Choosing Your Log Wood Species


The yellow pine in this home is an uncommon choice, but one we’re happy to work with!

We have talked at length about log profiles, wood floor choices, and even which wood species makes the best firewood, but have not addressed choosing a wood species for your log home. If you have your heart set on a particular species of wood, then we are happy to work with you to make your request work. However, our standard wood species are eastern white pine and western red cedar, and most of our clients choose one of these two species. Here are some of the advantages that make these two species our most popular.

Eastern white pine is great at brightening up a room.

Eastern white pine has so many advantages for use in a log wall, it is no wonder it is the most popular choice for our clients. One of its greatest advantages is that it grows very quickly throughout a large region of the eastern United States and Canada. This means that the wood can be sustainably harvested while remaining an economical choice. Eastern white pine also does not tend to twist like some other woods like southern yellow pine, meaning your log walls will stay true through the years. The wood is also a good insulator, offering an R-value around 1.3 per inch of wall.

Eastern white pine is a pale wood, which can be a great look on its own. It also takes stain readily, allowing you to tailor your log home’s color to your choosing. The wood has a fair number of knots in it, and the knots tend to be on the larger side. This can lend a more rustic feel to the home.

Western Red Cedar is perfect for this California home.

Western Red Cedar has such a wonderful smell that many customers cite it as a major reason for choosing the wood. This smell is also functional, since cedar wood is naturally insect resistant. Cedar is also a visually appealing wood, featuring a reddish tone, along with a very fine and prominent wood grain. The knots in cedar are typically smaller and less frequent, and some customers prefer them to pine knots. It is slightly less insulating than eastern white pine, with an R-value around 1.1 per inch. It is a very popular choice in the west, where it is grown, but is available nationwide. It is more expensive than eastern white pine, especially in the east, but many customers find the wood worth the wonderful sights and smells.

While these are our standard woods, we can educate you on other choices for log walls as well. For instance, while red or white oak can provide very beautiful log walls, they have low R-values around 0.75 per inch and expensive to buy and time consuming to finish. If you have a wood species in mind for your log home, or want to consult our experts to learn more, please contact Real Log Homes.