Cedar wood is widely known for its scent, but it has several other properties that are equally appealing and useful. These characteristics have expanded its usage in multiple industries. Some of the major benefits of this cedar wood include its utility in everything from roof shingles to guitars. However, the versatility is heavily dependent on the type of cedar lumber used, as not all are designed equally. In other words, a specific type of cedar lumber could be ideal for certain uses while not appropriate for others.

General Qualities

Cedar usually contains three basic features: It is softwood and matches pinewood in terms of hardness; it is not prone to changing its shape due to moisture; and its completely moisture-resistant. These qualities render it the most reliable for building furniture and other wood articles. It is also known for its aromatic characteristics.

Types of Cedar

Cedar lumber is an excellent option for indoor and outdoor projects, as its multiple variations are adaptable for use in different formats based on their respective characteristics. Ascertaining what types of wood will work best for your project is essential to maximizing the utility for all types of cedar lumber. Overall, cedar can be classified into two major categories:

1) Northern White Cedar

This type of cedar is mostly harvested in its native environment of the Northeast portion of the United States. It is known for its natural bug-and-rot-resistant features.  Its color gradually changes to silver-gray with aging. Due to its soft wood characteristics, it adapts in uniform fashion to the paint and stain utilized on it. It is not prone to any splits, cracks or other water-related damage. It is highly durable and known for its utility in making shingles that last well over 100 years.

Applications of White Cedar

Its durability and long-lasting features makes Northern White Cedar an optimal choice for a wide variety of applications. It is widely used in siding, decking, shingles, garden material, or even as fence panels. Additionally, due to its proficiency in resisting wood bugs and rot, it has developed into an excellent option for the creation of all types of outdoor and indoor furniture. It is also a common material used in aquatic equipment, including in the construction of saunas, ships, boats, canoe ribs, etc.

2 ) Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar is native to the region of the Pacific Northwest that ranges from South Alaska to Oregon. Because of its decay-resistant features, it is considered one of the most durable and popular lumbers of the area. It darkens as it ages, which results in a beautiful dark brown-red shade. It has a naturally straight grain and is extremely lightweight. It also emits a subtle aroma that serves to enhance its appeal even further.

Western Red Cedar is specifically known for its resonant qualities, that, when combined with its stability and relative lightness, render it an excellent option for crafting musical instruments. Due to its resistance against warping and cracking – as well as its ability to enhance acoustic qualities -- this wood is mostly used in manufacturing guitars, violins and other similar wood-stringed instruments. These same properties also make it a popular choice for interior paneling in rooms and corridors.

Uses for Red Cedar

Similar to White Cedar, Red Cedar is also well known for its durability and resistance to the elements, making it an optimal choice for a variety of outdoor projects, including siding, roofing and fencing work. Red Cedar is equally effective for indoor construction, especially in humid climates, as it never warps or swells in such weather. Due to its natural aromatic properties, it is also a popular choice in furniture fabrication. One common example of the latter is cedar chests, which are often used to store valuable and/or personally meaningful items. These are frequently crafted from Red Cedar, as its properties are essential in preventing bug and termite infestations.

Whether you are planning to use White Cedar or Red Cedar in Miami, one thing is clear - this type of lumber is one of the most durable and robust wood options on the market due to its insulating and decay-resistant properties.