Why a Sauna Material Kit?
ADVANTAGES TO A
SAUNA MATERIAL KIT
The Sauna Material Kit provides all the
special components necessary to properly and easily build
your sauna. The sauna kit provides specific cedar lengths.
Builder supply warehouses and lumber yards generally carry
only 8' or random lengths which creates a lot of waste. The
sauna kit also includes such items as cedar moulding and door
casing which are not readily available.
SAUNA KIT VERSATILITY
is easy to customize a sauna material kit. If the sauna is
part of a larger renovation; such as a finished basement,
or addition, it is easy to incorporate the sauna kit into
whatever space is available. The sauna can be installed to
suit particular settings; for example, exterior can be drywall
and painted to match the outside decor of a bathroom.
NOTHING COULD BE EASIER
With the Saunafin Material Kit, building
a sauna is one of the simpler do-it-yourself projects. Our
rule of thumb is: If you can erect the stud framing, you will
have no problem installing the sauna kit. It is designed specifically
for the do-it-yourselfer and renovator. The bench framing,
heater guard and mouldings are pre-cut. We even include the
galvanized nails. If you have not built a sauna before, you
will find the instruction booklet and drawings easy to follow.
DO I HAVE TO USE WESTERN RED CEDAR FOR MY SAUNA?
While other materials are occasionally used,
Western Red cedar is by far the most popular, most attractive and most
durable. Cedar has a mild, pleasant fragrance that many
people associate with saunas. Western Red cedar's particular properties
allow it to expand and contract. This is important in a sauna
where the wood is exposed to extremely high, dry temperatures,
interspersed with blasts of humidity when water is splashed
on the heater or the walls.
Our Clear cedar material kits use only kiln-dried,
clear, grade 'A' and better, tongue & groove Western Red cedar. The knotty
kits use only "STK" (Select Tight Knot) Western Red cedar. The
cedar is thick enough to ensure maximum strength & durability
and finished on two sides to provide for the best overall
finish. All our Clear Cedar material kits have only 2 x 4 Clear cedar for benches
and bench framing (unlike most others who use 1 x 4).
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO BUILD THE SAUNA?
The installation time will of course vary
somewhat with the size of the sauna. On average, the sauna
kits are installed in 14 - 20 hours. With the specified lengths,
pre-cut moldings and pre-hung door, you will save at least
4 - 8 hours on your installation time.
Truth in Advertising - Sauna Style
We frequently get asked questions that are "inspired" by claims or statements on other sauna websites. While not wishing to bad mouth anyone or "name names", we have decided to address some of these points:
- Claim: 11/16" Cedar Thickness:
Clear cedar generally comes in thickness from 5/16" up to 5/8". Many in the sauna business use ½" cedar. 5/16" should not be used. The tongue is generally too small to be nailed, so it is often face nailed - a sauna "no-no". At Saunafin, our cedar is slightly over ½".
11/16" cedar is the standard for "STK" (Standard Tight Knot). This is knotty cedar. Knotty cedar mills will set aside clear boards and sell them. These are called "clear cedar pull-outs" and sell for less.
- Is Material Pre-sanded?
At Saunafin, our cedar is milled using state of-the-art CNC equipment to a "furniture grade" finish.
It is not sanded. There is no need. The cedar is beautifully finished and needs no further processing.
Clear cedar is dried first and then milled to assure the finest finish.
On the other hand, Knotty cedar is milled first, then sold "green" (not dried) or dried later. The drying process will raise the grain a little make the wood feel a little "furry". For this reason, STK and clear cedar pullouts require sanding.
So, if someone offers you pre-sanded cedar as an option upgrade, you are actually paying a surcharge for a less expensive product.
- Why doesn’t Saunafin use clear cedar pullouts?
There are a few reason we do not use pull-outs.
We find that knotty has a wider color variation and is whiter in color. The clear cedar pull-outs share these characteristics.
We go through a lot of cedar and we like our product to be consistent. Clear pull-outs are an accumulation product. With our volume, it would not be possible to get a consistent supply of cedar to the standards we demand.
- White Cedar vs. Red Cedar
This is one of those cases where "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". Those that sell Eastern White Cedar are basically riding the coattails of Western Red Cedar. They are relying on people’s familiarity with the high quality of "our" cedar to sell "their" cedar.
Everyone is familiar with the expression "comparing apples and oranges". In this case it might be more accurate to say we are comparing a "Red Delicious" with a "Crabapple". Both are apples, but they are very different.
Western Red cedar grows in a rainforest climate. Species that have adapted to deal with excessive moisture environments, last longer in dry climates. And a sauna is as dry as it gets.
White Cedar also contains much less of the natural acidic tannins that help to preserve western red cedar and make it rot resistant even when it gets wet. White cedar will not last quite as long as western red cedar. Western Red Cedar is a wonderful species, with a very straight grain. The wood is light weight and has little shrinkage.
- Sauna Control
Heaters are either supplied with built-in controls or outside, wall-mounted controls. For outside controls, some are in their own pre-finished box. Others come with a faceplate and are designed to fit in to a 3-gang box. Our Sauna Craft controls come this way. However, they are a tight fit in a standard 3-gang box. That is why an MBD-3 is specified. It is a masonry box and is a little bigger inside. Some who sell this type of control do NOT include the MBD-3. They will tell you that your electrician can easily supply this. That is simply untrue. An MBD-3 is not a standard part. Even most electrical wholesalers do not stock them.
Unlike standard boxes which sell for a few dollars, the MBD-3 is pricey, selling for $16.00 to $20.00. Saunafin includes the MBD-3. It would be very tempting not to do so, but that is not how we treat our customers.
Built In Controls:
Saunafin offers outside controls (Sauna Craft & Tylo) and built in Controls (Tylo). Sauna Craft does not offer a built in control. There is a heater on the market- similar in design to Sauna Craft- which offers a built in control that is basically the outside control mounted on the heater. There are two issues with this:
I.) The faceplate is plastic. Plastic should not be attached to a sauna heater.
II.) Secondly, the thermostat sensor bulb is not designed for a built in application. You are required to pull the capillary out of the heater and run it up to the ceiling. Because the heater is installed last, this capillary tube & sensor is often left exposed inside the sauna. Our Tylo models and all other properly designed built in control heaters have the capillary and sensor pre-installed on the heater. The control and sensor are specifically designed to be placed on the heater and the temperature detected is correlated to the sauna room temperature.
- Electrical Approval
Be alert when someone claims there product “meets the latest UL, CE and CSA electric standards”. Products are either approved or not. If approved they will have a file number and can be verified on the website of the applicable agency.
What is the
Difference Between a
Pre-Fab Sauna and a Sauna Material Kit?
- Pre-Fab saunas are (as the name
suggests) pre-fabricated. They can be assembled in
- With Pre-Fab saunas there is no
additional framing or insulation. The walls are self-supporting.
- Everything is designed quick assembly
without specialized tools.
- Saunas can be dismantled.
(Also commonly referred to as Sauna Material Kits, Sauna
Liner Kits, Do-It-Yourself Sauna Interior Material kits)
- A Sauna Kit
refers to the inside "skin" of the sauna.
You or your contractor build the frame walls, insulate
and finish the exterior.
- The kit we supply includes the
inside materials; including the vapor barrier, cedar
lining, benches, door, molding, heater, etc.
- You will trim the boards and nail
them to the walls & ceiling.
- You will assemble and install the
benches, hang the door, etc.
- Sauna Kits generally take about
2-3 days to build.
- These saunas are intended
for permanent installation.