What is a Sauna?
If you aren’t already aware of what a sauna is, then here’s a dictionary definition for you. A sauna is a bath / bathhouse that employs dry heat to bring on perspiration to a person there and in which steam is created by pouring water on heated stones. The process is known to cleanse as well as relax the body. It has a history going back a 1000 years when the smoke sauna was popular. People then used a small building having a stone fire place as sauna.
Reasons Why People Use Saunas
The heat produced in a sauna assists in inducing deep relaxation to the persons seated in that bathhouse. It’s an atmosphere with no disturbance or demands. And this is particularly what makes sauna a great place for peace and privacy.
Good for Health
sing a sauna once every week or so is known to enhance blood circulation in the body. At the same time, sauna is also quite effective in cleansing the skin, nourishing glands, and providing advantages similar to exercise.
Saunas and other types of hot baths have long known to have served as get-together or association places for a lot of families and other groups across the globe.
Healing / Therapeutic Benefits
A person will have to spend a minimum of half an hour to several hours per day for undergoing a therapy treatment in a sauna. It assists in decongesting internal organs, enhancing circulation and removing toxins.
Types of Saunas
The following are the main type of saunas
- Steam sauna
- Hot air sauna
- FIR (Far Infra-Red) sauna
- Light sauna
In a sauna bathhouse, everything right from the walls, ceiling, floor to the benches are made out of wood and that too preferably cedar, redwood or hemlock. The only non-wood materials used in it are the heater and rocks. Also saunas come in many varied shapes, sizes and styles. These could be independent rooms set up either inside a building or in the open. Though not easily, but one can definitely transform an existing place into a sauna.
How to Build Your Own Sauna at Home?
Since getting a regular professional sauna treatment is costly, a lot of people prefer to get one installed at home. If you plan to do this by yourself, then better keep in mind that it’s a major project and not a child’s play. The difficulty or ease in building a home sauna will depend on your carpentry skills. You'll have to assemble each and every piece, including the mounting of the sauna heater by yourself.
Here’s a basic outline of what needs to be done for building a home sauna. You will have to –
- Either purchase or design the plan on your own
- Find and purchase the wood
- Cautiously measure and cut the wood
- Put together all the pieces, including the door, heater and bench
Location for Sauna
Choosing an apposite location for constructing a sauna at home is a very important decision. This is because this is what will determine the design of the sauna bathhouse you want to construct. Considering the following points may seem helpful when deciding a sauna area.
- Will it be in the city or country?
- Will it be freestanding / isolated?
- Are you renovating an existing room into a sauna?
- Do you want it within or outside your house?
Heater for Sauna
After deciding the location, the next important question is to decide what kind of sauna heater you’re going to use. Incase you want to use an electric sauna heater which is the popular choice these days, then remember that you will require access to electricity. You will have to use a wood sauna heater if you stay in the countryside. You can also buy a gas heater for your sauna bath, but they are more costly.
You can choose professional installation for the heater in the sauna room, which will need to be adequately ventilated. Remember that gas heaters require more clearance than an electric heater. Also before you make any final decision, it's best to equip yourself with local building codes first. For instance, there may be a regulation for your community / locale that checks the use of wood burning stoves.
Home Sauna Construction Procedure
If you wish to revamp an old room in your house into a sauna bathhouse, then you will need to adhere to protective measures against any moisture that will be produced from the sauna. For this, the sauna room will have to be sufficiently insulated and should comprise a vapor barrier in order to prevent any moisture damage. As such, be careful when you are purchasing the wood for sauna room.
You will have to create tongue-and-groove joints in the sides of the wood for strong and firm sealing purpose in the sauna bathhouse and you will require special tool for that. Then there’s the sauna door, which are manufactured in varied shapes, sizes and styles. Another important item is a bench in your sauna bath on which you will sit or lie down. As you can see, building your own sauna is no small task, but it is doable!
When switched on, the heater raises temperatures in the sauna bathhouse to around 185 degrees and 195 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity of between 10 and 30 per cent. The high temperatures and low humidity inside a sauna bathhouse promote sweating that cleanses and relaxes the body of the people sitting within it.
Cost of Home Saunas
Home sauna costs range anywhere from just over $1,000 for small pre-assembled kits to well over $10,000 for large, built-in saunas.