Is Cedar Better Than Pressure Treated?

Is Cedar Better Than Pressure Treated
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When it comes to selecting the right wood for various applications, the debate between cedar and pressure-treated wood often arises. Each type of wood has its unique characteristics and advantages. In this article, we will delve into the comparison and discuss whether cedar surpasses pressure-treated wood in terms of its overall benefits.

Is cedar better than pressure treated?

In terms of comparing treated wood and cedar, pressure-treated wood stands out as the more durable and weather-resistant option.

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Understanding Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood, on the other hand, undergoes a preservation process to enhance its durability and resistance to moisture, decay, and insects. The wood is placed in a pressure chamber, where preservatives are forced deep into the fibers. This treatment significantly extends the lifespan of the wood, making it suitable for ground contact, such as in posts and foundations.

Understanding Pressure-Treated Wood

Durability and Weather-Resistance

In terms of durability and weather-resistance, pressure-treated wood holds an advantage over cedar. The preservatives infused into pressure-treated wood protect it from rot, decay, and insect infestation, ensuring a longer lifespan. This makes it an excellent choice for applications where the wood will be exposed to harsh weather conditions, such as outdoor structures and decks.

Environmental Considerations

When considering the environmental impact, cedar holds an edge over pressure-treated wood. Cedar is a renewable resource that can be sustainably harvested. It is biodegradable and has a lower carbon footprint compared to chemically treated wood. Pressure-treated wood, on the other hand, involves the use of chemical preservatives that can leach into the environment over time.

Environmental Considerations

Cost Comparison

In terms of cost, pressure-treated wood is generally more affordable than cedar. The preservation process applied to pressure-treated wood makes it widely available and cost-effective. Cedar, being a premium wood with natural resistance, often comes at a higher price point. However, it’s important to consider the long-term cost savings due to pressure-treated wood’s extended lifespan and lower maintenance requirements.

 Maintenance Requirements

Cedar requires regular maintenance to preserve its natural beauty and longevity. It should be periodically stained, sealed, or treated with oils to protect it from the elements. Pressure-treated wood, on the other hand, demands less maintenance due to its inherent resistance to decay and insect damage. Occasional cleaning and sealing are generally sufficient to maintain its appearance and performance.

 Aesthetics and Natural Appeal

Cedar offers an undeniable aesthetic appeal with its warm color tones and natural grain patterns. Many people appreciate the rustic charm and organic beauty that cedar brings to outdoor structures. Pressure-treated wood, on the other hand, has a more uniform appearance and may lack the visual charm of cedar. However, the aesthetics of wood are subjective, and personal preference plays a significant role in choosing between the two

 Aesthetics and Natural Appeal

 Application Considerations

When considering the application of cedar or pressure-treated wood, several factors come into play.

For outdoor structures such as decks and fences, pressure-treated wood is often the preferred choice. Its enhanced durability and resistance to weather and pests make it suitable for long-term use in such applications. Additionally, pressure-treated wood’s ability to withstand ground contact makes it an excellent option for posts and foundations.

Cedar, on the other hand, is favored for its natural beauty and warm aesthetic. It is commonly used in projects where appearance plays a significant role, such as siding, trim work, and outdoor furniture. The natural oils and tannins in cedar provide a level of protection against decay and insects, making it a suitable choice for moderately exposed areas.

In terms of indoor applications, cedar’s unique aroma and visual appeal make it a popular choice for paneling, closets, and furniture. Its pleasant scent adds a touch of elegance and freshness to interior spaces. Pressure-treated wood, on the other hand, is typically not recommended for indoor use due to the potential leaching of chemicals over time.


In conclusion, the choice between cedar and pressure-treated wood depends on various factors. If durability, weather-resistance, and cost-efficiency are the primary concerns, pressure-treated wood is the preferred option. It offers enhanced protection against rot, decay, and insect damage, making it suitable for outdoor projects. However, if aesthetics, natural appeal, and environmental considerations hold greater importance, cedar is the ideal choice. Its natural beauty, sustainability, and pleasant aroma make it a top pick for projects where appearance plays a significant role.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on the specific requirements of the project, personal preferences, and the balance between durability, aesthetics, and environmental impact. Consulting with professionals or experts in the field can also provide valuable insights to make an informed choice. Whether it’s cedar or pressure-treated wood, both options offer unique benefits and can be utilized effectively in various applications to create stunning and long-lasting results.

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