Cedar is graded similarly to other western woods but its use is generally more concerned with appearance than structural strength. Most cedar lumber will be stamped with species and graded. Some high quality grades may not be stamped to prevent the wood from being defaced. You may run into some cedar grades at lumberyards that you may be unfamiliar with. Less technical grades are more subjective and are usually related only to appearance. We refer to these as vernacular or colloquial graded wood. The same lumber grades can vary between mills and from batch to batch. The best policy is to personally examine the wood before you buy it unless you are familiar and trust a specific lumberyard.
Trim Boards Knotty Grades Unseasoned or Seasoned
Select Tight Knot Grade or #1 – This grade has very few defects and some sapwood. Any knots present are sound encased and tight. It is generally regarded as a high quality choice for Cedar.
#2 - Has more knots and sapwood. #2 will be less expensive than Select. This will be the bare minimum grade you will want to use for use on a deck.
WRCLA Decking Grades
WRCLA Architect Clear – This is an exclusive high end product exhibiting the highest standards of manufacture and quality control. It is the most expensive and is usually manufactured to each individual order.
WRCLA Custom Clear – Finely machines surface will show some limited characteristic defects.
WRCLA Architect Knotty – Tight Knotted Decking. It is generally straight.
WRCLA Custom Knotty – Hole free, more and larger knots than Architect Knotty. This is least expensive choice for cedar decking.