Best Uses for Cedar Lumber

saw blade next to a freshly cut piece of cedar
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Cedar lumber is an excellent wood choice for both indoor projects and outdoor projects. There are a couple of different types of cedar lumber, and they can be used in different formats. Before beginning a project with cedar lumber, you should understand what type works best for what projects.

Northern White Cedar

staining a cedar deck

Northern white cedar is primarily grown in its native region of the Northeast United States. This type of wood is naturally bug and rot-resistant, lending itself to multiple uses. As it ages, it will also weather to a beautiful silver-grey color. White cedar is a softwood that handles paint and stain in a uniform fashion. It is also split, crack, and water-resistant. The durability of this type of wood is known to be tremendous, having provided materials for shingles that have lasted well over 100 years.

Uses for White Cedar

Because of its durability and longevity, there are many uses for white cedar. You will find it commonly used in decking, siding, shingles, fence panels, and garden materials. These uses are great because of its natural ability to resist wood rot and bugs. You can also find it very commonly used for aquatic purposes. Saunas, boats, canoe ribs, and even ships use white cedar in their construction. Because this wood can resist the elements and maintain its natural beauty, it can also be used for many different types of outdoor furniture.

Western Red Cedar

cedar chest filled with linens and personal items

Western red cedar can be found on the Pacific Northwest Coast, spanning from Oregon to southern Alaska. Red cedar is definitely one of the most durable types of lumber found in the United States. It is decay resistant but does not absorb stain or paint consistently. It will darken as it ages to become a beautiful dark brown-red color. This wood is very lightweight and boasts a naturally straight grain. It also carries a subtle aroma that can only be associated with red cedar.

Uses for Red Cedar

Much like white cedar, because of its durability and history of longevity, red cedar is a prominent choice for decking, siding, roofing, and fencing. This wood weathers very well and, therefore, is very commonly used for many outdoor projects. Red cedar is also a favorite for indoor construction in humid climates because it is less likely to swell or warp. Many people desire to have furniture built or lined with cedar because of the natural aroma. One of the most widely known uses is for cedar chests. The chests are designed to hold valuable items or delicate materials. They are built or lined with cedar because they keep bugs such as moths or termites from destroying precious items.

Whether you are contemplating white cedar or red cedar, you can be sure of one thing, cedar lumber is one of the most durable wood choices on the market. Cedar is long-lasting and decay resistant, which makes it a great choice for most outdoor and some indoor projects.