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Is Redwood A Hardwood?

If you’re considering using Redwood for a project, you need to know if the wood is fit for the project. One thing you have to know is if the wood is hardwood or softwood. There are some projects you can’t use softwood or hardwood for. That is why it’s important to understand the important features of a wood before using it for a project.

In this post, you will understand what makes a wood hardwood or softwood. You will get to know if Redwood is hardwood or softwood, the pros and cons of redwood hardwood and other details on redwood wood.

What is Redwood?

The redwood tree, also known as Sequoioideae is from the coniferous tree family. It is known for its several unique features. First, it is considered the tallest and largest tree in the world. The tree is known to reach up to 400 feet. Also, it grows very old and can live for up to 1,000 years.

Redwood is known for its vibrant red color. It is strong and doesn’t split when nailed. The red color tannins make the wood resistant to decay and insects. The wood is best used for the following project, furniture making, decking, fencing, patio covers, and outdoor projects.

There are three types of Redwood and each type can be gotten from a different location. They include

  • Sequoiadendron from Sierra Nevada California
  • Sequoia from Oregon and California
  • Metasequoia from China.

HardWood Vs Softwood

Before discussing if aspen is hardwood or softwood, you need to understand what makes a wood hardwood or softwood. Most people think that a wood is considered a hardwood if it’s hard and softwood if it’s soft. That’s not true. There are certain qualities a wood or tree needs to have to be considered hardwood or softwood.


Hardwood is obtained from deciduous trees. The trees are known to lose their leaves in autumn and are generally considered angiosperms. Hardwood trees are generally more expensive and are known to grow at a slower pace. Examples of hardwood are Teak, Oak, Hickory, Maple, Beech, Balsa, Alder, and Mahogany.


Softwood is obtained from conifer trees. The trees are known for their needle-shaped leaves and are considered gymnosperms. They grow at a faster rate and are generally cheaper than hardwood. Examples of softwood are Pine, Fir, redwood, yew, juniper, and Spruce.

Hardwood Vs Softwood

Hardwood and softwood have different features that make each unique. It is from these features that you can determine if a wood is hardwood or softwood. These are some of the features that differentiate hardwood from softwood.

Color: Hardwood normally has dark colors unlike softwood that has light colors.

Durability: Hardwood is highly durable, while softwood is less durable.

Weight: Hardwood is heavy and hard, while softwood is lightweight and soft. Note that there are some hardwoods that are soft.

Weather Resistance: Hardwoods are resistant to natural elements like water. That is why they are the best choice for outside wood work like fencing and decking. Softwood has low resistance but treating the wood can make it resistant to natural elements.

Branching: Hardwood trees have fewer branches than softwood with more branches.

Uses: Hardwood is used for furniture making, flooring and paper making. Softwood is used for furniture, cabins, paper pulp and solid wood products.

Workability: Hardwood is difficult to carve, while it is easier to carve softwood.

Is Redwood a Hardwood?

No. Redwood is not hardwood, rather it’s softwood. From its physical appearance, how the redwood tree stands tall and how tough the planks look, you may assume redwood is hardwood. But it’s softwood because it comes from a coniferous tree with needle-shaped leaves.

Pros of Redwood

a. Relatively Stable

Most softwoods are known to shrink and expand depending on temperature. But redwood resists shrinking, decay, and doesn’t warp irrespective of the temperature inside and outside. Over time, most woods dry and crack but redwood retains moisture and doesn’t crack.

b. Durability

One other reason why people opt for a redwood is its durability. The wood is known to last up to 30 years before it shows any sign of damage. Little wonder using redwood flooring in a home increases the value of the home.

c. Light Weight

The redwood is lighter than most woods but retains its durability. Also, it is easy to cut or drill through the wood for your projects.

d. Best For Outdoor Projects

Most softwoods aren’t good for outdoor projects but one exception is the redwood. Redwood is perfect for our outdoor projects that include fencing, decking or outdoor furniture. First, redwood has natural tannins that protect the wood from insect attacks. Also, the wood is resistant to decay.

e. Low Flammability

Flammability is how fast an object can catch fire. When compared to other softwood types, redwood has low flammability.

Cons of Redwood

a. Expensive

Redwood is relatively expensive when compared to other woods, especially the All heart or premium vertical grain redwood. But when compared to its unique features and qualities, I think it’s worth every extra dollar you spend.

b. Dents Easily

It is softwood and this makes it prone to denting when installed in high traffic areas. Also, scratches and marks are easily noticed on redwood.

c. High-Quality Fasteners

When installing the redwood floor, it is advisable to use stainless-steel fasteners and these are quite expensive. Using cheap fasteners will end up staining the wood.