Why AlumiTubs Wood Fired Hot Tubs Use Canadian Western Red Cedar

Why AlumiTubs uses Canadian Western Red Cedar in our wood-fired hot tubs.

One of the many wonderful attributes of Canadian Western Red Cedar is its ability to withstand cold, wet weather. This iconic softwood is not only beautiful, but durable, renewable, and an excellent thermal insulator. Every piece we use to build our handcrafted wood-fired hot tubs is 100% recyclable with locally sourced materials on the Sunshine Coast of Canada.

Canadian Western Red Cedar is AlumiTubs' preferred wood because it is long lasting and durable. Western Red Cedar is also stable, dries with little shrinkage, and is free from pitch. Cedar is 100% biodegradable and has one of the longest life spans of any North American softwood making it a more eco-friendly alternative. The low density of Western Red Cedar is what makes it a great insulator (even more so than brick, concrete or steel) as the cell cavities in the wood fill with air, trapping heat as the wood warms up.

Iconic

As a Canadian-owned and operated company, we can't help but love cedar. After all, Canada has the world's largest stock of standing Western Red Cedar. It grows largely in coastal BC—where AlumiTubs is located—as well as the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains. In BC, Western Red Cedar makes up nearly 20% of BC's coastal forest. Every piece we use to build our handcrafted wood-fired hot tubs is sourced locally, right here on the Sunshine Coast of Canada. Check out this video with scenes from our local mill.

Western Red Cedar has always been highly valuable, with significant economical, ecological and social importance. Indigenous peoples have used cedar for millenia, relying on its strength, durability and versatility for ocean-faring canoes and longhouses, in baskets and jewelry, and even as clothing. Today it's highly prized as a building material, whether that's in a hot tub or a home. 

Strength

Canadian Western Red Cedar is AlumiTubs' preferred wood because it's long lasting and durable. But it's not cheap and nor should it be. Western Red Cedar produces timber with long, straight grains that is resistant to twisting, warping and shrinking. Similar to other trees, Western Red Cedar absorbs the moisture in the air, but its low shrinkage factor makes it superior to other softwoods. Cedar also has a natural resistance to decay, rot and insect damage, making it ideal as the cladding in our wood-burning hot tubs. And even though cedar is strong, it's lightweight, meaning you can assemble your AlumiTubs' hot tub pretty much anywhere, by yourself, or with very little help. 

Durability

Western Red Cedar trees grow to be about 1,000 years old. As building materials, they last a lifetime, which wrapped around our aluminum foundation, means your AlumiTubs wood-burning hot tub is built to last a lifetime. Plus cedar is naturally resistant to exposure, including sun, rain, cold, and heat (important if you're say, a hot tub company). Western Red Cedar is also stable, dries with little shrinkage, and is free from pitch. 

Renewable

Western Red Cedar is a renewable material. The wood we use is harvested using sustainable forestry practices, and grown and milled right here locally in our backyard. Other materials, like plastic, concrete and vinyl, are either man-made substances or extracted from the earth in a harmful way. Cedar is 100% biodegradable and has one of the longest life spans of any North American softwood making it a more eco-friendly alternative. 

Insulation

Wood is a great insulator—something that's obviously important in a hot tub. The low density of Western Red Cedar is what makes it a great insulator (even more so than brick, concrete or steel) as  the cell cavities in the wood fill with air, trapping heat as the wood warms up. 

Timeless Appeal

There's something timeless about the appeal of cedar. The rich hue and grains of a cedar plank, which range from a light to medium brown, is stunning in and of itself but add that to the classic shape of a hot tub and your property or backyard is bound to be the envy of all your friends. Then there's the scent. Cedar gives off a beautiful aroma, wet or dry, exuding a warm, earthy, fragrant smell. Keep in mind that constant exposure to the sun can dry out cedar and cause it to lose some of its natural color. Through regular maintenance, you can sustain the colour of your AlumiTubs cedar cladding keeping it looking brand-new for years. 

Caring for Cedar

Through regular maintenance, you can sustain the colour of your AlumiTubs cedar cladding keeping it looking brand-new for years. Never apply a paint, stain or other finishing treatment to the interior seats or fence as this will leech into the water. If you'd like to spruce up the cedar on the outside of your tub, we recommend sanding the boards. If you don't want the cedar to grey over time, you can stain or apply a clear coat to the exterior cedar slats to maintain your preferred shade. Be sure any product used does not contain a copper component as this will cause a reaction with the aluminum foundation. Mineral oils can also be used on the cedar components of your AlumiTub to restore the grain.

Note that the cedar tannins will leech the first few fills (typically 4-6) causing a brown/rust colour in the water. This is natural and harmless and your tub can be enjoyed just the same.

Otherwise, there's not much to know about maintaining cedar! Just be mindful of cleanliness inside the tub and prevent algae build up by following the cleaning instructions provided in your AlumiTub owners manual.

Make your property or backyard the grooviest place on the block with a classic, cedar-clad tub