Cedar vs. SPF. What’s the difference?

The difference between Cedar and SPF goes far beyond the price tag. First of all, SPF stands for Spruce Pine Fir, which indicates a mix of the wood types. Cedar is well known to be the most durable wood on the market, being the most successful at surviving harsh climates and weathering. Cedar is a soft wood, so when staining it is highly absorbent which allows the stain to seep into the wood and further protect it. A lot of people joke around when it comes to painting cedar. They might ask, “What’s the point in paying such a price for cedar when you’re just going to cover it up anyways?”. Even though the wood is covered up, cedar has to ability to withstand different weather conditions and also time. SPF is probably the most common wood used in the building industry, but with the lower price comes more upkeep and less quality. When used externally, SPF is often pressure treated to protect it, but cedar has naturally occurring preservatives called tannins that help to maintain the quality of the wood. SPF is commonly used because of the lower price and the fact that it’s more readily available than cedar.

Nothing compares to the aesthetically pleasing appearance and scent of real cedar, due to the rich tonal properties and oils within the wood. Cedar also comes from the most sustainably sourced forests. Cedar can come with many different properties, ranging from clear with perfectly straight and tight grain, to wider grain filled with the character of knots and texture.

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Cedar Lumber                                                                           SPF Lumber

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