Birch vs Cedar Wooden (For Furnishings, Flooring, and Cupboards)

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Take an in depth look into the Birch wooden and cedar wooden to find out the higher choose on your residence enhancements tasks for furnishings, ground and cabinetry round your home.

This is a close look at the rings of the cedar tree.

Birch and cedar are each available sorts of wooden. However what precisely are these two sorts of wooden, and which is healthier for furnishings, flooring, and cupboards, birch or cedar?

Cedar is less complicated to work than birch, however each end properly. Cedar excels in purposes that require rot and pest resistance, whereas birch is barely perishable and prone to insect assault. Birch has benefits for purposes that require more durable wooden, corresponding to flooring.

Let’s study the variations between the various kinds of birch and cedar in additional element to know higher which wooden you must select.

Desk of Contents

What’s Birch Wooden?

This is a close look at a birch wood plywood.

Species within the deciduous hardwood genus Betula, widespread throughout temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, yield birch wooden.

The genus accommodates 30 to 60 species, most of that are comparatively short-lived pioneer species.

The wooden tends to be positive in texture and lightweight in coloration with a reasonably excessive weight.

What’s Cedar?

This is a close look at the Japanese cedar wood plank.

Woodworkers classify greater than a dozen species from each hardwood and softwood genera as   “cedar.” Nonetheless, cedars have these properties in widespread:

  • Cedars have fragrant wooden with a lingering scent.
  • Cedar is rot and pest resistant, and woodworkers have a tendency to make use of it for exterior purposes.
  • Cedar is comparatively light-weight and delicate, and due to this fact simple to work with.
  • Cedar is normally reddish-brown, with exceptions corresponding to Northern white cedar or yellow cedar.

How are Birch and Cedar Completely different?

Now that we have now thought of what birch and cedar are, let’s have a look at what makes them totally different.

Description of Birch and Cedar

A look at a collection of yellow birch trees.

You’ll solely generally encounter two cedar species in North America: Japanese crimson cedar or fragrant cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and Western crimson cedar (Thuja plicata).

The heartwood of Japanese crimson cedar is reddish or violet-brown, with pale yellow sapwood that generally seems as striping or streaking within the heartwood. The feel of this wooden could be very positive and even, with a straight, normally knotty grain.

Western crimson cedar has reddish to pinkish-brown heartwood, with banding and striping of darker wooden and slim, mild yellowish-white sapwood. The grain is coarse and straight and usually freed from knots.

Birch heartwood is normally mild reddish-brown, and the sapwood is almost white. The annual development rings present nearly no coloration distinction, giving the wooden a uninteresting, uniform look.

The grain is straight or barely wavy. Sometimes figured wooden is obtainable with a large, shallow curl.

The feel is ok and even, and the endgrain diffuse-porous.

Some individuals examine the looks of birch to that of maple.

Birch has no attribute odor. Japanese crimson cedar smells like closet liners and birdhouses; Western crimson cedar smells like sharpening picket pencils.

Western crimson cedar weighs roughly 23lbs per cu. ft., Japanese crimson cedar 33lbs per cu. ft., and birches between 37 and 46lbs per cu. ft.

Sturdiness of Birch and Cedar

These are Western Red Cedar Trees growing and thriving.

Cedar is extremely sturdy in opposition to rot. Japanese crimson cedar could be very immune to pest assault, whereas Western crimson cedar has combined resistance to pests.

Birch is extremely perishable and can rot rapidly. It’s also prone to assault from pests.

Mechanical Properties of Birch and Cedar

These are a bunch of chopped birch logs.

Cedar has medium crush power, whereas birch has excessive crush power. Each sorts of wooden have low stiffness and excessive bend power and work properly with steam bending.

Western crimson cedar’s Janka hardness is a mere 350, whereas Japanese crimson cedar is 900. Some birch species, corresponding to paper birch, are comparable at 910, whereas yellow birch has a Janka hardness of 1260 and candy birch’s hardness is 1470.

Seasoning of Birch and Cedar

Birch dries slowly, with little degradation. It exhibits vital motion in service.

Cedar kiln dries rapidly and simply, and air dries with little degradation.

Working Properties of Birch and Cedar

THis is a close look at a carpenter working with cedar wood.

You’ll be able to work birch pretty simply with energy instruments, though it has one thing of a dulling impact on cutters. It’s fairly difficult to work by hand. It nails, screws, and glues properly and takes stain and polish very properly. It’s wonderful for white enameling.

You’ll be able to work cedar effectively with hand or energy instruments and aircraft it to a really clean end. Cedar nails, screws, and glues excellently. It stains and polishes simply and holds arduous enamels.

Availability and Sustainability of Birch and Cedar

Each birch and cedar are available. It’s unusual to search out giant boards of Japanese crimson cedar away from knots, however narrower boards with knots are available.

Neither the CITES Appendices nor the IUCN Pink Record of Threatened Species listing these numerous species as threatened.

Value Variations Between Birch and Cedar

Birch and Japanese crimson cedar retail at about $6.29 per board foot, and Western crimson cedar at $14.00 per board foot.

Which is Higher for Furnishings, Birch or Cedar?

This is a close look at a chair made of birch wood.

Due to its pest and decay repellent properties, woodworkers have traditionally chosen cedar for lining closets and constructing chests and dressers.

Woodworkers use birch for all elements of furnishings making, because it has a lovely look and works properly.

Which is Higher for Flooring, Birch or Cedar?

This is a close look at the cedar wood floor boards.

Most species of birch utilized in america are arduous sufficient to be appropriate for flooring, and woodworkers have traditionally used them for this function within the North-East. Cedar is advantageous in rot and pest resistance however is comparatively delicate and won’t maintain up properly to fixed site visitors.

Which is Higher for Cabinetry, Birch or Cedar?

This is a simple kitchen with birch wood cabinetry.

Birch is an appropriate possibility for cabinetry, however it’s essential to adequately defend it in opposition to moisture. Cedar is way too fragrant to be used with meals.

Some cabinetmakers take into account cupboards made with birch to have a dated look, because the distinctive determine of birch was in trend within the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies.


When selecting between birch and cedar for furnishings, cedar provides wonderful rot and pest resistance and has purposes for closets and drawers, however birch has the sting in look.

Birch is essentially the most acceptable for flooring. For cabinetry, birch is the higher of those two sorts of wooden however can have a dated look.


The Wooden Database: Cedar Confusion!

Hunker: The Professionals and Cons of Birch Wooden

Studying Middle: What’s Birch Hardwood Flooring?

How Stuff Works: Information to Furnishings Woods

The Wooden Database: Candy Birch

The Wooden Database: River Birch

The Wooden Database: Paper Birch

The Wooden Database: Yellow Birch