Wooden cladding for bathtub?

Hi there. I'm in the process of redoing my bathroom - well, planning the remodel. I have a bathtub I like, but the side panels of the tub are really ugly, and I'd like to replace them with wood. Since the tub is in the corner, the wood would be used to cover one side and the head of the bathtub. I'd like to stain the wood dark mahogany to ebony to make a modern contrast to the white tile and chrome fixtures.
What sort of wood would you recommend for the project? I was thinking cedar or maybe redwood. Is there anything I should particularly watch out for when using wood in a damp environment like a bathroom? If I can find the wood milled tongue and groove, do you think that would work well? I'm worried about swelling and contracting of the wood as it goes through wet and drying cycles. What sort of sealant would you recommend?
Or should I just buy a new damned tub?!?
Thanks,
Sammy
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<< What sort of wood would you recommend for the project? >>
Consider adopting some of the the materials and techniques that are used in marine construction and you should have a novel and attractive remodel. Marine plywood, spar varnish, mahogany wood, teak, all might work for you. On the practical side, urethane varnishes make good pentrating sealants. Remember that most boards have six edges and all of them need to be sealed before installation. Make sketches, talk to an architect first if you plan to spend a fair bunch of $$. Good luck.
Joe
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Thanks, Peter and Joe.
As far as installing broad panels, do you think there'd be any purpose to using tongue-and-groove?
Sammy
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wrote:

    I have seen this done with cedar. It looked very good. It worked fairly well.
    I would not stain it as dark as you are planning. Cedar will be dark enough as it is.
    Use spar varnish to seal it. Use lots of it. Caulk well. Add another coat of spar varnish every 5 years or so. (To do this, you have to wash the surface very thoroughly. It will have soap film on it. It's hard to get off. Then sand only enough to get a dull surface. You don't need to take all the old stuff off.)
    You should not run into much problem, but you must be constantly vigilant for anyplace the varnish lets in water. Also make sure bathroom has good ventilation.
        Good luck.
                Peter
    
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