Why Western Red Cedar is the Right Choice for Your Sauna

Widely used in commercial applications, such as gyms, spas and hotels, a sauna made from Western Red Cedar is an ideal building material choice due to the natural oils and extractives in the wood.  These naturally occurring preservatives enable it to withstand rot and decay for many years, even in wet and steamy environments.   Also due to its stability and low shrinkage rate, it is able to stay straight and hold it’s shape.  Western Red Cedar’s high insulation value captures the heat inside and easily absorbs sounds to create a quiet sanctuary that is beautiful, smells wonderful and is comfortable.

It should be noted, that Clear (free from Knots) Western Red Cedar is the preferred choice over Tight Knot boards, as the knots tend to absorb a fair amount of heat and can become uncomfortable when stepping on or leaning against.

western red cedar sauna interior

Building a personal sauna is relatively simple when the correct materials are purchased.  Although styles do very, the basic construction methods do not change.   These steps can provide you a general outline:

  1. Choose a spot for your sauna where plumbing, heating and electricity are easily accessible.
  2. Install any necessary pipes, wires, or gas lines.
  3. Personal saunas are generally heated in two ways: lava rocks, which are heated and then water is poured over to create steam, or infrared heating, which uses a heater inside the sauna.  If you are using infrared heating, be sure to have the correct amount of power coming in to the structure. If you are using rocks, you may need to dig a space into the ground for them.
  4. Lay a simple foundation for your sauna and frame the walls and ceiling using dry Doug Fir, no. 1 or 2 construction grade, 16″ center.  Use pressure treated plates.  Be sure to leave room for three ventilation points: one in the ceiling, one on the floor, and one above the heater. Add spaces for benches and windows as desired. Be sure to frame for a door that opens out.
  5. Insulate with fiberglass insulation and add a vapor barrier to keep moisture off the fiberglass and help it last longer.
  6. Roof the interior of the sauna with Western Red Cedar, but remember to keep a ventilation spot open for steam to escape.  A tongue and groove product works especially well in this application, as well as for sheeting the interior walls.
  7. Install your heating system, following instructions given with the system, and leave a wide space for the sauna heater.
  8. Place the first layer of flooring using ceramic tile. This goes over your heating system and will collect moisture.
  9. Lay a second layer of flooring using unsecured boards. You should be able to easily remove these and clean the tiles.  Clear, Western Red Cedar decking is an excellent choice for this.
  10. Install the sauna heater.
  11. Add any benches, windows and other fixtures as desired.

Overview of our Products

Located half way between Seattle and Vancouver, BC in beautiful Washington State, we provide homeowners and contractors quality building products.  We specialize in Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, as well as Doug Fir and other exotic and domestic hard and soft woods.

Because we are located in the Pacific Northwest, the only place in the world where Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar is grown, we have access to top quality material at extremely competitive pricing.  So, no matter where you are in the United States, your Western Red Cedar  and Alaskan Yellow Cedar is grown in our back yard and shipped to your area.   As many of our out of state customers have discovered, even with the cost of shipping your order direct to your door step, our products exceed the quality of what they are able find in their own markets with equal or better pricing.

Since 2004, our customers have valued the quality of our products, our commitment to exceptional customer service and superior product knowledge.

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!



Toll Free 1.866.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233



5/4×5″ Cedar Roof Top Deck

Sometimes, thinking outside “the box” can have great rewards!  Our customer recently completed this beautiful roof top deck to enjoy our beautiful Pacific Northwest Summer evenings.  When the weather cools and the “rainy season” begins, the Western Red Cedar deck panels can be removed and stored.  Because it is light in weight, Western Red Cedar is the perfect choice for this type of application.


5/4x5 Western Red Cedar Deck Panels

Each panel was made using our 5/4×5” Select Tight Knot Western Red Cedar decking; a somewhat uncommon size that allows the look of a wider board, but a little lighter on the pocketbook.  This decking is Kiln Dried prior to final milling, which makes for a smoother finished deck board.


cedar roof top deck


The decking was screwed to 2×4” Cedar runners and then the panels were laid in place.  It is important when installing Western Red Cedar to use Stainless Steel or coated fasteners to prevent corrosion.   It is also very important to allow spacing between the deck boards so that rain and debris can fall through and drain away.


5/4x5 Red Cedar Roof Top Decki


Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


Toll Free 866.757.6343

Fax 360.757.1050

Western Red Cedar Timbers

Western Red Cedar is a solid choice for both interior and exterior applications where strength and appearance is of up most importance.  With its straight grain and uniform texture, it has natural properties that provide greater resistance to insect attack, as well as rot and decay.  It is also flame-resistant and easily accepts finishes.

Because we are located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, the only in place in the world where Western Red Cedar is grown, we have access to top quality material in extremely long lengths and large dimensions.


Recently we shipped these beautiful 8×12″ by 32′ beautiful Western Red Cedar Timbers to a customer in Kentucky.  Even with shipping, the pricing, not to mention quality is far superior to any our customer could find in his local market.

Custom Western Red Cedar Timbers


32' cedar beams

Another impressive project is this stunning outdoor space created by using 8×16” x 32’, 8×8″ and 4×4″ Full, Rough Sawn Appearance Western Red Cedar that we sent to a customer on Long Island in New York.  The craftsmanship on this project is truly amazing!


Red Cedar Pergola over an outdoor kitchen

With practically every size and dimension available, our Timbers are normally supplied “green”, but can also be kiln dried per order, which does take approximately 4 to 6 weeks depending on production and size of material.  And while most timbers are rough cut, you also do have the option of having them surfaced on all four sides to produce a smooth, uniform appearance if desired.

cedar timber pergola

Our Western Red Cedar Timbers are available in either in Appearance Knotty or Clear grades.  Pre-staining is also available for Kiln Dried timbers.  Please note, because our Western Red Cedar Timbers are cut from natural sources, color variation is likely and we cannot select timbers based on color.

When installing Western Red Cedar timbers, all fasteners should be corrosion resistant or suitably coated to prevent corrosion and staining.



Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


Toll Free   866.757.6343

Fax  360.757.1050

Alaskan Yellow Cedar Shingles

ayc shingles

Also known as Alaska Cypress and Pacific Coast Cypress, this rare and remarkably beautiful cedar is only grown in the Pacific coast region of North America.  This light yellow wood, with its straight and uniform grain has been used in the boat building industry for many years because of its exceptional resistance to weather.  

Due to its short growing season, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is the hardest cedar grown in the world.  It dries quickly, works easily and performs well either finished or unfinished due to its natural oils that give the wood a was-like finish.  

Because of their fine, straight grain texture, exceptional decay resistance and unique ability to weather to a consistent silvery grey, Alaskan Yellow Cedar sidewall shingles are becoming increasingly popular. Alaskan Yellow Cedar shingles are packaged and graded to the same grades, standards and specifications as Western Red Cedar shingles and finishing is not generally recommended due to the abundance of oils, however they can be treated with a preservative to extend their life.

alaskan yellow cedar shinglesLeft untreated, Alaskan Yellow Cedar Shingles weather to a very attractive light silver grey.  Pinkish or blueish stains that may appear on Yellow Cedar are not a wood defect or problem, but are from naturally occurring oils that come to the surface during the manufacturing process that will disappear after exposure to the sun.



Before your next project be sure to visit us www.cclumber.com

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233

Toll Free (866) 757.6343  Fax (360) 757.1050


Come on Over and Check Us Out on Houzz!



Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233

Toll Free Phone  (866) 757.6343   Fax (360) 757.6343


Pre-stained & Pre-primed Western Red Cedar Shingles

Readily available “off the shelf” in 6 beautiful colors, as well as a transparent Cedar Tone or treated with Beaching Oil, or in any custom color desired, our pre-stained Western Red Cedar Shingles can add a stunning signature look to any building, combined with lasting durability.  Made from high-quality Western Red Cedar, renowned for even grain, weather resistance, thermal insulation and longevity, our pre-stained or pre-primed shingles are also available in natural, sanded and grooved finishes, as well as fancy cuts.

  • Stock Semi-Solid Oil Stain Colorsstain colors for shingles
    1. Water Lily
    2. Coastal Mist
    3. Iron Stone
    4. Traditional Brick
    5. Beach Pebble
    6. Thisis Brown


  • Red Cedar Transparent Stain available with a 5 year warranty
  • Bleached Shingles are a mix of 50/50 Bleaching Oil and Cabot Driftwood Grey Stain
  • Custom pre-stained shingles are available using a quality brand of oil-based semi-transparent, semi-solid or solid one coat finishes, including General Paint Products.  Custom colors available.
  • Pre-stain and pre-prime (in grey or white) is available for natural, grooved, sanded and fancy cut shingles
  • #1-16”, 18” & 24” Rebutted & Rejointed (R&R) Shingles, 100% vertical grain, 100% heartwood
  • #2-16”, 18” & 24” Rebutted & Rejointed Shingles


Installation and Care

Western Red Cedar sidewall shingles owe their beauty, color, durability and resistance to decay and insects to the presence of natural tannins produced during normal growth.  These natural extractives in Western Red Cedar are water-soluble and may lead to discoloration of finishes on the exposed surface of the shingle.  Discoloration from extractives usually appears when moisture from inside the home travels through the shingle to the exposed surface.  As the moisture evaporates it may leave reddish-brown vertical streaks.  This discoloration is not caused by the stain, the paint or any manufacturing process.

The sidewall product should always be stored in a dry, well-ventilated location.  You must keep the sidewall product dry throughout the application process.  You also must take steps to minimize or eliminate interior sources of moisture before and after sidewall shingle application including, but not limited to the following:

  • Maintain low interior humidity levels (this is the most common source of extractive discoloration)
  • Ensure proper ventilation during drywall installation, texture spraying, painting or any other process which increases humidity inside the building.  It is more likely that extractive bleeding will occur if these processes are not completed prior to application of the sidewall product
  • Apply over dry panels (OSB or plywood)
  • Use kiln dried studs

To minimize the potential for extractive discoloration, our supplier ensures that the shingles are dried to a moisture content that is less than 15%.  They also coat the entire shingle with a primer, paint or stain.  Shingles coated with an oil base solid primer that have a finished coat applied over the primer are less likely to experience extractive discoloration.  Semi-solid, semi-transparent, and clear stains offer less protection.

Extractive discoloration may also be caused by external sources such as rain, dew and water from faulty roof and gutter drainage.  These sources combined with dust and other matter may cause stains on the exposed area of the shingle, which is not the failure of the shingle, paint or stain.

Stain absorption may vary due to the density and/or porosity of old growth Western Red Cedar fiber.  The final color and how it adheres/absorbs into the material will vary.  Due to this, color matches are not guaranteed to exactly match any previous sample or order and a field coat following installation is required.

In some cases, certain coatings are “1 coat only” applications.  However, a second field coating is recommended after the stain has cured for best stain performance.  Prior to any field coating, test a small inconspicuous area for proper absorption.  Back brushing is recommended and do not over apply.



Limited Warranties on coating/finishes are offered through the coating/finish manufacturer.

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233

Toll Free Phone  (866) 757.6343   Fax (360) 757.6343



Knotty and Nice: Highly Textured Wood Has a Modern Revival

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233

Toll Free Phone  (866) 757.6343   Fax (360) 757.6343


How to Build An Arbor – FREE Plans!


cedar arbor

Looking to add interest to your outdoor space?  An arbor is a great way to do it! An arbor can define an entry way, patio area, cooking area or other outdoor space, as well as create vertical interest.  Your imagination is the only limit!


First, determine the structure you want to build.   Included here are some photos for ideas, as well as plans that you can download.

cedar arbor and gate

western red cedar arbor

red cedar arbor

small arbor

cedar arbor



We’ve got a lot more arbor ideas and photos on Pinterest,  as well, to help you find the one that is just right for you!


The free, downloadable plans, as well as videos included here, are provided by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association for your information and use.

Download your free arbor plans here!

Western Red Cedar Garden Arbor Plans

Western Red Cedar Garden Arch Arbor Plans

Western Red Cedar Gothic Arbor Plans


Once you have determined what you want to build, create a material list.  In addition to the Western Red Cedar, you will need fasteners to complete the job.  When using large timbers, bolts or lag screws are need.  Your connectors and any other required hardware should be corrosion-resistant or coated to prevent corrosion and staining.

Now it is time to build!

We invite you to watch these very informational how-to-videos to help make your project go smoothly!



Special “thanks” to our loyal customers, who make our products look so good!  The first four photos in this blog are the craftsmanship of Dexperts.  The last photo shows the craftsmanship of Soundecks.

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233

Toll Free Phone  (866) 757.6343   Fax (360) 757.6343