Understanding the Difference: Face Cord vs. Full Cord of Wood and Stacking Tips

Ever wondered how to make sure you’re getting the right amount of firewood for your needs? Picture this: you order a full cord of wood, but when it arrives, you’re not quite sure if it’s all there. Understanding the difference between face cords and full cords is key to ensuring you’re getting what you pay for. In this article, we’ll break down the mystery and clarify how many face cords make up a full cord of wood.

Knowing the distinction between face cords and full cords can save you from running out of firewood unexpectedly. By the end of this read, you’ll have a solid grasp of what to look for when purchasing firewood, preventing any confusion or miscalculations. Stay tuned to learn how to confidently assess the amount of wood you’re getting and make informed decisions for your heating needs.

Key Takeaways

  • A full cord of wood measures 128 cubic feet, while a face cord is a stack of wood that is 4 feet high and 8 feet long, containing only a third of the wood found in a full cord.
  • Understanding the difference between face cords and full cords is essential to ensure you get the right amount of firewood for your heating needs.
  • When purchasing firewood, clarify with the supplier if you are buying a full cord or a face cord to avoid confusion and ensure accurate estimation.
  • It takes approximately three face cords to equal the volume of wood contained in a full cord, making it crucial to calculate and plan your firewood purchases accordingly.
  • Consider your storage space, burning habits, and heating requirements to decide whether to invest in a full cord or opt for face cords for more practicality.
  • Asking relevant questions to your firewood supplier can help you make informed decisions, understand the type of wood being sold, ensure proper seasoning, clarify measurement units, and determine delivery and stacking services available.

Understanding the Cord: Standard Measurements in Firewood

When it comes to buying firewood, understanding the measurements of a cord is crucial. Let’s delve into the historical aspect of cord measurement and the key distinctions between a full cord and a face cord to help you make informed decisions.

The History of the Cord Measurement

Back in the day, the term “cord” was used to describe a tightly-packed stack of firewood that measured 8 feet long, 4 feet high, and 4 feet deep, totaling 128 cubic feet. This standardization ensured consistency in wood volume measurements, making it easier for buyers and sellers to quantify the amount of firewood being exchanged.

Variations of the Cord: Full Cord vs. Face Cord

Understanding the difference between a full cord and a face cord is essential. A full cord refers to a pile of wood that occupies a space of 128 cubic feet, while a face cord, also known as a rick, firewood rack, or stove cord, is a stack of wood that is 4 feet high and 8 feet long but with varying depths depending on the length of the logs.

In essence, a full cord is a complete unit of measurement, providing a standard quantity of firewood, whereas a face cord is more about the surface area the wood covers. To avoid any confusion when purchasing firewood, be sure to clarify the measurement unit with your supplier so you know exactly how much wood you’re getting.

By understanding the history and variations of cord measurements, you can confidently assess the amount of firewood you’re purchasing, ensuring you have an adequate supply for your heating needs.

Breaking Down the Full Cord

Dimensions of a Full Cord

When dealing with firewood, understanding the dimensions of a full cord is crucial to ensure you get the right amount for your needs. A full cord of wood is a standard measure equal to 128 cubic feet. This means a neatly stacked full cord of wood will be 8 feet long, 4 feet high, and 4 feet deep. This specific volume makes it easier for you to visualize the amount of firewood you are purchasing.

Volume and Usage Insights

Having insights into the volume and usage of a full cord of wood can help you make informed decisions when buying firewood. A full cord typically yields around 85-90 cubic feet of solid wood after considering gaps in stacking. This amount is equivalent to about 3-4 face cords, making it a cost-effective choice for those who require a larger amount of firewood for heating purposes.

Understanding the dimensions and volume of a full cord not only ensures you get the right quantity but also helps you plan your firewood needs more effectively. By being aware of these measurements and insights, you can confidently discuss your firewood requirements with suppliers and make well-informed purchases.

The Face Cord Explained

Comparing Face Cord and Full Cord

When comparing a face cord to a full cord of wood, it’s essential to understand the key differences. A face cord is typically a stack of wood that measures 4 feet high and 8 feet long. This means that a face cord has a single layer of wood, unlike a full cord, which is 4 feet high, 4 feet deep, and 8 feet long. Therefore, a face cord contains a third of the wood found in a full cord.

So, if you’re considering purchasing firewood, knowing the distinction between these measurements is crucial. A face cord may seem like a full cord at first glance, but it’s important to recognize that it’s a smaller quantity of wood.

How Face Cords Are Typically Sold

Face cords are commonly sold by firewood suppliers as a convenient way for customers to purchase smaller quantities of wood. Suppliers often sell face cords based on the volume of wood rather than standard measurements due to variations in the size and cut of the wood pieces.

When buying face cords, it’s essential to communicate clearly with suppliers about the quantity of wood you require. Ensure that you confirm the dimensions of the face cord being offered to accurately assess the amount of firewood you’ll receive. By understanding how face cords are typically sold, you can make informed decisions and avoid any confusion regarding the quantity of wood you’re purchasing.

Remember, whether you opt for a face cord or a full cord of wood, knowing the differences between them will help you make the best choice based on your specific needs.

Calculating How Many Face Cords in a Full Cord

Visualizing the Difference

To understand the distinction between a face cord and a full cord of wood, imagine a standard full cord as a neatly stacked pile measuring 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long. This full cord contains 128 cubic feet of wood, providing a substantial amount for heating purposes.

On the other hand, a face cord is a smaller stack of firewood that is typically 4 feet high and 8 feet long, equivalent to one-third of a full cord. While face cords are convenient for those requiring smaller amounts of firewood, it’s essential to grasp that you would need three face cords to equal the volume of a full cord.

Mathematical Breakdown

If you’re contemplating how many face cords make up a full cord, the math is straightforward. Remember, a full cord comprises 128 cubic feet of wood. Since a face cord is one-third of a full cord, you can calculate the number of face cords in a full cord by dividing the total cubic feet by the volume of a face cord.

Here’s the breakdown using numbers:

  • Full Cord Volume: 128 cubic feet
  • Face Cord Volume: 128 cubic feet ÷ 3 = 42.67 cubic feet per face cord

By applying this calculation, you’ll find that it takes approximately 3 face cords to match the quantity of wood contained in a full cord. Therefore, when purchasing firewood, be aware of these measurements to ensure you receive the accurate amount required for your needs.

Purchasing Tips for Firewood

Estimating Needs: Full Cord or Face Cord?

When determining how much firewood to purchase, it’s essential to consider whether you require a full cord or a face cord. A full cord is a standard measurement that equals 128 cubic feet of stacked wood. On the other hand, a face cord, although often visually similar in length and height to a full cord, contains only a third of the wood volume found in a full cord.

To estimate your firewood needs accurately, it’s crucial to understand the distinction between a full cord and a face cord. If you have limited storage space or don’t burn large quantities of wood regularly, opting for face cords might be more practical. However, if you rely on wood for extended periods or have ample storage capacity, investing in a full cord could be more cost-effective in the long run. Consider your usage patterns, storage capabilities, and heating requirements when deciding between the two cord types.

Questions to Ask Your Firewood Supplier

When purchasing firewood, asking the right questions can help you make an informed decision and ensure you’re getting value for your money. Here are some essential questions to ask your firewood supplier:

  1. What Type of Wood is Being Sold?
  • Different types of wood have varying burning characteristics, such as heat output, burn time, and fragrances. Ensure you understand the type of wood being offered to meet your specific heating needs.
  1. Is the Wood Seasoned?
  • Seasoned wood burns more efficiently with less smoke and creosote buildup. Inquire about the seasoning process to determine if the wood is adequately dried for optimal burning performance.
  1. How is the Wood Sold—by Full Cord or Face Cord?
  • Clarify the measurement unit to avoid confusion and ensure you receive the correct amount of firewood for your requirements. Knowing whether the wood is sold in full cords or face cords is crucial for accurate estimation.
  1. Are Delivery and Stacking Services Available?
  • Check if the supplier offers delivery and stacking services to save time and effort on your end. Understanding the logistics of obtaining the firewood can streamline the purchasing process.
  1. What is the Pricing Structure?
  • Be clear on the pricing details, including any additional charges for delivery, stacking, or specific wood types. Understanding the cost breakdown can help you budget effectively and avoid surprises.

By asking these pertinent questions, you can ensure a smooth firewood purchasing experience and select the right wood option that meets your heating needs and preferences.

Stacking and Storing Your Firewood

Best Practices for Stacking

When it comes to stacking your firewood, there are a few key best practices to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s essential to stack your firewood off the ground to prevent moisture absorption and ensure better airflow, helping the wood season properly. You should also create a stable base for your woodpile, preferably on level ground, to prevent collapse and make stacking more manageable.

Next, consider the orientation of your firewood stack. To optimize drying and seasoning, stack your wood with the cut ends facing south or southeast. This position allows the sun to reach more surface area of the wood, aiding in the drying process. Additionally, ensure proper spacing between the wood pieces to promote air circulation, which accelerates the seasoning process and reduces the risk of mold or insect infestations.

Lastly, cover the top of your firewood stack to protect it from rain and snow. Using a waterproof tarp or woodshed cover can help maintain the quality of your firewood and ensure it’s ready to burn efficiently when you need it. By following these stacking best practices, you’ll have well-seasoned firewood that’s ready to go whenever you want to light a fire.

Maintaining Wood Quality for Burning

To ensure your firewood is of the highest quality for burning, there are a few maintenance tips you should follow. It’s crucial to store your firewood in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mold growth and lower the wood’s heating efficiency. Regularly inspect your woodpile for signs of decay, mold, or insect activity, and promptly remove any affected pieces to maintain the overall quality of your supply.

When selecting firewood for burning, prioritize well-seasoned wood with a low moisture content. Properly seasoned firewood burns cleaner, produces more heat, and generates less creosote buildup in your chimney, reducing the risk of chimney fires. Avoid burning green or wet wood, as it can create excessive smoke, produce less heat, and potentially harm your fireplace or wood stove.

Remember to practice good firewood rotation by using older wood first to prevent excessive stockpiling and ensure all wood gets used before it deteriorates. By maintaining the quality of your firewood and following these burning tips, you’ll enjoy efficient and safe fires throughout the heating season.


You’ve now grasped the key distinctions between a full cord and a face cord, essential for making informed firewood purchases. Understanding factors like storage space and heating needs helps you choose the right option. Remember, proper stacking techniques, such as elevating wood off the ground and ensuring adequate airflow, are crucial for maintaining firewood quality. By following maintenance tips like storing wood in a dry area and inspecting for decay, you’ll ensure efficient burning and safe fires. Embrace these practices to enjoy cozy fires and warmth throughout the heating season.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a full cord and a face cord?

A full cord measures 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long, totaling 128 cubic feet of firewood. A face cord, also known as a rick or stove cord, is typically 4 feet high and 8 feet long but can vary in width, offering less volume than a full cord.

What factors should I consider when choosing between a full cord and a face cord?

Consider your storage space availability, usage patterns, and heating needs. A full cord may provide better value for larger heating requirements and long-term storage, while a face cord suits smaller spaces or shorter burning seasons.

What are the best practices for stacking firewood?

Stack firewood off the ground, orient the pieces for optimal drying, provide adequate spacing for air circulation, and cover the stack to shield it from weather elements for optimal quality.

How can I maintain high-quality firewood for efficient burning?

Store firewood in a dry area, inspect for decay or mold regularly, use well-seasoned wood, and rotate stock to prevent excessive storage and ensure consistent burning efficiency.

  • Lisa

    Hello! I'm Lisa, a passionate writer and enthusiast for all things related to home improvement, interior design, and transforming outdoor spaces. My journey into writing began with my own adventures in renovating my home, where I discovered the joy and challenges of turning a house into a personalized sanctuary. With a keen eye for design trends and a love for DIY projects, I aim to share insights, tips, and inspiration to help you make your home a reflection of your unique style and vision.

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