If you are in the process of upgrading the siding on your home, you may already have a vision of the type of cedar siding that you would like to use. In order to purchase the right type of cedar siding from your local lumber company, you need to know the proper terminology to describe what you are looking for. Here is a quick guide to cedar siding terminology that will help you communicate and explain exactly what you want.
Each board of cedar that is produced is graded based on a variety of factors. One of the factors that cedar is judged on is the visual appearance of any flaws. The two most common ways to describe the visual appearance and rate of flaws are the terms clear and knotty.
Clear: Cedar that is clear looks and feels smooth. Clear cedar generally has no, or very few, flaws, such as knots or color variation. The patterns and color on the board are similar throughout.
Knotty: Knotty cedar feels smooth as well; however, it has more visual variety than clear cedar. You are more likely to see streaks and knots in knotty cedar, as well as a great degree of color variation on individual boards.
Both clear and knotty cedar are durable and strong; these terms are used primarily to describe how the cedar looks.
There are three different types of grain patterns that are created based upon the position of the raw cedar log when it is fed through the saw that turns the log into usable construction material, such as boards and siding.
Vertical Grain: Vertical grain is created when the raw cedar lumber goes through the saw in a perpendicular manner to the growth rings on the tree. This creates the visual effect of straight lines going up and down the board.
Flat Grain: Flat grain is created when the raw cedar goes through the saw parallel to the growth rings on the tree. This creates a wavy pattern on the board that goes from light to dark. This type of pattern is also sometimes referred to as cathedral grain.
Mixed Grain: Mixed grain is created when a combination of the two above methods are used. It produces boards that have the visual traits of both vertical and flat grain.
To ensure that the cedar you order matches what you envision in your mind for your house, use the cedar terminology above to describe exactly what you are looking for to your local lumber company, like the ML Condon Company Inc.