Is Thermally Modified Wood Siding Better Than Cedar or Redwood?

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Would you be interested in wood siding that’s been given superpowers? Right now, many home builders and designers are looking for readily available, budget friendly wood siding materials that rival Western Red Cedar and Redwood in color and beauty.

thermally-modified-hem-fir-siding-and-decking-1Thermally modified lumber as siding material looks fantastic on this lodge style home.


If this sounds like you, thermally modified wood can meet design needs, inventory needs, and budget. Check out these comparisons, pictures, and resources that can help you decide.

You are probably familiar with popular types of softwood siding material like Redwood and Western Red Cedar. Architects and home designers specify these wood sidings in their design for their how attractive they are.

But - they come with higher prices and are not always available when you need them. 


Therma Wood Thermally Modified Hemlock siding horizontal installationThermally Modified Hemlock siding shown with horizontal rainscreen installation


Not all heroes wear capes. There is another amazing wood siding option:  Thermally Modified American Ash or Hemlock wood. These siding materials can easily meet (and exceed!) your cedar or redwood project criteria in looks, style, and budget. Plus, several other benefits that may surprise you!


If this article caught your eye,

get even more information on wood siding in our free download here.

What is Thermally Modified Wood Siding?


Mataverde thermally modified wood rainscreen siding with oil finishA public area showcases the thermally modified wood siding used in a commercial application

Thermal modification is a scientific process that kind of “superpowers” the wood at the cellular level and make it a better and stronger exterior material than the original. (No radioactive spiders required!)

The result is high performing wood siding material frequently chosen for commercial and residential projects. Especially when it is important to stay on budget without compromisng strength.


RELATED: Learn More about Thermally Modified Wood Siding Materials


compare popular siding prices 2022Recent price increases made Thermally Modified Wood a frequently chosen wood siding option.  

Free download: The Ultimate Guide to Selecting The Right Rainscreen Siding, click here. 

Why Should I Use Thermally Modified Wood Siding? 

With great modification comes great responsibility. The thermal process significantly increases the durability and decay resistance of Ash and Hemlock. Why is this important for your project? Thermally modified Ash and Hemlock:

  • compares favorably in appearance for designs calling for Western Red Cedar, Redwood, and other softwoods.
  • have lower upfront investments.
  • are more readily available for your project.
  • have an impressive increase in moisture, mold, and rot resistance.
  • have had the sugars "cooked out" so are less tempting and very resistant to insect damage.
  • are less brittle after thermal modification than kiln-dried, easier to work with, and therefore saves time on site.

Thermally Modified Hem-Fir  siding on mountain homeThermally modified wood siding has low maintenance needs and can stand up to all weather types of weather


RELATED: What Is Thermally Modified Wood Siding?


  • are exceptionally stable with lower expansion and contraction than non-modified softwoods.
  • are very low maintenance and have a higher lifecycle return on investment than Cedar and Redwood.
  • boast rich, darkened grain patterns from the heat process that makes it beautiful and distinctive.
  • can be installed with a tongue and groove profile or, for a healthier exterior and more design options,
    use a Climate-Shield Wood Rainscreen Siding System profile.
  • are sustainably harvested.
  • are non-toxic to the environment, humans, and pets.

RELATED: 4 Things You Should Know About Thermally Modified Wood Siding


RELATED: "How Do Exterior Woods Weather?"


Compare Thermally modified Hemlock to non-modified hemlock and WR Cedar


ThermaWood Hem-Fir Wood Siding Material

Thermawood Hemlock diagonal and vertical rainscreen

ThermaWood Hem Fir siding chosen for this custom wood rainscreen system installation. 


RELATED: Compare Western Red Cedar Siding to Therma Wood Hem-Fir Siding


ThermaWood Hem-Fir Wood Siding Material:

Mataverde Therma Wood Hemlock-2Close up example photo of Therma Wood Hem Fir Siding colors and grain pattern


RELATED: Learn more about Fire Resistant ThermaWood Siding


RELATED: Request a Free ThermaWood Rainscreen Siding Sample

The free Ultimate Guide to Rainscreen Wood Siding can answer your questions

about siding materials and rainscreen installation. 

Thermowood American Ash Siding


Mataverde thermowood siding can be used indoors and outdoors

Thermowood exterior wood siding material was essential to designing this stunning four season room with outdoor exposure, including the ceiling and decking.  


RELATED: See the Thermowood Siding Project Photo Gallery

  • North American hardwood species
  • Medium to dark chocolate brown color range and grain pattern
  • Color can be preserved with an oil-based finish, or it can be allowed to weather to silver gray.

Close up example photo of Thermowood Thermally Modified Ash Siding colors and grain patternClose up example photo of Thermowood Ash Wood Siding colors and grain pattern


RELATED: Request a Thermowood Rainscreen Siding Sample


Have these resources given you a new option to consider? We hope so. If we can help answer any questions or offer a price quote, contact our team. We are happy to help. 

Grab your free copy of the Ultimate Guide to Wood Rainscreen Siding before you go.




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