Western Red Cedar Timber Cladding

Western Red Cedar, also known as Thuja Pilcata is a popular evergreen coniferous tree, which belongs to the Cupressaceous family. This softwood is used in structural as well as aesthetic projects especially in regards to cladding. While native to North America, today western red cedar is grown all across the world due to its increasing popularity in architectural projects.

The tree is pyramidal or conical in shape and grows up to 65 meters. It has a deep reddish-brown textured bark. The leaves appear fern-like, whereas the canopy is highly dense. Once cut, the timber can vary in colour that includes pale brown and deep dark reddish hue.

Characteristics of Western Red Cedar Cladding


Western red cedar, similar to other woods, is hygroscopic and tends to discharge or absorb moisture in order to achieve balance with the surrounding. However, it comes with a low shrinkage factor, which makes it better than other coniferous woods in terms of resistance to twisting, wrapping, and checking.


Western red cedar is one of the lightest commercial softwoods you will come across. In an oven-dry environment, the wood offers 21 pounds per cubic foot with 0.32 relative density. Its low-density characteristics optimize the insulation value, making it easier to handle and transport.

Acoustical Properties

Damp vibration is one of the important acoustical properties to consider. The wood contains a cellular network of tiny interconnecting pores that transforms sound energy into heat using viscoelastic and frictional resistance.

Thermal Conductivity

Wood naturally is a great thermal insulator. Considering thermal insulation assist in keeping the building cool in summer whereas reducing heating cost in the winter, it is a vital characteristic to look into.  Moreover, the thermal conductivity of heat is directly associated with its density. Low-density woods are the ones with higher thermal insulating properties due to their high cell cavity portion.

Considering the low density as well as high air space portions, western red cedar is among the best thermal insulator softwood species. Its thermal conductivity stands at 12% mc of 0.74 BTU inch/ft2h Fahrenheit.


Cedar has always been reckoned for its high durability; therefore have been used in a wide range of construction needs. If finished and maintained properly, western red cedar continues to serve for decades. Moreover, if it is exposed to the environment, which may result in decay, the wood can be treated timely with the right wood preservatives.


While western red cedar is a durable form of wood, but experts do not recommend leaving it untreated. This is because proper finishing and protective layering can help you to increase the longevity of the cedar. Owing to its high degree of dimensional stability, the wood efficiently accepts oils, paints, stains, etc.


While western red cedar comes with good fastening, the natural preservatives of the woods tend to imbibe a corrosive effect on certain unprotected metals. This can result in forming a black stain on the wood. Additionally, fasteners are resistant to corrosion in material, including aluminum, silicon, and brass, hot-dipped galvanized, stainless steel, or silicon bronze.

Fastening materials such as nails, screws, etc. should be longer in order to secure western red cedar as opposed to the materials used in hardwood species. And due to the lack of resin and pith, the wood offers exceptional gluing characteristics.

Why Choose Western Red Cedar As Your Timber Cladding Type?

Whether it is higher durability, resistance to decay, rot, mite attacks or less maintenance, there is an array of reason to choose western red cedar. And below we are discussing those reasons in detail-

Greater Versatility

The fact that this wood type is free of resin and pitch makes it compatible with different types of finishes. Western red cedar is capable of exhibiting finishes such as rugged chic bleaches, naturally elegant semi-transparent, conventional solid colours, and sophisticated dark stains. Moreover, you also get different lumber dimensions, grades, and surface texture.

Higher Sustainability

It is an evident fact that natural woods offer higher environmental performance as opposed to synthetic products. While other materials generate greenhouse gases, this highly sustainable wood works to remove those harmful gases from the environment. Contrary to composites, cement, and brick, western red cedar is biodegradable and renewable.

Aesthetic Appeal

The natural appeal of real cedar is truly elegant. Displaying sharp yet sophisticated texture, the western red cedar can be a great addition to innovative home decors, outdoor sanctuaries, and contemporary architecture.

Protection against Fire

Western red cedar has limited flame spread, which makes it an ideal choice for a wide range of projects. It is especially great for commercial interiors as it complies with Building Code Level 3 and many other fire safety requisites.


This cedar is popularly known as the Tree of Life as it offers extensive uses. This wood is used to build paddles, canoes, houses, totem poles, tools, and boxes. The bark of the tree was used to make clothing, mats, baskets, nets, and fishing lines. Traditionally, the cedar was also used as cooking pots.

Western red cedar is now used in a wide range of construction projects due to its versatile characteristics.  It is used to build homes sidings, roof shingles, indoor panels, etc. The timber is also used to make decks as well as furniture. However it excels as timber cladding.

Due to its impressive properties and high usability, today, red cedar is cultivated all around the world. If you are looking for the right timber cladding to include in your construction activity above, we have given all the reasons why you should pick western red cedar.

More Information on Western Red Cedar Cladding

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