If you’re considering getting a fireplace, we say go for it. This fixture enhances any living room, turning your house into a home. Nowadays, your decoration options are practically limitless, and you can choose from countless designs. Not to mention it will keep you warm and fuzzy during winter months.
However, fireplaces need regular maintenance. And the costs don’t end with just installing one. Once your fuel runs out, you’ll have to restock before you can enjoy the warm glow again. Unless you live next to a forest, you likely won’t get your hands on one. Luckily, you can buy firewood in bulk to last you the entire winter.
The buying process can be a little tricky, especially in the beginning. You’ll have to learn a lot of new terms, some of which are very slangy and counterintuitive. If you’re feeling a bit lost, don’t worry. We’re here to help.
If you’ve ever wondered about how many face cords are in a cord, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to clear up all the vocabulary you need to purchase firewood successfully.
What does a cord of firewood mean?
A firewood cord is a measurement unit describing the amount of firewood you’re buying. Also known as full cord, it has clearly defined dimensions – 4 feet tall, 8 feet long, and 4 feet deep. This amount to 128 cubic feet.
Wood isn’t a symmetrical material and it comes in many shapes and sizes. People came up with a full cord to set a definite amount of firewood regardless of the dimensions of each piece. Logs in a cord are tightly packed to fill out as much space as possible. That way, you get a fair deal on your purchase.
Of course, two full cords are never the same. But the differences are so slight that you won’t even notice them.
Although 4 x 8 x 4 are common dimensions, they may vary depending on your location. Always ask the seller about this information before you buy a full cord.
A cord of wood is rather large, meaning many people go for smaller units. After all, you likely won’t use 128 cubic feet of firewood in a single winter.
You should also learn some of the common synonyms for a cord. Full cord, bush cord, and stove cord are all popular names for this amount of firewood.
What does a face cord stand for?
Since full cords are so huge, many people go for face cords instead. These were designed as more approachable alternatives.
You’ve likely looked at a face cord at least once in your life – you just didn’t know what it was called. Many people store firewood outside, arranged in a way that maximizes the space. This is exactly what a face cord is.
A face cord is a stack of firewood with the following dimensions – 4 feet tall, 8 feet long, and 16 inches deep. This makes it a much more compact alternative to a full cord. It’s roughly one-third as deep as a full cord.
A typical firewood log has a volume of 8 to 10 inches. Since buying firewood this way would be unfair, most people sell wood as face cords.
Some people refer to a face cord as rick.
What is a half cord?
Once you know what a full cord is, figuring out a half cord is easy. As the name implies, it is one-half of a full cord. This means it has dimensions of 4 x 4 x 4, which equals 64 cubic feet. Half cords are much less common than face cords. However, they can be a great way to measure firewood if your truck can’t store full cords and face cords.
How much does a cord of wood weigh?
The weight of a full cord depends on several factors. However, it can weigh as much as 5,000 pounds. One of the factors that influence its weight is moisture. Fresh, green wood typically contains more moisture, meaning it will be heavier.
The type of wood also plays a part. Hardwood is very dense, which makes it much heavier than softwood.
On the other hand, a face cord is much lighter. It rarely weighs more than 1,200. The easier manipulation is one of the reasons why people prefer to buy face cords instead of full cords.
What else should you consider apart from firewood measurements?
Although you may think wood is just wood, that isn’t the case. Like with most products, its quality can vary greatly. How much wood fits inside a cord depends on several other factors. To avoid getting scammed, you should at least learn the basics.
Seasoned firewood/Unseasoned firewood
When you cut fresh wood, it contains a lot of moisture. It only makes sense since plants can’t survive without water. However, this water will evaporate over time. Seasoning is a method that speeds up the process. The sellers usually leave it outside so that the moisture content drops to agreeable levels.
While seasoned firewood has a moisture content of below 20%, unseasoned one can have as much as 50%. This moisture affects the volume of a full cord. The difference can be as high as 8%.
Avoid buying unseasoned wood. Apart from being less cost-effective, it performs poorly as well. You’ll have difficulties lighting it. And once you do, it won’t burn as well. It also creates much more creosote, which can be dangerous to humans. Always go for dry wood, even if it is a bit more expensive.
Factors such as the presence of bark, knots, and bents can further affect the size of a full cord. The more of these elements are present, the less tightly packed the full cord will be. Thus, you’ll be getting less value for your money.
What type of firewood is the best?
Not all wood pieces are the same. Their properties vary depending on whether they are softwood or hardwood logs.
Softwood catches fire much more easily, making it ideal for starting up your fireplace. Since it isn’t very dense, it burns much quicker than hardwood. Pine and fir are both great options for a softwood face cord.
On the other hand, hardwood takes a bit longer to catch fire. But once it does, it burns for much longer. Although it is a bit more expensive, it may be more cost-efficient when you consider this longevity. Maple and oak are fine examples of hardwood.
You can also combine the two types of wood – start the fire using softwood, then add hardwood later.
How many face cords are in a cord? Our final thoughts
Buying firewood for your fireplace can seem like an impossible challenge, especially if you’ve never done it before. Instead of English, you’ll hear terms such as full cord and face cord. Without prior knowledge, there’s no way you’ll understand what they mean.
Luckily, the answer is very straightforward. These firewood measures define the dimensions of a stack of firewood. A full cord has dimensions of 4 feet x 8 feet x 4 feet, giving it a volume of 128 cubic feet. A face cord has a smaller depth because its dimensions are 4 feet x 8 feet x 16 inches.
Once you memorize these dimensions, restocking your firewood will become a walk in the park. Just make sure you ask the seller questions since the dimensions may vary slightly.
If you liked this article about how many face cords are in a cord, you should check out this article about fireplace hearths.