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How to Build a Sauna: Adding tongue and groove cedar paneling

Begin on one side of your ceiling and nail your cedar panel boards perpendicular to the joists. Move across the ceiling until covered. As needed, cut a hole around the light box. Best if your light and switch are wet-rated.

Adding cedar paneling to the sauna wallsNext, nail the clear cedar paneling boards over the insulation and foil barrier. Nail your first row of tongue and groove wall boards to your studs horizontally, tongue up, groove down. Start from the bottom and move up. Generally, you only need nail the tongue after fitting it snugly over the prior row. This way the nail is hidden by the groove covering it. Vertical paneling is possible, but requires either plywood sheeting over the studs or some strategically spaced horizontal studs over the vertical studs.

Add your cedar panel boards in rows, checking for level every 4th board or so. Fit the grooves over the tongues and continue up the wall. Along the way, you may need to cut for electrical junction boxes for lights, switches, etc. That's the beauty of cedar, it's soft to work with and cuts easily. Continue installing your panel boards until your insulated walls are covered. At the last row butting the ceiling, remember you need not be perfect. If you're within a quarter inch you're fine. The trim pieces will cover any gaps.

See our videos and article here: How to Build a Sauna | Converting a Room to a Sauna