Where does Western Red Cedar come from?
WRC is unique to the West Coast of North America. In British Columbia it makes up almost 21% of the coastal forests. In the rest of the growing range, it comprises three to twelve percent of the total growth, along with Douglas Fir and Western Hemlock. Inland Red Cedar is a sub-species of Western Red Cedar that grows in an area that follows the Rocky Mountains, goes south from mid-British Columbia to the Salmon River and extends westward from Helena, Montana to Spokane, Washington.

How long will a Cedar deck last?
Western Red Cedar is classified as a durable species. In many ways, it is the ideal building material as designed by nature, resistant to insect damage, moisture, and UV rays. Its extensive use for decking, siding, and roofing is well-established and highly recommended by professionals. You can expect cedar decking to last a long time, typically from 15 to 25 years depending on use and frequency of maintenance.

Is it necessary to treat Cedar with chemicals for preservation?
No. You do not need to treat Cedar with a chemical preservative. There are natural oils in the wood that aid in giving Cedar a longer life.

Will the appearance of Cedar change over time?
Cedar will turn a natural gray color as time goes on. This happens as the outside cells are exposed to the weather. This layer will then act as a barrier to further weathering. Many people prefer this weathered look.

What should I do to keep my Cedar deck looking new and fresh?
If you wish to keep that new look, you can give the deck a water repellent treatment containing UV protection. A semi-transparent or solid stain can also be used. There are many brands on the market. Regular treating will help to preserve the Cedar’s original appearance.

Can I paint Cedar?
Yes. However, once Cedar is painted, you cannot undo this; and it does hide the natural color and grain of the wood.

Is Cedar decking going to warp and twist?
Another great feature of the Western Red Cedar is the fact the fibers are long grained and very stable compared to other species of softwood. There is very little twisting or warping. Also, there are fewer splinters than some of the pressure treated lumber.

Is Cedar strong enough for a deck?  
Cedar’s strength makes it an excellent decking material. However, if you have any questions regarding span and weight loads for your deck, you should consult with local engineering authorities regarding the joists, spacing, and the amount of load you will put on the deck.

Where does Redwood come from?
It’s unique to the Northern California coast and adjacent regions. Redwood is harvested in commercial forests from San Francisco to Southern Oregon in a strip along the Pacific Ocean.

What is the Forest Stewardship Council™?logo-fsc1
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) is an independent, nonprofit, non-governmental organization with representation including environmental institutions, timber organizations, forestry professionals, community forestry groups, and forest product certification organizations. The FSC® logo on a product provides consumers with an assurance that the wood they use comes from forests managed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.




What’s the difference between nominal and actual thickness?
Nominal is a size designation most lumber uses for convenience. In lumber, the nominal size is usually greater than the actual size.

1″ x 6″ S1S2E Cedar Board

  • 1″ Thickness:        (1″ = Nominal & 7/8″ = Actual)
  • 6″ Width:                  (6″ = Nominal & 5 ½” = Actual)

Why do knots fall out of boards, creating holes?
Knots and the surrounding wood have different densities. Since knots are denser, they expand and contract less than the surrounding wood, loosening the bond.

Why do boards split when fastened with nails?
Correct nails and nailing practices are essential for successful installation. Choosing a needle point nail is a common mistake. While the most commonly used nail is a diamond point, a blunt point will reduce splitting also. Overdriving nails is another problem that distorts wood and causes excessive splitting. Pre-drilling will help reduce splitting.

What’s pressure-treated wood?
It’s wood that has been pressure-impregnated with an effective preservative. This treatment helps wood resist attacks by termites and decay-causing fungi.

How safe is treated wood?
Treated wood is very safe when used as directed. The preservative injected into lumber reacts with the wood substance to form an insoluble complex. It won’t evaporate or vaporize. Treated wood is clean, odorless, non-staining, and safe to work with and handle. Its locked-in protection is non-irritating to children, adults, animals and plants.

Can all tree species be treated?
Three species of pine: southern yellow, ponderosa and red are most open to treating. Some softwoods such as spruces, hem/fir, larches and Douglas fir benefit from incising (cutting small slits across the grain) to aid chemical penetration and treatment retention. Most hardwoods are too dense and complex to be treatable.

What does S1S2E mean?
S1S2E stands for Smooth one side and two edges.

What does S4S mean?
S4S means smooth four sides.

What does STK mean?
STK refers to the grading of the material, Select Tight Knot.

Why should I specify pre-finished wood siding?
Pre-finishing can cost as little as half of the price of a painting contractor painting on site. Your siding arrives at the jobsite protected from the elements. A recent U.S. Forest Products Laboratory study shows that as little as two weeks exposure to weather and sunlight will negatively affect wood siding’s ability to hold a finish. Finishing in a controlled factory setting ensures the greatest penetration and uniformity possible with no brush laps or skips.

Does it matter if I use kiln-dried or green lumber?
One of the most stable softwoods, Western Red Cedar is nevertheless a natural material. Cedar siding can swell or shrink as it gains or loses moisture to reach equilibrium with the moisture content of the surrounding air.  Also, drier wood products are more receptive to finishes than unseasoned or green sidings. For this reason, kiln-dried sidings are recommended for pre-finishing.

Does it matter which face is stained, rough or smooth?
Western Red Cedar is sold in a variety of patterns and grades, and the texture will be either rough (rustic) or smooth. Rough textured wood surfaces will absorb and hold more finish. The rough side is recommended in most cases. Smooth textured wood surfaces are less absorbent and more difficult to build a surface “film” upon. For this reason, a minimum of two coats of a film-building finish are recommended for smooth sidings to be exposed outdoors. It is also recommended that the smooth face should be field finished after installation.

Is staining the backside important?
“Back Priming,” or coating the backside on the same run in the factory, is a process that we recommend. We believe this process will greatly reduce moisture content fluctuations, thereby enhancing a siding’s performance. It will also help in avoiding cupping and prolonging the life of the finish. And, back priming can only be done before installation.

Should I back prime my deck boards too?
Yes! Moisture from under the deck and in the ground will be absorbed into the wood from the bottom. When the sun heats up the top surface of the deck, moisture will be drawn toward the finish and may diminish its longevity. Occasionally, this can even cause a penetrating, sealer type coating to peel, and bring the wood right up with it. “Back Priming” stabilizes the moisture content of deck boards and minimizes the absorption of additional moisture.