Cypress is one of the popular woods for making siding, boats, and exterior and interior woodworking. You may see a cypress wood flooring project somewhere because of its quality.
Commonly, this wood can be found easily in the Southeastern United States. However, do you know that cypress is considered softwood rather than hardwood?
Even though cypress is used for any exterior woodworking project, this wood is softwood with a hardness rating of 510 lbf.
What makes this wood unique is this softwood still has some hardwood properties at the same time. That is why cypress can be a good choice when you look for versatile woods.
Characteristics of Cypress Wood
Cypress wood is known as light yellowish-brown wood. Even though it is a softwood, cypress is grown and manufactured with hardwood because of its density.
The characteristics of rot and decay resistance also make cypress considered hardwood. People also use this wood for many hardwood projects.
A good thing about cypress wood is its workability. In this case, you will find a hardwood-like material that is generally easy to cut, screw, and nail.
When you work on the cypress floor and other interior woodworking, make sure that you open the window because it has a distinct odor that can cause a breathing problem.
Categorized as North American Softwood, cypress wood is considered a very durable, mildew-resistant, and water-rot wood. With its unique quality as softwood, cypress has a wide range of wood applications like hardwood.
Things to Consider Before Using Cypress Wood Flooring
Before deciding to choose a cypress wood for wood flooring and other woodworking, you should consider several things first. Besides budget and design, you also need to think about other things such as site storage and finishing as below.
Acclimation and Site Storage
Cypress is a natural product that will respond to its surrounding. You should store it well to avoid swelling or shrinkage.
Usually, this wood must be conditioned in the area with a moisture content of 8-16%. Besides, cypress wood is recommended to store indoors for 4 inches off the ground in a dry climate.
In addition, you need to protect the wood from direct sunlight by covering it with a waterproof barrier.
To make your cypress hardwood flooring look perfect, you can consider using some ideas for its finishing.
The first idea is natural weathering where you leave the wood to get its natural color by siding it in its natural state and weather.
Besides, there is oil-based staining to protect the wood. Then, the painting comes to be another idea to finish the woodworking using cypress wood.
Cypress Wood Flooring Pros and Cons
Talking about cypress wood, you may know that this wood has its advantage and disadvantage. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of cypress wood is important.
It is because you can ensure whether cypress is the best wood for your woodworking. Thus, here are cypress flooring pros and cons you should know.
Cypress is a softwood with high workability, so cypress is easy to use in many woodworking project areas. It includes interior and exterior flooring, boats, and siding.
Besides, cypress is known as rot-resistant, decay-resistant, and insect-resistant. These characteristics make this wood more durable compared to other softwoods.
With its high durability, the price of cypress wood is still affordable enough for you.
However, cypress has some disadvantages, such as distinct odor and poor density.
With its distinct odor, you need to open the window or create better ventilation for indoor woodworking to avoid the breather problem.
Also, its poor density causes people to choose hardwood with a higher density for their woodworking projects.
Cypress Vs. Pine, Oak, and Cedar
Both cypress and pine belong to the softwood category. Cypress wood is harder than white and sugar pine. However, it is softer than yellow pine.
When it comes to woodworking projects, many people prefer using cypress because it is more versatile with its hardwood qualities. You can consider using cypress or pine depending on the type of woodworking you do.
Meanwhile, when talking about cypress vs. oak, oak is known to have a higher hardness than cypress because oak is 100% hardwood.
The hardness of oak is about two times harder than cypress wood with its 1,200 to 1,300 lbf. In fact, with the characteristics of cypress as both hardwood and softwood, on some occasions, it is better with its lightweight and durability.
Moreover, talking about cedar, this wood is known as a softwood like a cypress. However, both red and white cedar wood is softer than cypress.
The hardness of cypress is about 510 lbf, while red cedar is 350 lbf and white cedar is 320 lbf. That is why the use of cedarwood can be replaced with cypress wood which has better workability and durability.