better at resisting insects, while the softer wood found in younger trees is more susceptible. Additionally, reclaimed wood tends to be stronger overall. This will play a role in how well your wood planks resist pests over time.

Both Cedar and Redwood offer characteristics that make them great choices for outdoor projects. However, each one has distinct features to keep in mind for certain applications. If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option, using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified lumber from Northern California is a good idea. These forests often contain older trees with harder wood that is less likely to be prone to insect damage.

While the durability of Cedar and Redwood make both excellent choices for wood planks, a cost comparison between the two should also be taken into account. Let’s look at a few differences to keep in mind when deciding which is best for your project. 


Key Takeaway: Both Cedar and Redwood are popular outdoor materials due to their natural weather-resistant properties, but they do differ slightly in insect resistance. For an environmentally friendly choice, look for certified lumber from Northern California.


Cost Comparison of Cedar and Redwood

Cost-wise, Cedar and Redwoods are comparable – but Redwood may be slightly more expensive due to its superior longevity. Ultimately though, pricing will come down to where you purchase your wooden planks from. If you’re working with a tight budget, look for bulk-priced lumber at your local home improvement stores.

Prices vary based on thickness and grade of wood, so it’s best to compare different options before making your final decision. And some suppliers might charge extra for delivery fees or additional services. Custom sizing, for example, is a common request and usually adds cost to a project.

Reclaimed wood has become trendy in recent years, however it usually costs more so if budget is an issue then new Cedar or Redwood would be your best bet.

When it comes to pricing, Cedar and Redwood are both relatively affordable options for wood planks that transform the look and feel of any living space they’re installed in. But how can you make sure your wood planks will last? Here are some best practices for maintaining your Cedar and Redwood planks.


Key Takeaway: Cedar and Redwood planks are relatively similar in price but Cedar is often slightly more expensive due to its longevity. Location, custom sizing, and shipping costs will add to the overall price as well. You get what you pay for when investing in these two types of wood planks!


Maintenance Requirements for Cedar and Redwood

When you need a dramatic change in aesthetic, Cedar and Redwood planks are ideal. Both trees have a long history and are known for their durability, weather resistance, insect resistance, strength, beauty, and sustainability. They’re the perfect touch for interior walls or ceilings and can be used in numerous exterior applications too.

While it may require some maintenance to keep your wood planks looking great over time, it’s well worth the effort. Invest in Cedar or Redwood planks and you’ll have a stunning aesthetic in any space.

For a dramatic aesthetic change, cedar and redwood planks are ideal for walls or ceilings in any home or office. Cedar and redwood trees both have a long history, originating from North America and parts of Asia. They are known for their durability, weather resistance, insect resistance, strength, beauty and sustainability. While they may require some maintenance to keep them looking great over time, it’s well worth the effort due to the stunning aesthetic they bring to any space.

When it comes to maintenance requirements, cedar and redwood both require periodic cleaning and treatment with a sealant or preservative in order to maintain their original look. 

To clean Cedar and Redwood planks, use a mild detergent followed by rinsing with a hose to allow ample time to dry. This is particularly important if you’re attempting to stain or seal your planks. If you decide to stain your planks, keep an eye on coloration and apply a new coat when necessary.

Did you know? Both woods are naturally weather and insect resistant, so staining Cedar and Redwood planks isn’t necessary. It can add a distinct look to your project though!

One of the main reasons homeowners choose Cedar and Redwood planks is their visual appeal. Both woods can work in a variety of applications, but what makes each unique? Let’s talk aesthetics. 


Key Takeaway: Make sure you do your homework before purchasing Cedar or Redwood planks for a home improvement project. Both woods can create a stunning space, but knowing exactly what you’re getting is vital in avoiding any potential disappointments after installation.


Aesthetics of Cedar and Redwood

Cedar and Redwood trees are both found in Northern California but have different characteristics that make them suitable for certain applications. When picking a material for your project, it’s important to evaluate both the color and grain of Cedar and Redwood.

When it comes to color variation, Cedar typically has a light tan or brownish hue with occasional streaks of pink or yellow. Western Red Cedar, which is the most common type used in construction, often comes in a reddish-brown tone with dark knots throughout its grain pattern. Cedar has a random grain which provides increased strength, so it’s a great choice for fencing and decking. 

Redwood usually features a darker color palette than Cedar, with shades varying from deep reds to almost black. This depends largely on location and age of the tree when cut. Redwood’s straight grain yields a sleek finish, so it’s ideal for furniture and trim work. It offers a simpler yet no less stunning visual appeal, perfect for modern design styles.

If you’re looking for something decorative like trimmings or furnishings, Redwood may be a prime pick. Cedar makes great wood planks for more robust applications like fence boards.

When it comes down to it, the unique looks of both Cedar and Redwood can dramatically enhance appeal. Some people prefer one type over another based on environmental impact, cost, coloration, and grain patterns, but no wood is the best choice for every application. Whatever you choose, it’s essential to look into the benefits of each.


Key Takeaway: Cedar and Redwood planks are commonly used in home improvement projects thanks to their visual appeal. Cedar is typically light tan or brownish with occasional streaks, while Redwood tends to be darker. Both have their place in transforming your living space!


Conclusion - Which Wood is Right for You?

Cedar and Redwood are popular choices for interior and exterior applications, and come with natural weather resistance, insect resistance, low upkeep, and eye-catching looks. Each wood offers a variety of benefits and ultimately, deciding which is best for your project depends on your personal preference and budget.

Cedar and Redwood planks offer a cost-effective solution for homeowners looking to add an aesthetic touch to their living space without going too crazy on cost. Redwood is usually more expensive than Cedar but can offer a greater range of colors and longevity, but Redwood still provides plenty of options when it comes to coloration and grain patterns. Pricing will vary depending on location though. If budget is a concern it’s important to shop around and ask about bulk-pricing. 

Both woods have excellent durability ratings that make them perfect for long-term projects including walls, ceilings, fencing, and decks. Just make sure you regularly clean your planks and seal them when needed. It’s the best way to ensure they’ll look good for years to come.

Whether you choose Cedar or Redwood planks for your project, you’ll be able to create an eye-catching design with lasting quality that’ll last for decades. With proper care and maintenance, these woods will remain beautiful for years to come – giving you a timeless piece of decor you can pass down to your children.

For a DIY approach to transforming your living space into the room you’ve always wanted, Stikwood.com offers easy-to-install wood panels in a variety of woods and colors. See for yourself how easy we make home improvement. 


Cedar vs Redwood - FAQs

What’s better, Redwood or Cedar?

When deciding between Redwood and Cedar, it’s important to consider your intended use. Both are strong and durable woods that can be used for outdoor projects, but Redwood is particularly resistant to weather. Both woods are rot and insect resistant but Cedar may require additional sealant or treatment for longer-lasting protection against moisture. Ultimately, the choice depends on your needs and which wood looks best in your home.

What makes Cedar and Redwood different?

Cedar and Redwood are two widely-utilized varieties of lumber, but they do have a few key differences. Cedar is a lightweight softwood that’s great for siding or decking. It often comes with a lighter coloration, featuring light tan to brownish hues. Redwood is a hardwood that has excellent durability and strength so it’s perfect for applications seeing a lot of use. Redwood usually features darker coloration, sometimes almost black in appearance. 

Which lasts longer, Cedar or Redwood?

Cedar and Redwood planks are exceptionally durable and can be used in numerous exterior applications. Cedar may need to be sealed more regularly, but both hold up great when properly maintained. To keep your Cedar or Redwood planks looking their best, clean them regularly with a mild detergent and water. This will prevent any grime from wearing away at the grain. Ultimately, the longevity of Cedar and Redwood planks depend largely on their application and how well they’re maintained. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a living space you can’t wait to show off.

Is Cedar or Redwood more expensive?

Redwood is generally more expensive than Cedar, but not by much. Cedar is a softer timber so it’s easier to manipulate but it’s also less robust than Redwood. In addition, Redwood tends to be more cost-effective in the long run since it requires less maintenance compared to Cedar. Pricing on both can vary greatly depending on the grade and quality of the wood, location, and availability.