I want to put a cedar wood board in my shower in order to mount soap dispensers. Of course I'd like it to look pretty and not construction-project-y. How do I prep the board for this purpose? How do I keep the wood from rotting from all the water? I have a cedar hot tub and all the inside is not stained at all. Why doesn't this rot?

  • 1
    It’s the wetting and drying that causes dryrot. When it’s always wet, it won’t rot. You’ll need to “protect” the wood in your shower with a few coats of sealer, polyurethane, etc. depending on the finish, sheen, etc. you’re trying to achieve.
    – Lee Sam
    Jan 4, 2018 at 1:22
  • Cedar contains natural preservatives. It's an interesting topic and is googlable. I happened to stumble onto the topic several months ago researching something else.
    – Tyson
    Jan 4, 2018 at 2:18
  • Is this a problem?
    – Hari
    Jan 4, 2018 at 19:47
  • nah ............ Jan 5, 2018 at 2:56

1 Answer 1


Cedar is often used for outdoor and other wet locations because of its high tannin content. Tannins are natural compounds that prevent bacterial and fungal decomposition (rot).

When used in exterior applications, such as home siding, cedar is often protected with oil stains or varnishes. This is primarily to protect from sun damage, which dries out the natural oils and fades the wood.

When used indoors, as in saunas and spas, cedar is usually left raw. Sealers tend to disintegrate quickly in very wet situations such as these, leaving it with a degraded appearance.

In your case, I'd either leave it raw or use a penetrating oil finish that can be reapplied periodically.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.