Western Red Cedar Boards
Our range of Individual Western Red Cedar boards are perfect for those clients who wish to create their own screening, fencing, planters, etc.
Some more of our more common questions are answered below, hopefully, we have answered yours, if not drop us an email and we’ll see what we can do to help.
Is your cedar British or Canadian?
Our Western Red Cedar comes from Canada and it is graded no2 clear allowing 15/20% of no4, so you can be assured this is a high-quality cedar.
I’ve seen these cheaper somewhere else.
This may be the case, we are not the only suppliers of Cedar slats/battens, but let’s look at maybe a few reasons as to why its cheaper.
Is it Canadian? Some suppliers advertise British Cedar, which we would love to buy British, but unfortunately, the best Cedar comes from Canada and that’s where we source ours from.
Is it the same size? Our most popular slats are 44mm wide, some advertised from other suppliers might be, for example, 38mm wide. It may not seem much being 6mm difference, but put that over a typical 1800mm high panel with a standard gap of 12mm and this could mean you would be having to order 4 more slats and this could add over £20 to section and if you’re doing 5 sections, that’s £100 more, so don’t let that slightly lower cost fool you.
Do they offer great customer service? Our feedback says we do, we’re not saying we get it right all the time but we try very hard to do so and if it does go wrong, we work even harder to put it right.
Basically when buying cedar just check that your comparing is apples for apples and if its still cheaper, they have it in stock and they’re feedback is good, then buy from them…I would.
Is it sustainable?
The short answer is yes, our cedar comes from a PEFC certified importer, which is certified that stock comes from a sustainable source.
How do I fix my cedar?
Whether you are using nails or screws they must be stainless steel, galvanised fixings will react with the natural oils in the cedar and leave black marks around the fixings, please make your installer aware if they have not used cedar before.
What is the colour of cedar?
Canadian Western Red Cedar has a mix of warm amber tones that range from reddish browns, dark chocolatey browns to lighter beige, this is what gives cedar its unique look.
The lengths are all slightly different?
This is quite common when buying cedar, our cedar is sold in lengths of 6ft to 9ft not the metric sizes of 1.8m, 2.1m, 2.4m etc, Canada use imperial measuring as oppose to the metric system, so your cedar will arrive approximately 6ft or 7ft etc, it may even be slightly longer, don’t panic, it may mean having to trim but this also means you get a nice clean and square-cut, just allow for this when using this material.
Should I set my posts at 6ft?
Setting the distance between posts is entirely your choice, 6ft, 7ft or wider maybe with additional support, although we would advise rounding down to the metric size, for example, if using 6ft slats, it may be best to set the posts at 1.8m centres, this allows you to clean and square-cut the slats, making sure each one is the same length as they will all be slightly different when you get them.
Don’t forget adding a couple of slats vertically will also help keep the gaps nice and even and consistent.
Storing my cedar?
If storing your cedar then unwrap and store flat, this will help prevent the slats from bowing, remember cedar is full of natural oils so don’t store on light coloured surfaces that may be porous such as rendered walls or tile paving.
Do I need to protect my cedar?
We recommend applying Treatex UV Oil to help maintain the beautiful colours.
I want to help keep/enhance the colour of the cedar, how do I do this?
Using a clear oil that has UV protection will prevent the weathering/greying effect, it will also deepen the colour of the cedar and bring out the grain, Slatted Screen Fencing recommend using Treatex UV Oil, this can be found on our accessories page.
Like most cedar suppliers, our cedar is supplied what is called “green” or “wet” don’t worry it’s not green in colour or dripping wet when you get it, it simply means it is fresh cut and has not been seasoned (left to air dry for a long period of time).
Western red cedar is often mistaken for hardwood, it is actually soft although it is classed as a durable softwood due to the fact it contains natural oils that protect the timber from rot, decay and insect damage, this is why it has been used for centuries in Canada and the US and is an ideal choice for exterior use.
As much as our timber is a quality product, it’s a natural product, knots, small chips, marking or scuffing can be quite common, any making is easily rectified with a little light sanding and knots or small chips usually solved by turning the slat so you have a good face side.
But to avoid any delays in finishing your project, we suggest adding some extra slats to your order, if you order the exact amount and find you have a couple that has a knot you do not like, or one that has worked loose, or something similar, then this will only slow your project down and potentially cost more money in extra delivery costs and replacement product.
Remember nature grew the tree and it didn’t check it with a spirit level while it was growing, allow for the odd quirk, bow or knot, order some additional just in case. We cannot guarantee that every slat will be perfect and therefore we cannot replace a slat because of something that is a natural occurrence
Most can be rectified by sanding or trimming, but please allow a little extra material just in case.
Q. My wood has splits in it
A. This is a natural occurrence known as “Surface Checking”.
Checking is the separation of grain that occurs in timber as the moisture levels change and timber dries. It looks like cracks and splits in the wood and is a natural process.
All timber will develop small cracks or “surface checks” this can happen due to the changing weather conditions, rain one day (moisture), sunshine the next (heat).
Checking will randomly occur and is a natural process as the timber reacts to these changes.
Q. Why is my timber cracking and checking?
A. Wood is natural product and as much as we cut it, plane it and profile it, in the end some pieces will misbehave and do exactly what they want, a little bit like my teenage daughter!
Wood it literally like a sponge it will absorb, retain and release moisture, sun, rain, heat, cold along with other mechanical factors will force the wood to adapt to its environment, this is a term known as weathering. The cracking/checking is a side effect of the timber trying to reach a natural equilibrium in its environment.
Timber starts drying from the outer/surface layers inward in order to reach a balance with its environment, as the outer layers dry and shrink, the moist, hard center (or heart wood) doesn’t give them room to shrink or compress, the cracks/checks are the wood’s way of relieving this pressure.
Q. Some pieces of timber are bowed, a knot has fallen out, it has sap in places.
A. Wood is natural product and as much as we cut it, plane it and profile it, in the end some pieces will misbehave and do exactly what they want, (a little bit like my teenage daughter!)
If fixed properly and at the correct spacing then on most occasions this bowing/bending can be rectified.
Occasionally though, you will get a piece that won’t quite do as its told and go where you want it to, this is why any timber supplier will always recommend adding around 10% additional to your order.
These things are quite natural and suppliers cannot supply every piece that is spirit level straight, knot or sap free, some allowances have to be made when working with products that nature produced, we just cut them and made them a little more pretty.