We frequently get asked questions that are "inspired" by claims or statements on other sauna websites. Without naming names, we have decided to address some of these points:
What qualifies as clear for many sauna vendors does not meet the Saunafin standard. Most permit up to 10% knots in their clear cedar. Some use a higher grade, but reduce to ½” thickness price of quality While we won’t claim perfection, we are pretty darn close. You will seldom, if ever, find a knot in our clear cedar. And at the same time, our sauna material kit cedar is a full 11/16” thickness and finished on both sides, giving the highest quality and flexibility to select the finest finish, assuring a beautiful appearance.
See pictures: Clear cedar vs. Clear cedar
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. Eastern cedar, while still durable, will not last quite as long as western red cedar.
Most of the Western red cedar we sell is Clear cedar. Eastern White is offered with some of our Outdoor pre-fab saunas.
Knotty Western Red Cedar shares all the rot-resistant qualities as clear cedar. It is very commonly used for decks, fences, sheds and gazebos. It can be used for saunas. There is concern that the knots can fall out leaving unsightly holes and that the knots concentrate heat so can be uncomfortable to sit against. The knotty we sue in our material kits highest knotty grade STK (Select Tight Knot). Knotty can be cost effective alternative to clear. And Knotty offers a more rustic appearance that some prefer in an outdoor sauna.
At Saunafin, our cedar is milled using state of-the-art CNC equipment to a "furniture grade" finish. In our opinion, no sauna vendor should be offering anything less. There should never be a need to pay extra for "pre-sanded" material.
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 standard cedar is a full 11/16"-finished on two sides.
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 many 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.
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. CE is not a certification. The major certification bodies in North America are UL, ETL, and CSA.
Be especially careful when looking at EBay, Amazon, Wayfair andheaters manuafacter in Asia or Eastern Europe. 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 code.
Every sauna heater can have some water splashed over the rocks. And there are a few special models that actually have a steam generator incorporated as part of the sauna heater. Our own Tylo Combi was the first such heater. It has been around for 20 years. Harvia and Finnleo now have their own versions (in our admittedly biased opinion, not as nice as Tylo, but similar functionality). As opposed to the blast of steam that comes off the rocks, boiling the water creates a softer sensation. That’s why we say it's like have two saunas in one.
And then there is one company (Canadian like us; misleading-not like us and very un-Canadian). Their approach is designed to confuse and mislead and basically trick you to buy their highest priced “deluxe” items with very little value being added.
Towards that end, they have just recently introduced their “combo” heater. A heater that physically copies the last generation of Tylo heaters. And they fudge their description to make the heater sound like it has a Tylo style built in steam generator. It does not. It simply has a reservoir for water. Other manufacturers have abandoned this style, because-in a nutshell- it does not work. They don’t produce enough steam to feel any effect. It is misleading and shameless.
So, read between the lines and keep in mind the old adage about something being “too good to be true”.
Manufacturing for Over 60 Years
Saunas a Year Installed Locally
Saunas Sold Internationally
"The" Trusted Brand For Over 60 Years
Types of Saunas We Carry
At SaunaFin, we continue to pride ourselves on the quality of our materials, our commitment to customer service and our ability to provide both at competitive prices. Your Sauna. Your Way.
Two Things: Our physical showroom and exceptional customer service.
We have first-hand experience with all the minute details and we understand the thought process that goes into planning how the sauna fits into new construction or renovation plans.
We meet daily with homeowners, renovators and custom home builders. We have seven saunas and a steam shower on display and are the largest retailer of home saunas in Canada, and one of the largest in North America. We have continuous hands-on interaction with our customers and we discuss in detail the various items and options we offer.
Along with our thousands of residential saunas, Saunafin has supplied saunas and steam baths in the Palazzo Hotel Casino and M Resort Casino (Las Vegas), Rogers Centre (formerly Skydome), Casino Windsor, Casino Rama, Toronto Blue Jays and the Ottawa Senators. We are a specified contractor for the YMCA, LA Fitness, and Movati Fitness. We have been featured on HGTV's "Holmes on Home's" and "Rock the Block". Our years of installing home saunas have provided us with a wealth of practical experience. We use this experience to help you plan your sauna and provide a comprehensive and easy to install sauna kit.
We manufacture our own line of sauna heaters, which are sold under the Sauna Craft brand name. We are also the Canadian distributor and the largest North American provider for the highly regarded TYLO sauna heaters manufactured in Sweden. In addition, we carry the Finnish made SAAKU model heaters provided to us exclusivley by TYLOHELO Inc. Our team offers both online and in person support over the phone, or in our showroom, to help you throughout the process so you can build your sauna, your way.
Saunafin offers all three - traditional (hot rock and water), steam bath (steam generator) and infrared. The benefits can be achieved with each. Which type is best suited for you is a personal decision. Your decision might be influenced by health concerns, your preference, social aspects, home decor plans, a certain exercise regimen and/or space restrictions.
Traditional saunas provide a more intense environment with extreme temperatures and blasts of hot steam from splashing the rocks. For many, this is what a true sauna is all about and it is something they desire and appreciate.
There are now also traditional saunas that provide the option of a milder experience. TheTylo Sense Combi sauna heater has a built-in steam reservoir. The Tylo "Soft Sauna" with lower temperatures (around 60°C/140°F) and higher humidity (40-50%) is a unique sauna experience.
Steam baths or steam showers are known in some parts of the world as a Turkish bath or hammam. Steam is usually added to a new or renovated shower. Often installed in a master bath or as part of a finished basement. The steam bath/shower approach provides lower overall temperatures (110-120°F. vs. 185-195°F) and higher humidity (70-100% vs. 10-30 %) as compared to a sauna. The higher humidity is a milder environment. Many prefer the steam bath experience. Others select steam because it can be added to a shower, so no additional space is required.
Infrared saunas offer a modern twist to an age-old experience. IR heaters (emitters) use infrared radiation to heat the body directly without heating the air. The body takes in the infrared rays and absorbs them. An individual can sweat at a lower temperature compared to a traditional sauna (100-120°F). While we do not subscribe to many of the over-the-top claims from some infrared sauna vendors, there is certainly a market for infrared. Most Infrared saunas are 120-volt plug-n-play pre-fab cabins mass produced overseas. Being such turnkey products has led to multitudes of infrared sauna companies. It is for that very reason that we do not carry such pre-fab infrareds.
We focus exclusively on installed infrared heaters and kits for field installation as part of a renovation. Our infrared is designed to be installed as a permanent structure. We carry one of the few or the only ETL approved field installed infrared heater packages
There has always been confusion around the various adjectives applied to saunas: dry sauna, wet sauna, steam sauna, rock sauna. We prefer the name Traditional Sauna. In a nutshell, a traditional sauna is a basically dry environment, with momentary bursts of humidity when water is splashed on the rocks. Ambient sauna humidity is around 10%, far below the 30-40% that is found in most homes. Splashing water on the rocks will spike humidity to 60-70% for a few seconds only, resulting in the wave of heat that comes off the rocks. To add to the confusion, the infrared industry has taken to calling their product a dry sauna. We say the very same traditional sauna heater is both wet and dry. The sauna basically bakes the air inside the room (dry) and splashing water on the rocks (in moderation) is part of the sauna experience (wet).
Similarly, the term steam sauna is used by some to refer to a traditional sauna and by others to describe a steam bath. We at Saunafin avoid the using of the term steam sauna. It just leads to confusion. The terms you will hear us say are traditional or rock sauna, steam bath or steam shower and infrared sauna.
The benefits of steams baths and saunas are well-known and documented. From stress relief and relaxation to soothing tired muscles, saunas have many health benefits related to "induced fever" and detoxification. These benefits can be realized by the use of different types of rooms.
First and foremost, saunas and steambaths should be viewed as leisure products. They provide a relaxing and enjoyable environment to help you kick back and unwind. A place to find peace of mind, relaxation, and contentment. In other words, a way to deal with daily stress with a smile on your face. As a bonus, saunas are reputed to offer a number of health benefits.
Warmth helps to alleviate pain as blood vessels increase in size and circulation. Increased circulation lets larger amounts of oxygen make it to the injured parts of your body. This helps reduce pain and speed up the healing process.
Sweating is altogether part of the intricate thermoregulatory system of your organs, that intensifies metabolic and heart rate, as well as cardiac output. This overall process needs a lot of energy and diminishes extra moisture, fat, and salt. Naturally, the body releases toxins and fats that are water soluble.
A 10 to 20 minute session in a sauna can increase your heart rate by 75% if you exercise in it. This increased heart rate is similar to going on a fast walk. This provides the same metabolic result as physical exercise. There is a known effect on your blood pressure as warmth forces vessels to grow larger in order to accommodate the heightened flow of blood.
We all sweat. Sweat is mostly water. Sweating is a way to cool the body. But in the heat of a sauna, the core body temperature begins to rise. Many doctors claim that extensive sweating during sauna use can decrease amounts of zinc, mercury, lead, nickel, and copper.
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