Cedar cladding is characteristically silky in texture and the wood has a strong aromatic odour which is most pungent when freshly cut. One of the lightest commercially available timbers, western red cedar has, for many years, been the most popular choice for timber cladding in the UK.
The popularity of cedar cladding is due to its beauty, stability and extreme resistance to decay. Together these qualities mean that, left untreated, the cladding boards will stay straight and last for many decades. However, if a surface treatment is required, the stability and complete lack of resin within the wood make cedar the ideal choice for painting and staining.
We have previously imported Canadian Cedar but these days we are better known for sawmilling and producing British grown western red cedar. British cedar cladding is more knotty than Canadian cedar, but it is also considerably cheaper.
British cedar grows within a hundred miles of our sawmills in Wiltshire. The wood is pale in colour and relatively knotty. British cedar cladding is approximately 35% cheaper than Canadian.
Cedar cladding is the most popular choice for exterior cladding because of its excellent durability, stability and volume to weight ratio. It is the most stable of all softwoods, with a very low tendency to shrink, warp, twist or check.
The low density of cedar has many benefits. The wood is very light, which makes it easy to move and install while the open cell structure gives the wood excellent thermal and acoustic properties. However, western red cedar is a relatively soft and brittle wood, which can easily be damaged if knocked or scraped.
When using cedar cladding you should be aware that the natural oils in western red cedar will react with any ferrous (iron based) compounds. Consequently, cedar cladding in areas with high pollution levels may weather to a black rather than a silver colour. As with all reactive timber species, care should be taken to use stainless steel fixings to avoid corrosion and associated blue staining.
British cedar cladding is knotty. To love it you have to embrace the knots. We do our best to grade out any large, loose or rotten knots during production and as a result, it is unusual for them to fall out after the cladding has been fitted.
We import Canadian cedar under the grade No 2 Clear and better, allowing 15% 4ths. It’s a bit of a mouthful and can be misleading. Essentially it means that most cedar boards will be free of knots, with 15% of boards including the odd knot. If specifying use BS1186-3 Class 2 or EN942 J20.
Colour variation is not included within grading restrictions.
We offer our cedar cladding and cedar weatherboard in a range of dimensions and profiles to suit a wide array of projects. Sawn cedar cladding or weatherboard profiles such as feather-edge create a rustic appearance suited to barn conversions and rural properties.
Machined cedar cladding profiles such as halflap, shiplap and tongue and groove create a more precise aesthetic suited to contemporary designs. Feather-edge cedar cladding boards are available in widths up to 200mm. For machined cedar cladding profiles the most popular finished dimension is 20 x 145mm, although narrower widths are available.
Cedar is one of the most stable and lightweight timbers making it relatively easy to fit. However as with all cladding it is important that you follow some basic rules. Take some time to browse through the Resource Centre. If in doubt give us a ring and we will do our best to answer your questions.
Most importantly, to fix cedar cladding you must only use stainless steel nails or screws to avoid staining and corrosion. We can supply the correct fixings with your cladding.