As we plow forward expanding with building more kick ass authentic saunas in our world, the topic of what particular wood species for our hot rooms has become a “hot” topic. And it is VERY important to use the right kind of wood in our hot rooms.
For example. What is Eastern White Cedar?
I’m pleased to bring into the fold my friend Scott. Scott comes to us with MANY years experience in the sauna industry.
here is Scott’s explanation of cedar. Enter Scott:
I have never heard of Eastern White Cedar.
I wonder if it could be what is more commonly identified as Northern White Cedar? Or Eastern Red Cedar (aka Aromatic Cedar) is another one it could be and the only Cedar I’ve known to have the “eastern” name in it. If it is Eastern Red Cedar I would avoid it as this is the one that has the pungent smell (often associated w/ “Cedar Closets” and “Cedar Chests”), it reminds me of a hamster cage smell. The other downsides to ERC is that the boards tend to be very streaky and zebra like which I personally think looks bad.
The two “cedars” that I would strongly discourage using in a sauna application are Aromatic Cedar (Eastern Red Cedar) and Incense Cedar (sometimes called California Cedar). The article at the link below may help you in making your decision if you are considering Cedar for your sauna.
As always, I encourage the use of clear Cedar. If you are trying to keep costs down, knotty Cedar will work fine for walls but clear Cedar should be used for benches and backrests at a minimum.