Updated: Jun 22
When you’re looking into how to build a cedar sauna, there are many considerations you’ll need to make.
Where will it be placed? What size will it be? What type of heater will you use?
But, among all these important questions, choosing the right lumber for the sauna is possibly the most crucial part of this process. Two of the most common choices for sauna lumber are cedar and pine–but one of these options is clearly superior to the other.
So which is better–a pine vs cedar sauna? Continue reading below as we discuss whether cedar or pine for sauna offers the premium experience, and reveal where you can find the best wood supply for sauna construction and more.
G&B Quality Cedar can meet all your cedar board needs. This blog is informational only and not a replacement for expert advice. Please consult a professional before starting any building project as your needs and specifications may vary and it may not reflect the most current building codes, regulations, or industry standards.
Why Selecting the Right Sauna Lumber is so Important
You may wonder why we even need to compare pine vs cedar for sauna in the first place.
When it comes to sauna construction, selecting the right wood can make all the difference between a long-lasting sauna and one that rots and needs to be replaced quickly.
If you choose the wrong type of lumber to build a sauna with, it could be unable to withstand the high temperatures, cracking, and warping after just a few uses. Plus, the lumber you use needs to have great insulation properties to evenly distribute the heat throughout the sauna, but still be cool enough to the touch so people can comfortably use it.
All in all, you’re looking for lumber that can handle the harsh conditions of the sauna and still offers a wonderful aesthetic and experience for its users–something not all lumber will offer.
What are the Key Differences Between a Pine vs Cedar Sauna?
To further illustrate the differences between the two to reveal which one is better, here are some of the major distinctions between pine vs cedar for sauna construction.
When people are installing a sauna in their homes, they want to enjoy the practical benefits, but they also want something that’s nice to look at.
Cedar is known for its natural beauty and stunning variety of hues, making it a great option for sauna construction.
Pine is a more knotty wood, which can detract from the overall look and feel of the sauna when it’s utilized instead. Plus, it’s typically not seen as visually appealing as cedar wood, especially since it is known to ooze sap when it’s exposed to high heat. This can get messy and unsightly, creating the opposite experience that someone is looking for when they build a sauna.
Heat Retention and Insulation
Another important factor is the heat retention and insulation properties of the wood.
This is another area where cedar shines over pine. It has great insulation properties, absorbing and spreading heat throughout the sauna effectively, but not cracking or warping under the pressure–or getting too hot to touch.
Pine is also a softwood, so it doesn’t get unbearably hot to the touch like hardwoods. However, the knots in the pine wood can make it less heat resistant, which could cause burns and rashes to sauna users if they’re not careful.
The heat benefits that come from using a sauna are the primary reason people use them. But, there are also tons of aromatherapy advantages that come from a wood sauna as well.
With a cedar sauna, users can actually get natural aromatherapy benefits from the wood itself–not having to look for sauna-resistant oil diffusers or other sources to enjoy these benefits.
The fantastic cedar scent makes the sauna experience that much better, which pine lumber lacks.
Maintenance and Care
Another major difference between using cedar or pine for sauna is the level of maintenance and care the sauna will require.
Cedar is known for being very low maintenance yet still durable, mold, and mildew-resistant naturally. Even with frequent use, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the maintenance aspect of the wood when the sauna is constructed with cedar.
Pine, on the other hand, isn’t as resistant to rot and decay, meaning you may need to make frequent repairs and maintenance to the wood to keep the sauna in working condition over the years.
Affordability and Long-Term Value
Pine lumber tends to be more affordable compared to cedar wood. However, cedar has exceptional longevity, making it a great investment when building a sizable project like a sauna.
Even if the western red cedar lumber cost is more initially, sauna owners can expect a longer lifespan from their cedar sauna. This means they’ll spend less on maintenance and repairs over time, and even on an expensive replacement.
So, Should I Use Cedar or Pine for Sauna?
We don’t really see it as a debate between a pine vs cedar sauna. From our experience, there is one clear option that is superior for saunas–cedar wood.
So why is cedar used in saunas so frequently? Its excellent durability, rot resistance, natural aroma and aesthetic, and other fantastic properties make it the superior choice to other types of wood.
Cedar is naturally chemical and toxin-free, which are great factors when it’s used in sauna construction. After all, there is a reason why cedar is the preferred choice for saunas around the world.
Get Your Cedar Sauna Lumber at G&B Quality Cedar Products!
Cedar is the best choice of lumber for constructing saunas. But, where you go for your cedar lumber supply is just as important, too.
At G&B, we have the top cedar sauna lumber for sale. Our family-owned and operated business is based in Bancroft, Ontario, but serves customers all across Ontario and has wholesale partners throughout Canada and the United States.
With world-class customer service and lumber quality to match, G&B Quality Cedar Products should be your go-to for any construction project–from saunas to decks, and beyond. We know the quality of lumber that our customers expect and deserve, so we always offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
You can’t trust the quality of cedar lumber you’re getting from any other supplier. But at G&B, we do all the western red cedar grading and sorting of the product ourselves. Because of this, we consistently offer only top-quality products. So when you work with G&B, you know what you’re getting every time.
Bringing Our Conversation on Pine vs Cedar for Sauna to a Close
There is no comparison between a pine vs cedar sauna. In our eyes and according to experts around the globe, a cedar sauna is always the better choice. Between its durability, its aesthetic appeal, and countless other qualities, cedar saunas reign supreme.
Next time you’re constructing a cedar sauna, or any other project for that matter, remember that G&B is the #1 choice of western red cedar lumber suppliers. Prioritizing quality over everything, you can always trust the cedar products you’ll find at G&B. We have wholesale lumber for seller partners all across Canada and the US, or you can visit G&B to get the cedar timbers for your next project today.
G&B Wholesale Lumber Incorporated does not assume any liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information provided in this blog post. The reader is solely responsible for any actions taken based on the information presented. Any reliance on the information is at the reader's own risk.
G&B Wholesale Lumber Incorporated is not responsible for any loss, injury, or damage that may occur as a result of following the suggestions, tips, or recommendations provided in this blog post. Building projects involve inherent risks, and it is essential to exercise caution, obtain proper permits, and engage qualified professionals to ensure safety and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The inclusion of external links, references, or recommendations in this blog post does not constitute endorsement or guarantee the quality, reliability, or suitability of the linked sources. The reader should independently verify the information and assess its relevance to their specific circumstances. The author reserves the right to modify, update, or remove the content of this blog post at any time without prior notice. It is recommended to check for the most recent updates or consult with professionals to ensure the information is current and applicable. By reading this blog post, the reader acknowledges and accepts the above disclaimer and agrees to use the information provided responsibly and at their own discretion.