When redwood lumber comes to mind, most people immediately think of lumber that is deep red in color, in other words, one of the heartwood redwood grades. And while the popularity of heartwood redwood is well-known, sapwood redwood grades offer their own set of benefits.
The most commonly available sapwood redwood grade, Construction Common, contains a mix of heartwood and sapwood that gives the wood a variegated tone with boards that may be redder in appearance, and boards appearing more yellow or blonde in color. Both Construction Common and Construction Heart, the most commonly available heartwood redwood grade, contain knots of varying sizes and other imperfections.
Construction Heart, and other heartwood containing grades of redwood, contains tannins that render it naturally resistant to termites and decay. The sapwood in Construction Common redwood does not possess tannins and is therefore less resistant. There are however considerable cost-savings between the two grades, and many applications where Construction Common shines.
In particular, Construction Common redwood is best suited for above-ground applications where termites and decay are of less concern. Applications such as above grade decks, fence boards and fence panels, fence top rails, some garden structures, and decorative elements such as signage, paneling, and furniture, all are suitable for Construction Common redwood.
The Home Depot offers a range of both heartwood and sapwood containing redwood grades, including Construction Common and Construction Heart from Mendocino Redwood. Popular product options include 2x4 and 2x6 deck boards sold individually and in 4-packs on HomeDepot.com. Customers in the Western U.S. may shop in The Home Depot stores to find a complete assortment of Mendocino Redwood products.