Cedar Shingle vs. Shake & Class

lp smartside and trim
For over the last two months, I have sat next to our national sales representative for cedar shingle siding, and the knowledge I have gained from him has been priceless. Every day I learn something new and interesting – and since I am in a sharing mood, I thought I would share some of his knowledge with you.

There is a difference between the terms “Shingle” and “Shake.” Even though the terms are universal, shake is more commonly associated with roofing and not siding. I found this to be very interesting. We have customers call all-of-the time asking for cedar shake. Are they unaware of the difference in terminology?

The lifetime expectancy differs based on whether the cedar shingle is stained or painted. With a semi-transparent stain, the lifetime expectancy of the stain is 3-5 years and 7-8 years for painted. However, the lifetime expectancy can change based on your geographical location, weather patterns and so much more. It is important to discuss your geographical climate during the purchasing process.

While you are out shopping for cedar shingle siding, there are two common types of cedar shingle siding to consider: Western Red Cedar and Eastern White Cedar.

Western red cedar shingle siding has tannic acid in the shingle so western red is stained instead of painted. If you were to paint western reds, you would find that the tannin would bleed through causing a variation in color. Even when western reds are stained, there is still a chance that the tannic acid could cause a tannin bleed, but is not noticeable when a semi-transparent stain is used. If left unfinished, western reds will weather over the years changing in color to black, brown, or reddish in color.

Eastern white cedar shingles do not have any tannic acid in the wood so solid colors are applied to them. If you decide to leave your eastern white cedar shingles unfinished, the shingle will weather over the years to a gray color. However, it is recommended that eastern white cedar shingles be painted to help increase the lifetime expectancy of the shingle.

After deciding whether you want western red cedar shingles or eastern white cedar shingles, what color paint or stain, you need to decide what grade of cedar shingle you would like. Eastern white cedar shingles are classified by grades A, B, C and D. Eastern white cedar “A” grades have no imperfections, were as the “B” grade has imperfections above the bottom 6” but are not on the exposed face. Once “B” grade eastern white cedar shingles are installed, it is hard to tell the difference between “A” and “B” grades.

When it comes to western red cedar shingles, they are classified by “class 1” or “class 2.” Class 1 western red cedar shingles have no imperfections, were class 2 does have some imperfections.

Here at Cedar Shingles Direct, we only carry eastern white cedar shingles in “A” and “B” grades – we do not order or carry “C” and “D” grades. As for western red cedar shingles, we only carry “class 1.”

So, if you find yourself in the market for Western Red Cedar Shingles or Eastern White Cedar Shingles, call us today!