Many people want to compare redwood vs. other materials, particularly artificial materials such as wood plastic composite decking products. While these materials may promise “low” or “no” maintenance properties, these materials are often hard on the environment as they are usually resource and energy intensive to manufacture. Redwood lumber is a natural, low energy product. Redwood trees just need soil, water and sunlight to grow! Another challenge with wood plastic composite products is that contractors believe labor costs are significantly greater because it takes longer and is more difficult to use a wood composite material.
Pressure treated lumber is produced with preservatives effective at protecting the wood from termites and fungi. Pressure treated lumber is often used for deck substructures and other utilitarian applications. On the West Coast, pressure treated lumber is rarely used for deck surfaces, so is generally not in consideration when attempting to choose between redwood vs. other materials.
South American hardwood species, such as Cumaru, are known for being particularly dense and resistant to insects and decay. These materials can be installed up to 24 inches on center for decking applications; meaning that less product (be it redwood vs. other materials) may be required to build a deck. But one thing to keep in mind if you are considering Cumaru (or one of the other South American hardwood species) is that you’ll need to apply an aqueous wax upon cutting to seal the deck boards to prevent instability and cupping or checking. As with wood plastic composite decking materials, hardwood species are extremely heavy and increases labor costs and time required for installation.
Another benefit of redwood vs. other materials is the fact that it can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications to create a pleasing aesthetic consistency between design elements within your interior and outdoor living spaces.
With its multiple applications and natural resistance to damage from insects and decay, Mendocino redwood stacks up high in comparisons of redwood vs. other materials. Unlike certain other woods, redwood easily takes stains and finishes, and there are bountiful choices of these to ensure your outdoor or indoor home improvement project is customized to your unique design sensibility.