Forever Redwood offers 6 Wood Grade options. Below are images showing each grade finished with our recommended and most popular sealant option, Premium Sealant. You can see an example of each wood grade in the photo below. From left to right is Mosaic Douglas-fir, Douglas-fir, Mosaic Redwood, California Redwood, Mature Redwood and Old-Growth Redwood:
Below are scanned images of each wood grade sealed with Transparent Premium Sealant. Unfinished boards are lighter in tone. Exact colors lightly vary since each individual tree's wood color is unique:
Like all wood species, Redwood is available in several grades depending on where in a tree trunk the board is cut, how old the tree is, how the wood developed and in what direction the board was cut. Our California Redwood grade is an attractive, high-quality wood from trees averaging 50 to 80 years of age. California Redwood varies from con-common to A-grade clear. Most boards have an open grain with less than eight growth rings/inch.
The only difference between our California Redwood and Mature Redwood grade is that the California Redwood grade includes “sapwood.” Sapwood refers to the outer perimeter of a tree trunk: roughly the last 20 years or so of a tree’s life prior to being harvested. Sapwood has less decay resistance than the “heartwood” that grew earlier in the tree’s life. Sapwood is vanilla/tan in color and makes up varying percentages of each California Redwood board (on average under 30%). Heartwood is similar in color to the light reddish brown of the Mature Redwood. In the Redwood swatch above, you can see how the left side's lighter colored sapwood compares to the heartwood majority.
Left out in the harsh year-round sun, rain and snow without maintenance, we guarantee our "California Redwood" products against decay in any climate for 15 years. In most cases, you can expect it to last longer. Click here to see how to keep your furniture looking new and lasting even longer. Redwood is an excellent choice for most outdoor applications and is our most popular grade. Choosing the California Redwood grade rather than the Mature Redwood grade will generally save you over 20%.
This beautiful, premium quality Redwood is sourced from trees averaging 100 years of age. All-heartwood, most boards have an open grain of less than eight growth rings/inch. Grades vary from select-heart to clear heart. Mature Redwood is usually a lighter shade of reddish brown than Old-Growth (see above photos).
Left out in the harsh year-round sun, rain and snow without maintenance, we guarantee our Mature Redwood against decay in any climate for 20 years. In almost all cases it can be expected to last much longer. Mature Redwood has decay and moisture resistance equal to or greater than the highest grades of Teak available today. Click here to see how to keep your furniture looking new and lasting even longer.
Selecting our Mature Redwood grade has an excellent value because of its great moisture and insect resistance, and its significant cost savings in relation to our Old-Growth Redwood grade. You won’t have to replace the set for decades whether or not you decide to do some aesthetic maintenance every few years.
We source this exceptional quality wood from trees over 200 years old. Forever Redwood’s Old-Growth comes from logs left on the ground when the forest was first logged between 1880 and 1970. Yes, it's 100% reclaimed lumber. Our Old-Growth wood is all-heartwood and is extremely resistant to decay/insects. It has already remained perfect after lying outdoors for up to 130 years!
Most boards have a tight grain because the trees grew slowly in a competitive environment, ranging from more than 10 annual growth rings/inch up to 30 rings/inch. Grades are select-heart to clear-heart.
Some of these trees were alive over 1,500 years ago. Unfortunately, because of over-logging, very little of this precious wood is available anywhere anymore. Forever Redwood is the only company that we know of that still makes furniture from Old-Growth Redwood. Our conservative forest management practices work with the forest to naturally bring back the giant old trees over time: we harvest significantly less than the forest naturally produces. By doing this, the forest trees get larger with each passing decade. Even though our method isn't rocket science, we are the only ones we know of that practice this kind of forest restoration.
Left out in the harsh year-round sun, rain and snow without maintenance, we guarantee our Old-Growth Redwood against decay in any climate for 30 years. In most cases, it will last longer. Old-Growth Redwood is in a class of its own with regards to decay resistance, and easily outlasts plantation-grown Teak. Click here to see how to keep your furniture looking new and lasting even longer.
This beautiful wood grade has been manufactured in our shop since 2009. Each board is a mosaic of small reclaimed pieces of Douglas-fir. The contrast of colors and grains is eye-catching, and best of all the wood is 100% recycled material. Mosaic Douglas-fir is made in our shop via labor intensive hand-jointing techniques to convert small pieces back into beautiful and strong “thick-timber” boards. Although Mosaic Douglas-fir is labor intensive, we are thrilled to finally stop sending these small and beautiful pieces of wood to the local landfill. It is 100% post-manufacturing recycled material.
Mosaic Douglas-fir boards purposefully have an occasional tiny knot included to add interesting and contrasting grain patterns to the furniture.
Left out in the harsh year-round sun, rain and snow without maintenance, we guarantee our Mosaic Douglas-fir against decay in any climate for 10 years. Click here to see how to keep your furniture looking new and lasting even longer. Mosaic Douglas-fir is an excellent choice for most applications. Indoors, furniture made from Mosaic Douglas-fir boards can be expected to last decades. To add a bit more protection for most outdoor applications, we recommend our premium sealant options (see Finish Options & Furniture Care).
Douglas-fir is a strong economical alternative from trees averaging 50 to 100 years of age. Although the Forever Redwood forestlands are mostly Redwood, about 1/3rd of the conifer trees are Douglas-fir. Choosing Douglas-fir is an excellent way to get any item in our catalog for approximately 20% less than it will cost to be made out of Redwood.
The Douglas-fir grades vary from #1 structural select up to clear vertical grain. Most boards have open grain of less than eight growth rings/inch that are light tan with occasional slightly darker streaks.
Left out in the harsh year-round sun, rain and snow without maintenance, we guarantee our Douglas-fir against decay in any climate for 10 years. Although it is structurally stronger and heavier than Redwood, it is lower priced because it usually does not last as long outdoors.
Exposed to the elements, Douglas-fir usually needs resealing to avoid the surface getting overly dry. With Redwood this is not the case. Douglas-fir will easily last 10 years or more without resealing, although it may develop cracks and a brittle look in some climates. With pavilions, sheds and gazebos, it can be an issue only with the exposed perimeter timbers. For pergolas and most furniture pieces, all exposed surfaces should be resealed as needed.
Resealing is simple and does not require sanding or power washing. A rag and some light rubbing adds oils to the wood, keeping it supple and beautiful. In dry, arid climates we recommend front loading the resealing by doing it within 6 months of assembly. Watch the wood for signs of drying and reseal as needed. For example, resealing a tabletop takes 10 minutes and is dry to the touch in a couple of hours. Resealing once or twice in the first few years will completely seal the Douglas-Fir to its new local environment and keep it looking beautiful for many years. If resealing is not your thing, we recommend one of our Redwood grades. See Finish Options & Furniture Care for more on how to keep your furniture or structure looking new and lasting decades.
Mosaic Redwood is a beautiful wood grade manufactured in our shop since 2009. Each board is composed of small reclaimed pieces in all 3 Redwood grades. The contrast of colors and grains is eye-catching, and best of all the wood is 100% recycled material. Mosaic Redwood is made in our shop via labor intensive hand-jointing techniques to convert small pieces back into beautiful strong “thick-timber” boards. Although Mosaic Redwood is labor intensive, we are thrilled to finally stop sending small and beautiful pieces of wood to the local landfill. It is 100% post-manufacturing recycled material.
Mosaic Redwood boards do not have any knots, and are purposefully constructed to maximize color and grain contrasts.
Left out in the harsh year-round sun, rain and snow without maintenance, we guarantee our Mosaic Redwood against decay in any climate for 12 years. Click here to see how to keep your furniture looking new and lasting even longer. Mosaic Redwood is an excellent choice for any of our products. To add more protection for most outdoor applications we recommend our premium sealant options (Finish Options & Furniture Care).
Forever Redwood offers various warranties up to thirty years. The secret to longevity begins and ends with the wood:
- Redwood is the most moisture and insect resistant wood species that grows naturally in N. America.
- All Forever Redwood furniture boards are cut extra-thick for added longevity. Just compare the girth of our products with our competitors. Thin and light wood furniture just can't survive decades out in the weather.
- All boards are air and/or kiln-dried to a 12% moisture content for the best long-term finish and stability.
- Each Forever Redwood item is hand built. Each board is hand selected for optimal results. For example, tabletops, armrests, bench seats and other furniture sections that come into regular human contact are made with vertical grain boards. Vertical grain is the most expensive lumber on the market because it is stronger, more dimensionally stable, and insures no splintering in future years/decades.
- Forever Redwood is rustic yet elegant furniture. To keep the rustic flavor, interesting grain patterns and some small sound knots are included in each piece to add contrast and highlights. We combine the rustic flavor with fine sanding (220 grit) for a smooth-to-the-touch finish.
- Although not recommended, if you prefer 100% knot-free furniture in any wood grade, just let us know. Knot-free is not recommended because the knots normally included are small and sound and knot-free lumber has less interesting grain patterns (mostly straight lines). There is a surcharge for knot-free orders that varies according to the item.
Wood Samples: If you'd like to experience the quality of our wood before placing a furniture order or if you'd like to see first-hand the difference between our five grades of wood, we offer a set of wood samples. For $21 we'll expedite your samples anywhere in the U.S. or Canada (includes HI and AK).
Forever Redwood practices restoration forestry. Restoration forestry severely limits timber harvesting so that the forest will mature to old-growth again. Restoration forestry is a gentle approach that truly protects and restores forestland in stark contrast to the standards of industrial forestry. Restoration forestry is true conservation forestry with much higher standards than the widespread “sustainable forestry” practices of today. To learn more about our forestry practices click here.
The photos above are good color and grain examples of our five wood grades. Please click here for more information on our finishes and color options.
Wood Quantity Matters
Our Forever Redwood Furniture is built to last for decades without maintenance. The secret is in the wood. Although many furniture outlets advertise as "heavy-duty" or "made to last," you can easily separate fact from fiction by checking the weight. If a piece is light, it is made from thin wood and the odds are poor that it will last for decades in year-round weather.
Forever Redwood furniture is unique because we mill our own wood to full inch dimensions. For example, a standard 2 by 6 is actually only 1 ½” thick and 5 ¼” wide. Our full-dimension 2 by 6 is 2” thick and 6” wide with 52% more wood. The thick timber significantly increases the feel, appearance, sturdiness and durability of the furniture. For example, our Eight-Foot Picnic Table with attached benches weighs 250 pounds.
The guarantees offered by other manufacturers point out the longevity expected. Most warranties are for 1 to 5 years. Forever Redwood offers warranties of 10 to 30 years against decay (depending on the wood grade). You may invest a bit more upfront to have a Forever Redwood handcrafted piece, but you’ll save significantly over the decades by never having to replace it.
For more on the extraordinary characteristics of Redwood and how we prepare the timbers, please go to: Redwood Timbers: Advantages & Characteristics
Wood quantity and resistance to decay increases as a tree ages. Because of over-logging, almost all wood available today is from young trees. Although a few other tree species also have excellent resistance to weather, the reputation of wood to resist decay was established in decades past when old-growth trees (over 200 year-old) were plentiful. Compared to old-growth, young wood has less resistance because it takes centuries of slow growth to develop great decay resistance.
Forever Redwood products will never splinter. They may develop a light crack after a few years out in the weather, but never a splinter.
Our secret to avoiding splinters is to always follow these 5 steps:
- Use dry lumber only. Wet lumber cracks aggressively when it dries and it begins the splintering process.
- Use vertical grain lumber on the most exposed surfaces. Vertical grain lumber cannot splinter because of the angle that it is cut.
- Sand to a smooth to the touch finish with all the leading edges rounded. We sand all our items to 220 grit and round all the edges of the boards.
- Seal the finished wood with the best sealant on the market. We hand rub 3 coats of the Sikkens Brand of finishes. We believe Sikkens is the best sealant for outdoor wood products based on our 20 years of experience.
- Use dimensionally stable high quality lumber. Redwood is the most decay resistant wood that grows naturally in N. America. And it is the very stable dimensionally (rarely warps, sags or twists).