Wood Comparison Series: Cedar vs Mahogany Decking

Cedar and mahogany wood are both popular choices when building backyard decks. In general, both products are good choices that can help make you satisfied with the deck in your backyard paradise. That being said, there is a difference between being satisfied with your deck and loving your deck.

Continuing in our Wood Comparison series, which you can find here part 1 and part 2 of Ipe vs Mahogany decking, today we will have a look at cedar vs mahogany and how they stand up for your scenic backyard patio. This will help you have some background knowledge for when visiting a hardwood supplier near you.

Colour & Staining Genuine Mahogany and Cedar

While cedar and genuine mahogany don’t share much in terms of growing space, they both come in a similar variety of colours. Cedar can be found from light to dark tones but will usually be a light, reddish colour. Mahogany lumber on the other hand, is a pink/reddish brown to an orangered-brown colour.

While you can find various tones of colour for both these woods, they both take on stains and paints well. This gives you the versatility to lighten or darken your deck as you see fit.

Left untreated, both these woods will begin to grey giving them a silvery look. Many people often let their decks silver in an effort to reduce deck maintenance and because the neutral grey tones blend in well with the environment around it.

Grain & Texture: Feeling the Difference

It is important to keep in mind, when building your exterior deck, how the chosen wood will feel on bare feet. While it is possible to attain a smooth surface on both cedar and genuine mahogany decks, their grain patterns make a difference in the end.

Genuine mahogany hardwood has a very compact grain that once sanded, gives a smooth surface deck. Cedar on the other hand, often has ridges and knots that may collect sap. Knots are more difficult to sand and can cause a bit of an uneven surface.

The differences in the wood grains have an impact on their lifespan as well.

Lifespan of Mahogany vs Cedar Decking

While aesthetics are usually an important factor when people select their decking wood choice from a local lumber yard, value for what is being purchased is the most pressing factor. While we will talk about the cost differences in Part II of our Cedar vs Mahogany Decking, it is important to keep in mind the difference in the lifespan of both these woods.

Cedar is a fast growing tree. This makes it ideal for timber sales but this speed in growth does not give it the time needed to really develop. With heartwood cedar a rare purchase, lumber yards are selling a higher percentage of second-growth trees. In these trees you find higher traces of sapwood, which can lead to rot and decay.. Mahogany on the other hand, is mostly heartwood which grows slower and this allows the wood to be more dense. While mahogany lumber is naturally gifted at rot resistance, at Green Wood Lumber, the genuine mahogany is also treated for extra protection against rot.

As such, cedar decks, with proper care and maintenance, will last approximately 8-15 years in normal weather and elements conditions. Under the same circumstances, a genuine mahogany deck, with the same level of care and exposure, will last 20+ years.

Join us again next month for Part II, when we look more into Cedar vs Mahogany Decking.

Until then, if you have any questions about today’s article. Contact Us with your questions!

If you are looking for more information or quotes on genuine mahogany, we can help you buy lumber in Toronto as well as across Canada!