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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

It 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.

QUALITY

Our Clear cedar material kits use only kiln-dried, clear, grade 'A' and better, tongue & groove 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. Our most popular material kits use 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:

  1. 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 9/16".

    11/16" cedar is the standard for "STK" (Standard Tight Knot).  This is Inland cedar.  Inland Cedar is mostly used for knotty. Knotty cedar mills will set aside clear boards and sell them. These are called "clear cedar pull-outs" and sell for less. A more arid inland climate makes this cedar a less color consistent and more striped in appearance.

    At Saunafin, we use only Coastal Cedar. Coastal cedar features straight grain, and very clear boards. The color is much more consistent and usually a richer, darker color.

    inland cedar saunafin saunas
    Inland (Clear) Cedar
    inland cedar saunafin saunas
    Coastal Cedar


  2. Is Material Pre-sanded?

    At Saunafin, our cedar is milled using state of-the-art CNC equipment to a "furniture grade" finish.


  3. 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.


  4. Sauna Control

    Control Box:

    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.

  5. 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. 

    Be especially careful when looking at Ebay or similar sites. There are several heaters being offered that are manufactured overseas and do not meet North American manufacturing standards. Nor are they approved. The material is thin and flimsy. Most do not have the safety high temperature cut-off required by UL and CSA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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