Cypress vs. Cedar Wood

When it comes to picking the best wood for your furniture, Cypress and cedar wood are both excellent choices for you. They are both evergreen conifers. They have minor but essential differences alongside unique features.

There is not a better choice among the two as they are both excellent. It all goes down to the project you are using the wood for and how much you are willing to spend for this project. Your location also plays a vital role in picking the best wood.

This article outlines Cypress and cedar wood’s differences, features, advantages, and disadvantages. Keep reading for more information.

Cypress vs Cedar Wood

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Differences Between the Cypress and Cedar wood

CypressCedar
Indoor furnitureIt is mainly used for indoor furniture, but it is not the best choice as it is difficult to clean because of the waxy texture.Cedar wood is the better option for indoor furniture because it has a smoother texture, making it clean.
CostThis is a cheaper option depending on where you live.This is a more expensive option for those on a budget.
Outdoor furnitureCypress is used mainly because it is more affordable, but it does not last long because it does not absorb water.Cedar absorbs water especially the original cedar.
WorkabilityThe knots and grain make sawing and working with the cypress very difficult.It is easier to work with both manually and with tools because it does not have so many knots.
DensityCypress has a density of 500 kg / m3 with other types usually being between 450-550 kg / m3.It has a density of 490-520 kg / m3.
UsesThis is used to make furniture, decorative sheets, firewood, boats, etc. It is also used for exterior construction.This is used to make floors, cigar boxes, musical instruments, etc. It is also used for interior construction.
Drying timeThis is easier to dry but can end up tearing if one does not take their time.Cedar takes a while to dry with little risk of tearing up.

Cypress Wood

The cypress wood is popular in the Eastern Mediterranean region, growing in swampy areas like the Atlantic Coast. Since the wood grows in swampy areas, it has an outstanding ability to handle moisture. This wood also grows in hot and dry climate areas, usually ornamental trees.

The Cypress is a moderately strong, hard, and heavy softwood. It is usually classified as a hardwood because it grows and is manufactured alongside other hardwoods. The way it drops its needles can also be likened to how the leaves on the hardwood trees fall.

The cypress wood is a little denser than the cedar wood, and the oil it produces does not have a powerful scent as the cedar does. Although, cypress oil is used in some natural colognes because it has a woody fragrance.

The color of the cypress wood is yellowish-brown with bold patterns, dark brown heartwood, and a rough outline. The sapwood is whitish with a yellowish-brown core (10cm wide). The grain is course but with irregularities because of the number of knots.

There are many types of cypress woods that you can find. They all have similarities coupled with peculiarities. Some of them are:

  • Moroccan Cypress (Cupressus Atlantica) is found in the high Atlas mountain, west of Morocco.
  • Monterey Cypress (macrocarpa) is found in California and New Zealand.
  • Arizona Cypress (Cupressus arizonica): a North American species native to Mexico and Southwestern USA.
  • Mexican Cypress (Cupressus lusitanica): a species of Cypress native to Mexico and Central America.
  • Mediterranean Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens): a species of Cypress native to southern Albania, Eastern Mediterranean, southern and coastal Bulgaria, etc.

Pros

  • The cypress wood is highly durable than most.
  • It is affordable.
  • Easy to access because it grows fast.
  • It has an attractive color.

Cons

  • The wood is toxic, and it has a sour price.
  • Old-growth cypress is very expensive.
  • Needs to be stained.

Cedar wood

Cedar wood, on the other hand, is popular in the west. It is the most commonly used type of wood for both indoor and outdoor construction. It is known for its aromatic scent and versatility used in many applications.

The cedar is softwood, not very hard to cut, but is durable. Its weather-resistant features make it a good choice for outdoor constructions. It is family to a group of plants known as ‘gymnosperms.’

One of the most impressive characteristics of cedar wood is its scented aroma. This wood is used to produce a pleasant aromatic oil which is usually used to make deodorants, colognes, and even skincare products.

The color of the cedar wood ranges in different shades, from pink to yellow in the sapwood and yellow to reddish-brown in the heartwood. The best way to know an original cedar wood is through its color between the early and latewood. It has closely spaced grain lines.

The height of a cedar tree differs depending on the species, between 50 and 20 meters. They also live for an extended period, some passing 2000 years. There are many types of cedar wood you can find. Some of them are:

  • Lebanon Cedar (Cedrus libani) is found in the mountains of the Eastern Mediterranean basin.
  • Western Red Cedar (thuja plicata): it is native to Western North America, although it is not a true species of the cedar.
  • Atlas Cedar (Cedrus Atlantica): this species is native to the Atlas mountain of Morocco, the Rif, and Tell Atlas in Algeria.

Pros

  • It has rot and weather-resistant properties.
  • No need for treatment as it is resistant to insects.
  • Does not need to be stained.
  • It will not warp because of moisture.

Cons

  • Cedar wood is costly.
  • It isn’t easy when it comes to dyeing.
  • It fades to a weathered grey over the years.

Durability: Cypress or Cedar wood?

The most important questions you should ask yourself when picking wood for your furniture are how durable it is and how long it will last. The cypress wood is tough and also rated as very durable. Cedar wood has weather-resistant properties and rot-resistant properties.

All the species of the cypress wood share their durable and robust form (for the heartwood). The sapwood, on the other hand, is not very durable. The Cypress does not crack because it does not have layers, and the dried wood has a density of 470 kg / m3 thereabout.

Old-growth cypress wood is more durable than cedar wood, but this is hard to find and very costly. Due to its ability to resist insect and fungal attacks and its weather-proof properties, it is also a good choice for outdoor construction.

The cedar wood is very light, not as hard as the Cypress. The weather and rot-resistant properties only apply to some species of cedar. The split wood is likely to be infested by insects, and it has a density of 550-580 kg / m3.

The good thing is the cedar is durable to an extent and waterproof. Original cedar increases in hardness when it is put in water. As stated above, it has impressive aesthetics and antiseptic properties, making it suitable for outdoor constructions.

Conclusion

Cedar and cypress wood have similar advantages and disadvantages. They have their properties and applications peculiar to them. When choosing any one of these two for your furniture, ensure you pick the one that suits your needs. It would help if you considered where the furniture would be placed, your budget, and whether the cedar or the cypress wood will meet your needs.

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