It can be challenging to pick the best wood for your sauna with all the options on the market. Especially when you want to make sure you have the best wood for the overall experience. When you’re thinking about sauna wood, most people consider the look of the wood, how comfortable it might be, and its durability. It is important to consider these factors and others when selecting wood to ensure that the sauna is worth the investment.
Cedar is generally at the top of the list when it comes to wood for saunas, which is why it is the wood selected for all saunas, hot tubs, and showers at Divine Saunas. But you may be thinking, why is it such a sought-after wood? Good question. So, let’s discuss a little more about red cedar and white cedar, and you can learn why Divine Saunas loves cedar so much.
Western red cedar is one of the most traditionally used wood for saunas, not just for its glorious red to gold hue but also its longevity. Western red cedar is native to and primarily grown in Washington and Oregon, as well as British Colombia. These large trees can grow up to 200 ft with a trunk as wide as 10 ft. Red cedar also has twice the stability over other softwood species. Over time red cedar develops a beautiful grey tone when exposed to moisture.
The eastern white cedar is more commonly grown in southern Canada and around the colder swampy regions of the Great Lakes. White cedar has a yellowish-grey hue and turns vivid yellow over time when exposed to moisture. White cedar is smaller and slimmer than red cedar and reaches a height of around 50 ft with a trunk diameter of about 2 ft. Since western red cedar is a much larger tree, it is also far denser than white cedar.
Part of the sauna experience is not just the feel of the sauna but the aroma. Both red and white cedar has a unique and wonderful spicy aroma, unlike other types of wood, making it ideal for a relaxing sauna experience.
One crucial factor to consider with wood selection is its tannin properties, or natural oils, as it protects the longevity of the wood. The natural oils make cedar resistant to outdoor effects, such as rotting, warping, mold, or weather damage, so neither of these materials needs to be artificially treated with any type of wood sealer. The natural tannin properties in red cedar make it the superior insect-resistant wood and the most decay-resistant type of cedar. White cedar has a medium decay resistance but is still superior to other sauna wood, such as white fir and pine, which might be prone to mold or rot.
Cedar is a softwood and warms up quickly to achieve the ideal sauna temperature while still remaining comfortable to the touch for proper relaxation. This is unlike most hardwood like oak or teak, which can be prone to overheating. Cedar is overall more eco-friendly and energy-efficient than other types of wood on the market. This is due to its decay-resistance and insulation capabilities that provide the perfect, consistent temperature for a sauna. Additionally, both types of wood absorb sound to create a comfortable private ambiance.
It is essential to consider where the wood that a sauna is being built with is sourced. The red and white cedar for the saunas at Divine Saunas comes from the best possible locations in the world to source cedar for saunas. This is why our cedar requires little to no maintenance compared to other sources for cedar and different types of wood on the market. Now that you know both the difference and commonalities of each kind of cedar, it’s time to make a decision.
Considering everything we discussed, it’s clear that both types of cedar are fantastic choices for a sauna. What it comes down to now are budget and maintenance. While red cedar is initially more expensive, there is less chance for maintenance down the line. If you like the look and cost of white cedar better and don’t mind some possible future upkeep, it might be the perfect fit for you. Cedar is an excellent robust choice for a sauna either way. Both red and white cedar will offer you a relaxing and enjoyable experience for many years to come.
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