Cedar Vs. Redwood for a Deck

Deck materials have a significant impact on the life and appearance of your final product. Common woods used for decks include cedar and redwood as well as imported hardwoods and composite wood.

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Appearance marks the primary difference between cedar and redwood. Cedar tends to be light brown to salmon pink, whereas redwoods are light to dark red. Red cedar varieties are also available that may be closer to redwood in appearance. Port Orford cedar, the lightest option, is the most suited to staining and the longest wearing, according to Brian Bernbaum at CBS News.

Cost and Maintenance

Cedar and redwood are similarly priced, ranging from approximately $18 to $22 per square foot. Neither of them require pre-drilling, but both may need regular staining to prevent their color from fading. Both resist rotting and decay.


Both cedar and redwood are softwoods, which means they weather quickly. According to CBS News, they both feature excellent insulation abilities, making them ideal for outdoor decks.


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