One of the lightest in weight of the commercially available softwoods, Western Red Cedar is the giant of the cedars and is the largest and most abundant of all cedars It grows in managed forests in the southern coastal region of British Columbia and some of the moister interior valleys. It also grows throughout the Pacific Northwest of the US. Western Red Cedar resists warping, twisting, checking and is renowned for its high impermeability to liquids. The heartwood is soft in texture and varies in color from a light straw shade to a dark reddish-brown. The cellular composition of this species of cedar, millions of tiny air-filled cells per cubic inch, provides a high degree of thermal insulation. Its slow growth, dense fiber, natural phenol preservatives give it excellent weather-resistant properties and make it ideally suited for exterior uses such as houseboats, decks, siding, posts, fencing, shingles, shakes and of course our most popular hot tubs.
Found only on the western slope of the Pacific Coast Range from Southern Oregon to Alaska, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is a clear sulfur-yellow color, has a fine texture, is straight grain, and initially has a pungent odor frequently described as "raw potatoes". It's exceptionally dense growth ring pattern averages 43 growth rings per inch. Alaskan Yellow Cedar is one of the most beautiful of America's durable and less publicized softwoods and is the hardest known cedar in the world. Prized by boat builders for it's high strength and stability, it has exceptional natural decay resistance to weather and insects and is used for stadium seating, park benches, exterior cabinet work, decks, marine landscaping and some very fine hot tubs.
One of the most valuable of all woods due to it's scarcity and difficulty to harvest and transport, teak is prized for the construction of expensive boats and yachts. Because of its decay resistance, teak is used extensively as exterior decking, millwork, trim and windows. It's also used for garden furniture, park benches and many marine applications.
Teak is a very hard, heavy, strong wood, distinctively oily to the touch. It is resistant to insects, fungus, and termites won't touch it! It is also resistant to rot and moisture damage. When first cut, teak is a tawny green color, streaked with dark brown and gold. The color quickly changes to be a dark golden yellow, olive or light to dark brown.
Teak is native to India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina, including Indonesia, particularly Java. Also Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the East Indies. Although commonly grown on plantations, this type of farm grown teak is not suitable for hot tubs.
Port Orford Cedar
Grown only in southern Oregon and Northern California, Port Orford Cedar is very limited in supply. It has earned a reputation for it's strength and decay-resistance, and has an odor described as ginger-like or lemon-scented. Historically the Japanese have considered it a close enough variety to their prized hinoke and have used it as a substitute for Japanese architecture, fine boat building, railroad ties and fence posts (its heartwood has an in-ground life of 20-25 years). Renown for its beauty, durability, structural integrity and natural decay-resistance, Port Orford Cedar is the ideal wood for timber structures, and hot tubs.
POC color is a fine texture, straight grain, light colored wood with a pleasant and sweet-spicy scent. Its texture remains smooth with absolutely no raised grain or splintering. The color can also be described as a creamy white hue.
The Redwood trees of California have been harvested since the time of the first Spanish settlers, 400 years ago. It has been a highly prized lumber, renowned for several unique features. One of the most dimensionally stable of the western softwoods, redwood is not prone to checking and splitting, and therefore is less damaged by weathering. Redwood is more insect repellent in all-heartwood grades than other softwoods, yet it is lightweight.
Despite being one of the lightest of softwoods Redwood provides adequate strength for a wide variety of uses. It is superior in insulation values as it's minute cell structure, with thousands of air-filled cavities, accounts for Redwood's thermal insulation values. It is known for its easy maintenance and beautiful color: a deep reddish brown that darkens with age. Redwood is most often used for applications where high moisture levels are a problem for other types of wood.
Unfortunately quality virgin redwood, acceptable for hot tubs, in no longer available (more info can be found here). However although expensive, there is still a good supply of "reclaimed" redwood available. Reclaimed redwood is frequently from logs recovered from the bottoms of rivers. These are typically logs that were cut down up to 100 years ago,and sank as they were being floated down stream to the mills.
|Common Name||Scientific Name||Growing location||Typical growth height and diameter||Coloring||Rot Resistance||Characteristics||Density (weight per cubic foot)||Rate of shrinkage @ 6% moisture content||Janka Rating3|
|Western Red Cedar||Thuja plicata||Pacific Northwest of the US up to Alaska (with farms in Great Britain and New Zealand)||200 feet / 16 feet||reddish or pinkish brown to dull brown||very resistant to decay||generally straight grained with a uniform but rather coarse texture. Generally light in weight, moderately soft, low in strength.||22 lb.||1.9%||350|
|Alaskan Yellow Cedar||Chamaecyparis nootkatensis||Northern California, through British Columbia to Southwestern Alaska||120 feet / 6 feet||bright, clear yellow with a sweet, somewhat "raw potato" like aroma||resistant to very resistant to heartwood decay||moderately heavy, soft, fine textured, straight grained, and durable. It is rated as moderate in strength, stiffness and hardness..||29 lb.||2.2%||580|
|Port Orford Cedar||Chamaecyparis lawsoniana||Southwest Oregon northwest California||200 feet / 6 feet||yellowish white to pale yellowish brown||resistant to very resistant to heartwood decay||The wood has a fine, even texture and the grain is even and straight. It has a characteristic odor (from volatile oils), described as "gingerlike". It is moderately light in weight and is stiff, strong and hard.||27 lb.||3.7%||720|
|Teak||Tectona grandis||Native to India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina, including Indonesia, particularly Java.||150 feet / 5 feet||dark golden yellow, turning a dark brown with exposure||very durable with respect to decay fungi and termites||Often very variable in color when freshly machined showing blotches and streaks of various shades, but quickly evens out. Grain straight, sometimes wavy; dull with an oily feel; scented when freshly cut.||40 lb.||2.5%||1000|
|Redwood (old growth)||Sequoia sempervirens||Pacific Coastal US region from extreme southwestern Oregon south to central California.||300 feet / 12 feet||dark reddish brown||resistant to very resistant to heartwood decay||Exceptionally straight grain, high dimensional stability and resistant to warping.||27 lb.||2.1%||480|
|Ipe||Tabebuia spp||Pacific Coastal US region from extreme southwestern Oregon south to central California.||120 feet / 150 feet||amber to deep rich brown||extremely resistant to heartwood decay||A large % of people develop dermatological problems or skin irritation with direct contact. Therefore Ipe makes a poor choice for hot tubs and we don't offer it.||66 lb.||8%||3680|
|Common Name||Scientific Name||Growing location||Typical growth height and diameter||Coloring||Rot Resistance||Characteristics||Density (weight per cubic foot)||Rate of shrinkage @ 6% moisture content||Janka Rating|
3 The Janka hardness test measures the force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter in wood. This is one of the best measures of the ability of wood species to withstand denting and wear and is a good indicator of how hard, durable or dense a species off wood is.
Cedar / Redwood Hot Tubs
| Alaskan Yellow Cedar Hot Tubs
| European Timber Tubs
| Teak Hot Tubs
| Oval Hot Tubs
| Wood Fired Hot Tubs