Choosing the Right Cedar Wood for Your Deck

Cedar is among the most popular types of wood that is used for decks, and there is good reason for this. Cedar is generally a very hard wood that is able to withstand exposure to the elements, and it has a lovely color that many people find appealing. However, there are several types of cedar that are available for you to use with your new deck construction project, and the different types of wood each have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. With a closer look at the options, you will be able to make a better decision about the materials used with your deck.


Chinese Cedar

Chinese cedar has a misleading name because it is not a true cedar. It actually has properties that are most closely related to fir. This is a relatively new material in the United States, and it has only been used in the area for approximately five years. While it is very low in cost, it is generally significantly inferior to western red cedar. This is because it is prone to decaying and has dimensional stability.

Western Red Cedar

This is one of the most popular types of cedar for deck construction, and there are some good reasons for this. It has a relatively light weight in comparison to other options, and this means that it will not place stress on the frame or posts. It also has a natural resistance to decay and will not swell or shrink due to moisture or temperature changes. However, it does have weaknesses and drawbacks. While it is water repellent naturally, splits in the wood can stress it, and this can result in warping and other issues over time. In addition, while it is a very durable and attractive type of wood, it is expensive. In fact, in comparison to northern white cedar, it is twice the cost. Many who are concerned about the effects of deforestation will enjoy learning that more of these trees are planted each year than are harvested.

White Cedar

White cedar is closely related to western red cedar, but there are a few differences. This is a tree that will not grow as large as western red cedar, so it has more knots in the grain. It is even lighter than western red cedar, which may seem to be a benefit. However, it is so lightweight that weakness is a concern. Its benefits are that it has a straight grain that is visually appealing, it is easy to split, and it is highly resistant to decay.


Pine is not a common type of wood that is used for decks except for those who want to save money. This is because pine is a very soft wood that lacks dimensional stability and is prone to warping. Even treated pine is not resistance to decay, and the chemicals used to treat the pine are not environmentally friendly. Generally, this is one of the lower-end materials to use for a deck simply because the wood will show signs of wear and tear from exposure to the elements very quickly, and this can impact your use of the deck and the value that the deck adds to your home.
If you are interested in installing a new deck on your property, choosing the right material to use is one of the most important preliminary steps to take. While there are many different types of wood to choose from, they will not all have the same benefits. You can get a quote for your deck installation project for the types of wood that you are most interested in, and this can help you to further decide which type of wood you should use with your project. Here at Creative Backyard Concepts we recommend Western Red Cedar for the many great benefits it offers.

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