Pressure Treated Wood vs Redwood

Image of treated wood. Which is better pressure treated wood vs redwood

A choice of pressure treated wood vs redwood crosses the minds of woodworkers and homeowners, especially when it comes to construction of exterior structures such as decks and fences.

Overall, pressure treated lumber resists rot and insects; however, it comes at lower prices compared to the Redwood. Redwood is dense and has the ability to withstand weather and crack over an extended duration.

It is an individual choice whether to use treated wood or redwood for different exterior wooden structures. Some factors that plays a role on deciding between the two include prices as well as required maintenance practices.

Pressure Treated Wood

Usually, pressure treated wood is created using yellow pine with an infusion of chemicals such as Alkaline Copper Quaternary, chromate copper arsenate( Abolished in the US), etc. The chemical treatment allows the wood to resist insects, bacteria as well as fungi. Usually, it would cost about 30% or 40% less Redwood would cost.


Redwood is mostly from California’s redwood forests and loved by many, especially for its aesthetic red appearance and elegance. A top-quality type of redwood has the capability to resist destruction by insects or and rot. The only thing that prevents people from using redwood is the high cost.

How Long Does Pressure Treated Wood Last?

Pressure treated wood is excellent, especially on your outdoor wooden structures. This product is not as expensive as the redwood and can last more than 40 years if you can accord it proper and constant maintenance. Using the best stains for pressure treated wood is one such way of maintaining you treated wood.

How Long Does Redwood Last?

An adequately maintained redwood can last up to about 30 years or more under suitable circumstances. It goes down as the fire-resistant decking material available on the market.

You will Redwood a remarkable deck construction material in almost every aspect. This wood is very stable and comes with excellent resistance against insects and weathering without the need to use protective chemicals.

If you choose to leave your redwood unfurnished, you will realize that it turns black at the beginning and changes to silver-gray. This wood is stable hence does not cup or warp compared to the pressure treated wood.

Does Redwood Need to be Treated?

Treating redwood is only necessary if you want the wood to last longer than its natural life and maintains its beautiful hue. Using the right stain and observing all the necessary maintenance practices, you can help protect your redwood against cracking and rotting, especially when the wood is continuously exposed to water. Semi transparent deck stains are the best for redwood.

How To Maintain Pressure Treated Wood

  • The very first step of maintaining your treated wood is cleaning. Using deck cleaner such as Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner would be great as it comes with a mildewcide that will protect your wood against mildew.
  • The staining of the deck follows the above step. It would be best if you used a water-repellent finish to protect the surface of your wood. However, before you stain your structure, you need to ensure that the wood is completely dry. Sprinkle some water over your wood; if you see a rapid absorption of water into the wood, you can stain your surface with a semi transparent deck stain. If the water happens to stain on the surface for more than 2 minutes, it means the wood is not dry, allow it a few more weeks to dry.
  • To have your treated wood on a top condition for an extended duration, ensure that you maintain it after 12 months.
Watch the video below on caring for pressure treated wood:

How To Maintain Redwood

  • It will help if you apply if you start by offering your redwood protection against destructive environmental elements such as water. Applying a finish can help keep your redwood looking wonderful for years and lock in the color and look you want. Using stains with features such as water repellency and UV blockers would be great in keeping your redwood in top condition.
  • Make it a habit of cleaning your redwood deck surface, for example, once every week. Clearing the surface off debris like dust or fallen leaves does a lot when it comes to maintaining the gorgeous look of your deck.
  • Another maintenance practice would be checking your redwood deck once every year and fix all the loose boards, nails, or any wear in the support structure of your deck.
  • Finally, check your deck periodically and refinish it if you see a need to do that.
Watch the video below on caring for your redwood table:

Pros of Pressure Treated Wood

Pressure treated wood comes with several advantages when used on a deck or any other exterior wooden structures.

  • It resists fungal infestations thanks to the chemicals used in the treatment process
  • Pressure treated wood resists insects such as termites that are popular when it comes to eating up of wooden structures.
  • They are durable when used externally, unlike the non-pressure treated wood.
  • Pressure treated timber is affordable, especially if you compare it with other wood types such as redwood.

Cons of Pressure Treated Wood

Here are some of the cons of pressure treated wood:

  • These woods contain chemical compounds that are not entirely safe for human use and need careful handling.
  • Pressure treated wood does fade when exposed to direct sunlight over an extended duration unless treated.

Pros of Redwood

Some of the advantages of the redwood are as highlighted below:

  • The redwood has an elegant appears which brings so much style and a lustrous feel to your external structures.
  • Redwood is durable and can serve you for as long as 3 decades provided that you look after it properly. It has high resistance and will surely stand the test of time.
  • It has a lightweight, which is a bonus, especially if you are looking to move it from one point to another during your projects.
  • Redwood is excellent when used outdoor thanks to its toughness and ability to withstand have environmental conditions.

Cons of Redwood

Here are some of the disadvantages that come with redwood.

  • Redwood is slowly reducing in numbers across the globe due to high demand on the market, making it an endangered specie.
  • It needs periodical maintenance so that it can last longer. You can use wood varnish as well as time to time cleaning.


Overall, both pressure treated wood and redwood are durable building materials and will guarantee your exterior structures an extended service life, especially under proper maintenance. So which one?

Pressure Treated Wood vs Redwood?

Well, redwood is excellent, especially for its beauty and durability. However, considering that it comes expensive compared to pressure treated wood, most people find it easy to go for treated timber. Having used the two types of woods, I’d go for redwood if I was to make a choice, and this decision is based on personal preference.

If you found this post helpful, kindly share your opinion in the comment section below.

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Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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