Fire Treating Western Red Cedar Shingles and Shakes

Man has been using natural materials, such as Western Red Cedar, for siding and roofing since the beginning of time, especially in areas where it grows naturally.  And while Cedar is some-what fire resistant naturally, when it will be used in areas where fire danger is high, adding a permanent fire retardant can be extremely helpful.

Class A Fire Retardant Western Red Shingles

There are three classes of fire treating available for Western Red Cedar Shingles and Shakes.  Class “A” is effective against severe fire exposures, Class “B” is most effective against moderate fire exposures, while Class “C” would be effective against light fire exposures.

Where required, optional fire retardant treatments that have passed the California State Fire Marshall & ICC 10 year, real-time weathering test are available.  Be sure to check with your local building officials to determine which class of fire treatment is best for your particular area.  All of our Classes of fire treating meet all local and state wild land urban interface requirements.

We routinely work with the Nation Park Service to provide them with Fire Treated Western Red Cedar Shingles and Shakes for fire lookouts in Washington state, especially those that are in high risk areas.  The Western Red Cedar Shingles blend beautifully with the surrounding area, and because they are treated with fire retardant, are less likely to catch fire.

Fire lookout with fire treated western red cedar shingles

In order to begin fire treating the Western Red Cedar shingles or shakes, all the air and moisture must be removed from the wood.  This is done in a large pressure autoclave cylinder.  Next, the cylinder is filled with the fire retardant.  As the chemicals fills the cylinder, the vacuum that was previously created by pulling the moisture and air out, pulls the fire retardant into the wood.  The pressure is then increased in the container and the fire treatment is pushed even deeper in to the Cedar.  Once the required amount of treatment is retained in the Cedar, any remaining fire treatment is drained and the Cedar shingles and/or shakes are transferred to a kiln for drying.  The Cedar is dried over the course of several days very slowly to ensure the chemicals are completely bonded with the wood.

After Western Red Cedar is treated with fire retardant, the color of the wood may be slightly darker, but no other difference is generally noticed.  Over time, they will grey just as natural Cedar would, but the treatment does not diminish.


A limited Lifetime Warranty is provided on the fire retardant treatment when the Western Red Cedar Shingles and/or Shakes are installed properly and used for intended purposes.  For information on installation, please click HERE .

Our team would be happy to discuss your fire treating options with you.  Please give us a call today!  We ship nationwide!

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!

Toll Free 866.757.6343







Western Red Cedar Shakes – Grades and Definitions

Used for many centuries in the Pacific Northwest due to the abundance of material, Western Red Cedar Shakes have stood the test of time.  Prized for their proven reliability, resistance to rot and decay, and rustic beauty that no man-made product can duplicate, Western Red Cedar Shakes are an extremely popular choice for today’s constructions projects all over the world, including those built using Green Building techniques.

Western Red Cedar Being Harvested for Cedar Shakes

Building products made from natural wood have been proven to provide the highest insulation value (thus saving the consumer money on electricity), use less energy to produce and are manufactured from totally renewable resources. In addition, when the life cycle of wood building materials are complete, they can be easily and safely disposed of. Read More  HERE

Shakes are made from splitting blocks, rather than sawing, and are used on roofs as well as sidewalls. At Cedar Country Lumber, we offer two main types Western Red Cedar Shakes in either 18” or 24” lengths from mills that meet Certi-Label quality control standards

  • Handsplit & Resawn
  • TapersawnWestern Red Cedar Shakes

Hand-split & Re-sawn Western Red Cedar Shakes have a split face with a sawn back and are available in ½” (“mediums”) or ¾” (“heavy”) thickness with a naturally rustic appearance.

Taper-sawn Western Red Cedar Shakes are sawn on both sides for a semi-textured look, though not as precise as what is commonly found on shingles. Taper-sawn shakes are thicker than common shingles, which produces a thicker shadow line.   Our taper-sawn shakes are available in 5/8”, 3/4” and 7/8” thicknesses.


If desired, our Western Red Cedar Shakes are available with pressure impregnated fire retardant or preservative treatment, as well as custom cuts and finishes. Complementing hip and and ridge cap is also available for your Western Red Cedar roofing project.

Western Red Cedar Roofing Shakes by Teal Cedar


For care and maintenance information for your Western Red Cedar Shakes and Shingles, please click HERE

Before your next project, be sure to visit us ~ We ship nationwide!

ph  360.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233


Pre-Stained and Pre-Primed Western Red Cedar Shingles

Made from high-quality Western Red Cedar, renowned for even grain, weather resistance, thermal insulation and longevity, our pre-stained or pre-primed shingles are available in natural, sanded and grooved finishes, as well as fancy cuts.

Readily available “off the shelf” (as a special order) in 6 beautiful colors, as well as a transparent Cedar Tone, or in any custom color desired, including treatment with bleaching oil, our pre-stained Western Red Cedar Shingles can add a stunning signature look to any building, combined with lasting durability.

“Off The Shelf” Semi-Solid Oil Stain Colors

Water Lily

Coastal Mist

Iron Stone

 Traditional Brick

Beach Pebble

Thisis Brown

Teal Cedar Pre-stained shingle colors

  • Red Cedar Transparent Stain available with a 5 year warranty
  • Bleached Shingles are a mix of 50/50 Bleaching Oil and Cabot Driftwood Grey Stain
  • Custom pre-stained shingles are available using a quality brand of oil-based semitransparent, semi-solid or solid one coat finishes, including General Paint Products. Custom colors available.
  • Pre-stain and pre-prime (in grey or white) is available for natural, grooved, sanded and fancy cut shingles
  • #1-16”, 18” & 24” Rebutted & Rejointed (R&R) Shingles, 100% vertical grain, 100%
  • #2-16”, 18” & 24” Rebutted & Rejointed Shingles
  • For more information on the grades, sizes and definition of Western Red Cedar shingles, please check out our previous blog post by clicking HERE

prestained western red cedar shingles

Installation and Care of Western Red Cedar Shingles

Western Red Cedar Shingles owe their beauty, color, durability and resistance to decay and insects to the presence of natural tannins produced during normal growth. These natural extractives in Western Red Cedar are water-soluble and may lead to discoloration of finishes on the exposed surface of the shingle. Discoloration from extractives usually appears when moisture from inside the home travels through the shingle to the exposed surface. As the moisture evaporates it may leave reddish-brown vertical streaks. This discoloration is not caused by the stain, the paint or any manufacturing process.

Cedar Shingles should always be stored in a dry, well-ventilated location. You must keep
the product dry throughout the application process. You also must take steps to minimize or eliminate interior sources of moisture before and after sidewall shingle application including, but not limited to the following:

  • Maintain low interior humidity levels (this is the most common source of extractive
  • Ensure proper ventilation during drywall installation, texture spraying, painting or any other process which increases humidity inside the building. It is more likely that
    extractive bleeding will occur if these processes are not completed prior to application of the sidewall shingles
  • Apply over dry panels (OSB or plywood)
  • Use kiln dried studs

To minimize the potential for extractive discoloration, our supplier ensures that the shingles are dried to a moisture content that is less than 15%. They also coat the entire shingle with a primer, paint or stain. Shingles coated with an oil based solid primer that have a finished coat applied over the primer are less likely to experience extractive discoloration. Semi-solid, semi-transparent, and clear stains offer less protection.

Extractive discoloration may also be caused by external sources such as rain, dew and/or water from a faulty roof and gutter drainage. These  water sources combined with dust and other matter may cause stains on the exposed area of the shingle, which is not the failure of the shingle, paint or stain.

Stain absorption may vary due to the density and/or porosity of old growth Western Red Cedar fiber, as well as color variations in the actual shingles. The final color of stain and how it adheres/absorbs into the material will vary. Due to this, color matches are not guaranteed to exactly match any previous sample or order.

In some cases, certain coatings are “1 coat only” applications. However, a second field coating is recommended after the stain has cured for best stain performance. Prior to any field coating, test a small inconspicuous area for proper absorption. Back brushing is recommended.  Be sure to not over apply the stain or paint.

Western Red Cedar Stained Shingles

Limited warranties on coating/finishes are offered through the coating/finish manufacturer.

“Off the Shelf” Colors, as well as Pre-Primed & Pre-Stained Shingles are brought in per-order and do require a small lead time. Sorry, we are unable to accept any returns or exchanges on special order items, such as these.

Because Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar is only grown in the Pacific Northwest where Cedar Country is located, we are YOUR premium source for Cedar Shingles and Shakes. We ship nationwide from one bundle or carton to full truck loads and extremely competitive pricing ~ even with freight.

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA 98233
Toll Free Phone (866) 757.6343    Fax (360) 757.1050

Cedar Shingle Grades and Definitions

Old Growth Western Red Cedar being harvested to be made into Shingles

In North America shingles and shakes are typically made from California redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), and in some cases, Alaskan Yellow Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis); while in Scandinavia and Central Europe they are more commonly made from Pine (Pinus sylvestris).  Shingles are made from blocks that have been edge cut using a circular saw, where as shakes are split. Shingles can be used on roofs, as well as sidewalls.

Shingles are manufactured by clamping blocks of wood into a carriage that slides back and forth across a blade, tilting and moving the block closer to the blade with each pass to automatically form a tapered cut that is thin on one end and thicker on the other. The thickness at the“butt” (the thicker end of the shingle) is generally about 3/8”, but does vary. The final correct thickness for shingles is based using a stack of shingles, rather than a single piece.

Western Red Cedar Shingles
At Cedar Country Lumber, we offer a wide selection of shingles made from Western Red Cedar, as well as Alaskan Yellow Cedar, that will help you achieve the look you desire in a wide range of price points; from custom cut, dried and colored shingles to utility grade shingles that are much easier on the pocketbook, but perform admirably in any climate.

In today’s market place, Western Red and Alaskan Yellow Cedar Shingles are available in 3 common lengths

  • 16” ~ Also known as “Fivex”
  • 18” ~ Also known as “Perfection”
  • 24” ~ Also known as “Royals”

After the shingles are cut, when using the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau’s Certi-label grading system, they are graded into three main categories

  • Number 1 ~ Also known as “Blue Label”
  • Number 2 ~ Also known as “Red Label”
  • Number 3 ~ Also known as “Black Label”

Number 1 ~ the highest grade of shingles are 100% heartwood, 100% clear and 100% edge grain. Western Red Cedar Shingles in this grade are sometimes referred to as “Blue Label”, which is a Registered Certi-label trademark. These are available in 16”, 18” and 24” lengths in either Western Red Cedar or Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Our No. 1 Shingles are also available with a pressure impregnated fire retardant or preservative treatment.

Number 2 ~ a perfectly acceptable grade for many applications. Some flat grain and limited sapwood are permitted, however, there is not less than 10” clear on 16” shingles, 11” on 18’ shingles and 16” on 24” shingles. Western Red Cedar Shingles within this grade are sometimes referred to as “Red Label”.

Number 3 ~ a utility grade for economy applications; commonly used on sheds and utilitarian buildings or for starter courses for higher grades. Within this grade, there is not less than 6”clear on 16” and 18” shingles, 10” clear on 24” shingles. This grade of Western Red Cedar Shingles are sometimes referred to as “Black Label” due to the grading system put into place  by the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau.

Sidewall Cedar Shingles

Rebutted & Rejoined Cedar Shingles ~ Shingles that are sawn and re-manufactured on all four sides to ensure square butts and parallel edges for superior appearance on sidewall applications. Rebutted and Rejoined Shingles are available in Number 1 and Number 2 grades and are available in all three lengths (16”, 18” and 24”). These Shingles are commonly referred to as “R&R’s” and are predominately provided Kiln Dried and packaged in cartons, rather than bundles.

#1 R&R Western Red Cedar Sidewall Shingles

craftsmanship by Ravenhill Construction


Pre-stained Western Red Cedar Shingles


If desired, Western Red Cedar R&R Shingles can be provided with a sanded or machine grooved face, as well as pre-primed or pre-stained in nearly every color and hue imaginable.  There are also 6 “off the shelf” colors of pre-stained shingles that you can choose from.


Pre-stained Western Red Cedar Shingles

craftsmanship by Impel Construction


Fancy Cut Western Red Cedar Shingles ~ manufactured from #1 Western Red Cedar shingles into a variety of shapes that are 3” & 5” widths cut from 18” & 24” lengths; offered in 8 different shapes, with an endless variety of custom cuts and finishes available. These shingles add unique charm and character to gable ends, balconies, fences, entry ways, interior and exterior walls. To find out more, please click HERE

Western Red Cedar Fancy Cut Shingles


Because Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar is only grown in the Pacific Northwest where Cedar Country is located, we are YOUR premium source for Cedar Shingles and Shakes. We ship nationwide from one bundle or carton to full truck loads and extremely competitive pricing ~ even with freight.

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!

Toll Free 866.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA



Fancy Cut Shingles

As a direct importer for Teal Cedar Shingles, we are pleased to offer  Fancy Cut Western Red Cedar Sidewall Shingles made to exacting standards in tribute to old-world charm and craftsmanship.

Western Red Cedar Fancy Cut Shingles

With 10 classic shapes available, these beautiful Fancy Cut Western Red Cedar Shingles will help you add fantastic character and personality to any residential or commercial project.  By incorporating these decorative shingles into your exterior design, you can accent gables, roofs and windows; create eye-catching entryways or fences.   You can weave natural warmth and elegance to your interior design, as well, by using them to accent walls or to highlight your structure’s unique architectural features. Nothing warms an interior quite like real wood.  Because of the natural properties of Western Red Cedar, these shingles work well in high humidity areas including greenhouses, saunas, atriums and pools.

Indoors and out, Fancy Cut Shingles are a timeless favorite of architects, contractors and homeowners around the world, providing warmth and beauty, as well as a wide range of ways to express creativity and make a custom project truly unique.

Western Red Cedar Fancy Cut Shingles


Product Specifications

  • Manufactured from Western Red Cedar Shingles
  • Clear Heartwood, No DefectsPrestained Shingles
  • 10 Patterns to Choose From
  • 3″ & 5″ widths, 18″ & 24″ lengths
  • Code conforming Class “C” and “B” fire rated & CCA Treatments also available
  • Carton Coverage: Sidewall exterior exposure 7 1/2″ max = 25 sq ft
  • Interior sidewall 10″ max = 33 sq ft
  • Available Primed as well as Pre-stained
  • Custom Cuts and finishes to order


Fancy Cut Western Red Cedar Shingle Patterns

 Because of the natural properties of Western Red Cedar, fasteners should be corrosion resistant.  We recommend using stainless steel, aluminum or hot-dipped galvanized fasteners when installing any Western Red Cedar product, including Western Red Cedar Shingles.   1-1/4″ nails are suitable for 16″ or 18″ shingle installation at standard exposures and placed 1″ in from the edge and 1″ – 2″ above the line of the next course of shingles.  These Fancy Cut Western Red Cedar Shingles should be installed about 1/8″ between each other.

Your Fancy Cut Western Red Cedar Shingles may be left unfinished.  Those installed outdoors will weather to an attractive silver grey; indoors they will darken and change based on the amount of direct sunlight they receive.  If you choose to apply a finish to your Fancy Cut Shingles, we recommend doing so before they are installed to ensure even protection on all four sides.  Use a good quality, top grade oil based stain, primer and/or paint.

Before Your Next Project, be sure to visit us!

We Ship Nationwide!

Toll Free 1.866.757.6343