Redwood vs Cedar - Which Is Better?
If you’re thinking about fence replacement, you probably wondered which material would be the most optimal for your construction. If you’ve landed on this page, redwood and cedar are the two options you’re considering.
Timeless, natural and durable, wood is one of the best materials for fences. But which is better - redwood or cedar?
In this article, we’re comparing the two materials to give you the most comprehensive answer. We will take into consideration various aspects, like appearance, cost, maintenance and longevity, so you can assess which wood fulfills your expectations more.
Naturally, appearance is one of the first and most important factors a homeowner thinks about when choosing a material for a new fence.
Appearance plays a vital role in the final effect and is even more significant when we talk about natural materials that can change over time.
Cedar vs redwood - which of the two offers a better look?
Cedar comes in a few different variations, including red, yellow, and white. Depending on which type you’ve chosen, you will end up with wood that has lots of reds or yellows in it or is pale in appearance. White cedar has the tightest grain pattern out of all three, but it’s worth knowing that, generally, cedar has more knots than redwood.
With redwood, you will end up with a fence in reddish tones. This wood has a very tight grain pattern that is more challenging to find in cedar.
Ultimately, when it comes to the visuals, the choice between the two woods will depend on your taste and the effect you wish to achieve. Both cedar and redwood work in constructing a fence.
Another crucial aspect to consider is the price of redwood vs cedar fence. Depending on your geographic location, redwood is approximately 15% to 20% more expensive than cedar. Fortunately, in the Sacramento, Ca area, we are geographically close to the coastal redwood forests and the milling plants, so the cost of redwood is much closer to the cost of the cedar. While there is a slight price difference, there is much greater value in the redwood because of its durability and cleaner look.
This means that redwood fencing will be more expensive than cedar, so if you're working with a smaller budget, cedar can be an interesting alternative. But, it’s important to mention that cedar will not be the best choice if you care about the quality. Why?
The cedar available in our area is cut at 5/8 inches thick, which is not substantial enough to support the construction of a fence. Most of the time, you get a slightly cheaper wood that, in a short time, will start curling and bowing. Your fence will start to look bad really fast, which is not worth the cheaper price for the material.
Redwood is a better choice because it’s more durable. It’s cut at 3/4 inches thick, which is way better for constructions such as fencing. It ensures the wood is more resistant to various conditions and will stand the test of time.
Wooden fencing is all but not low maintenance. Or maybe a more accurate statement would be to say that wood needs more of our attention than some other popular choices, like vinyl fencing.
When it comes to maintenance of redwood vs cedar deck, what would work better? In this category, redwood also performs better. It has more natural oils, which means it stays protected and looks good for longer.
Cedar fences require maintenance at least once a year for the wood to preserve its color and healthy appearance. Meanwhile, redwood can be left untouched for a few years before it requires maintenance.
But this also means that redwood is harder to paint, as the oils in the wood hinder the paint absorption. While that is the case, it’s the same quality that protects the wood from rotting, so again, redwood makes more sense for outdoor constructions, especially if you don’t want to deal with frequent maintenance.
It comes as no surprise that redwood is more durable, therefore, offers great longevity. A redwood fence can look fantastic for 25 years and more.
With cedar, it’s not the worst result as well. You can expect cedar to be in good condition for 15 years and up, provided it is well-maintained. But, like we’ve mentioned before, in the Sacramento, CA area, it’s hard to acquire cedar of substantial thickness that is offered in other parts of the country.
With that in mind, it’s hard to talk about longevity when it comes to cedar fencing. Usually, this wood starts to curl quickly, in a matter of weeks and months, and it doesn’t look as good as redwood does.
Only inexperienced builders choose cedar for fencing in our area, and in the long haul, it’s simply not worth it. You’ll be forced to install new fencing after just a few years.
If you’re looking for more sustainable wood, then you’re in luck - both cedar and redwood are eco-friendly and sustainable. They are not shipped from other countries, which makes them environmentally friendly.
If you’d like to choose the most eco option between the two, then redwood would probably be that choice, as it offers better longevity.
As mentioned before, redwood is a fantastic option for all outdoor constructions. It’s a harder and more resilient wood, but it makes it heavier than cedar.
The greater concentration of natural oils in redwood makes the wood more resistant to humidity, insects, and rotting. One of the most valuable properties of redwood is that it can absorb and release moisture depending on the weather conditions, which is why this wood is more resistant to warping or swelling.
Redwood fencing would be a terrific choice for those living in coastal areas, as well as in areas with a considerable level of rainfall and snowfall throughout the year.
Cedar could be worth considering if you’re looking for a lighter wood that is easier to impregnate. But it doesn’t offer great durability. Due to the lower concentration of natural oil, it is also susceptible to swelling when exposed to high humidity.
Cedar vs Redwood Fence - Which Is Better?
Both cedar and redwood offer some advantages. They look natural, are very eco-friendly, and can serve you for many years to come. But there’s a reason why we always choose redwood for our fence constructions.
This wood is far more durable than cedar, offering great longevity, a clean look, and peace of mind for you that will last decades. It’s a low-maintenance material, and due to the production aspects, it’s a far superior wood than cedar, which is much thinner and will start to deteriorate quicker.
If you’re looking for the best material for your fencing, then redwood is a much better choice.
If you’re not sure which type of wood would suit your project better, consult with us! At Superior Fence, we provide professional advice and a free quote for your project, so you have all the essential information to make the best decision.
Benefit from our expertise and enjoy your new fence in no time. We offer many different styles, like Dog Ear Redwood or Cedar Fencing, so you can choose the style that suits your home and needs.