Treaded Lumber vs Cedar Wood

When you set out to work with wood there are many choices from cedar to treated lumber made from pine and a whole host of other kinds of wood. All of these types of wood have their strong points and their weak points. When making something out of wood that is meant to be placed outside then the choices dwindle. Treated lumber and cedar are the 2 most popular kinds because they both are meant to stand up to the elements. Either can be used to created porch swings, fences, decks and many kinds of furniture. The article that follows will shed some light on both cedar wood and treated lumber.

Cost of Wood

Treated lumber is more widely available than cedar wood and the cost is most definitely reflected in that fact. Pine is the wood that is used more than any other when creating treated lumber and pine is more plentiful than cedar. The treated lumber can cost more than twice as much as cedar wood. This cost is determined by the harvesting season, where you are buying it from and the area you live in where you are purchasing it from.

Overall Appearance

Appearance means everything when you are building something with wood. It has to look great in your back or front yard or on your home. If you are looking for a more natural appearance to your deck, fence or other structure than cedar wood is the solid choice. In many cases you will find that treated lumber is made from pine that is considered low-end stock. This means that the boards have probably begun to warp prior to leaving the yard. They will also most likely have knot holes in them. Though treated lumber is less expensive than cedar wood, it is not as stylish.

Maintaining the Wood

Anything built from wood will have to be maintained regardless of treatment on the wood. Treated lumber is resistant to water, mold and insects while cedar is naturally resistant to all of those things. Any project you create that has flat sides such as a fence or deck will need to be maintained more often than other things made from the same wood. This is because the flat sides will get all of the force. Treated lumber and cedar both need to be cleaned regularly and kept up on in order to maintain their appearance at least every 2 years.


Treated lumber is treated in such a way that it can remain for many years without worry of degradation. Treated lumber can, however, crack and warp creating an aesthetically displeasing display. It can also create series structural issues. Cedar is a very soft wood so it can become worn out faster than treated lumber when subjected to a lot of abuse. It will not crack, shrink or warp like treated lumber.

In the Ground

Cedar holds up great to the elements but it will not do well in instances where it will be partially buried in the ground. Treated lumber will, however, hold up nicely.