Redwood has been recognized for its fire resistance; in fact, redwood-clad structures were credited with limiting the extent of the great fires following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Redwood has historically been used in firewalls and fire doors.

There is a grade of Redwood for almost any application suitable for wood. 


Architectural grades of redwood should be specified where the visibility and design integrity call for the material to maintain its appearance long beyond initial application. These quality redwood grades are available Certified Kiln Dried or unseasoned. Unequaled in beauty and stability, they are the best choice for precision joined and intricate or formal architectural designs.

Clear All Heart
Finest architectural heartwood grade. Available in Kiln Dried, Air Seasoned or Green Wood. It is well manufactured, free of defects on one face. Reverse side might have slight imperfections. Available surfaced or saw-textured. Used for siding, paneling, trim, molding fascia and mill work. Also fine for decks and garden structures.

Similar quality to Clear All Heart except containing various amounts of sapwood. Ideal for highly visible, above-ground applications. Available in Kiln Dried, Air Seasoned or Green Wood.

Heart B
Contains limited knots and characteristics not permitted in clear grades. Uses similar to Clear All Heart.

B Grade
Similar characteristics as B Heart but containing sapwood. Same uses as Clear. This is a quality grade containing sapwood, limited knots and other characteristics not permitted in Clear All Heart and Clear. This is used for quality decking, garden shelters and other above-ground outdoor applications.



These economical grades of redwood are tailor-made for outdoor applications. Their varied wood grains and knot-textured surfaces blend well with other natural materials. Garden grades are available seasoned or unseasoned and are usually surfaced on four sides (S4S). They are available in dimensions from timbers 20-feet in length to bender board, used for edging garden walkways. 

Construction Heart/Deck Heart
All heartwood grades contain knots. They are recommended for work on or near the ground such as posts, beams, joists and decking. Deck Heart has similar appearance and uses as Construction Heart but is also graded for strength. Deck Heart is available in 2x2 and 2x6 only. Heartwood is available seasoned or unseasoned.

Construction Common/Deck Common
Contains knots and combination of heartwood and sapwood. It is recommended for above ground applications such as railings, fence boards, benches and decking. Deck Common has similar appearance and uses as Construction Common but is also graded for strength. Deck Common is available in 2x4 and 2x6 only.

Merchantable Heart
Most economical all-heartwood grade, allows slightly larger knots than construction grades with holes limited to the size of knots.  Allows checks, some splits and some manufacturing flaws.  Used for retaining walls and garden or utility structures on or near the ground.

Same characteristics as Merchantable Heart but containing sapwood. Suitable for fence boards, trellises and above ground garden and utility applications.


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Wood is a renewable resource and redwood, as the fastest growing softwood in the nation, is one of our most renewable building materials.

For more information, contact the California Redwood Association.

2003 Redwood Empire, a Division of Pacific States Industries, Inc.