Redwood Lumber vs Douglas Fir Lumber

Conifer forest

Redwood lumber and Douglas fir lumber are extremely popular choices when it comes to home improvement and woodworking projects. Both of these commonly grow in various parts of the world, with significant production. In the northwestern forests of America, redwood trees are prevalent. They are lumbered in excess and are shipped to different parts of the country from the forests. Douglas fir, on the other hand, makes up a significantly smaller portion of American forests.

Redwood Lumber vs. Douglas Fir Lumber

Redwood and Douglas fir lumber are not the same, and each has its own advantages over the other.

1. Color

The basic difference between the two woods, as far as appearance is concerned, is that Douglas firs are very light brown in color, whereas Redwoods, as their name suggests, are reddish brown to brown in color. Redwoods always have a red colored tinge in them.

2. Uses

redwood boards

Douglas fir and Redwood are commonly used in the manufacturing of furniture and other hardwood items. In addition, both Redwood and Douglas fir are ideal for indoor use. That said, the functions of both these kinds of wood are slightly different. While Douglas fir is more suited for making strong frames in the house, Redwood lumber is most ideal for setting hardwood flooring or for a redwood deck. Since both types of lumber are extremely durable, they can both be used outdoors as well. They can withstand the most weather variations and the damage caused by rain and sun.

3. Composition

Both Redwood lumber and Douglas fir lumber are straight grained and, therefore, very sturdy. They are highly resistant to decay and are extremely stable. They can sustain heavy weights when used as beams and framing structures. Redwood lumber has an added advantage of being an insect repellent. However, Douglas fir lumber scores over Redwood lumber because of its great strength to weight ratio. Structurally Douglas fir lumber is stronger than Redwood lumber, and perhaps that is why it is used more frequently for preparing frames of building structures. Regardless, both these types of wood are known for their strength.

4. Price

wood foundation framed in

Although Redwood lumber is more prominently found, Douglas fir lumber is extremely economical in comparison to Redwood lumber. Generally, Douglas fir is about 50% cheaper than Redwood, which is considered to be one of the most expensive types of lumber. This has perhaps to do with the fact that Douglas fir trees spring out very fast after they have been cut down, planted or burnt. Redwood trees are old growth trees and are considered very rich due to their fine grained appearance, rich color and slow growth. That said, although Douglas fir is known by this name, it is not a fir species at all, and the old growth trees of Douglas fir are free of sap and have a very high strength. As a result, Douglas fir lumber can also be expensive at times; still, it is never as expensive as Redwood lumber.


Due to its high strength and low cost, Douglas fir is more popularly used in structural work where large quantities of lumber are required. On the other hand, the furniture made from Redwood is considered more exquisite because of the rich appearance.