How To Build A Home Sauna

Posted on 01 April 2022

home sauna Amidst the stress and worries of everyday life, a home sauna can be the ideal way to relax and unwind. It can increase circulation, promote general well-being, and even relieve those nagging aches and pains. A wonderful stress-buster, your home sauna retreat will probably lessen those visits to the therapist. The best part? With Saunafin’s custom sauna kits you can choose your model, sauna stove, accessories, and more!  Fortunately, it’s relatively simple to have this set up in your home, and it’s even possible to do it yourself with a little elbow grease and the right tools. Here’s a complete run-down on building your very own home sauna.

Things to Consider

Before you get started on building your dream sauna, consider the following:

Indoor Vs Outdoor Sauna

Perhaps the most vital decision at the pre-building stage is whether the sauna should be located outdoors or indoors. If you’re going for an outdoor sauna, you’ll require a suitable spot that’s levelled and has access to plumbing and electricity.

An indoor sauna has relatively fewer considerations as level flooring, electric outlets and other basics are already covered. You can build your indoor sauna in the basement, garage, bathroom, or spare space.

Sauna Stove Type 

Sauna stoves or heaters are either wood, gas, or electric. Though wood-burning sauna stoves involve a load of maintenance and work, they are preferred by sauna purists. Gas and electric sauna heaters require little maintenance and are pretty energy-efficient and convenient. 

Think Materials

Saunas operate at high temperatures, so the construction materials should be chosen accordingly. Use hardwoods like cedar and poplar as they do not crack or distort easily. Pinewood can also be used, but it’s not very durable. Cedar is ideal as it looks great, wears well, and is quite sturdy. All electrical fittings, glass elements, and fixtures must be suitable for high temperatures and humidity.

Basic Steps to Build a Sauna

1. Prep the location

Once you’ve decided on the spot to build the sauna, prep the location.  You need to level the ground and prepare the foundation for outdoor saunas. A concrete foundation is ideal. For indoor saunas, clear and clean the space thoroughly. 

2. Build the Frame

Build your sauna frame according to the standard building codes( keep a minimum working height of 2.2m ). It should be firmly secured to the floor and the walls. Studs should be placed in all the corners. Leave space for ventilation depending on the type of heater, door position, and layout. 

3. Install Electrical Wiring

Run the electrical wiring for the heater(if using one), lights, thermostat and other devices. You’ll need to drill, run conduit and pull the required wires for the appliances. You can also get professional help for installing the wiring.

4. Add Insulation and vapour barrier

Next, insulate the framework and ceiling using batt insulation. Add the foil vapour barrier over the insulation with the silverside towards the sauna. Secure it to the studs with staples and seal all the joints with foil/aluminum tape. You can also waterproof the floor by adding a vapour barrier. 

5. Install Internal Panelling

Starting from the ceiling lay the internal panelling around the sauna. Nail through the face of the first board with the tongue facing away from the wall. Follow through for the rest of the panels, lining the groove with the installed boards. Leave a ¼-¾” gap around the ceiling and wall perimeter to allow for natural contraction and expansion of the boards. 

6. Build the Bench 

Construct the bench according to the planned layout. Saunafin’s sauna kits only need a quick assembly. If building from scratch, use 2X2 lumber for support and 1X4 for the top. Allow a seating space of two feet for each person.

7. Install the Sauna Stove/Heater

Install the sauna heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If unsure, hire an electrician to fit the heater or a plumber to check and secure the gas lines. You can also install the light fixtures and the thermostat at this stage. 

8. Fit the door

Fit the prefab sauna door by securely fastening it with screws. Make sure that it is installed evenly and there are no air gaps. 

9. Test It 

Finish up by testing your newly installed sauna! 

Tools You Need 

While tools required may vary according to the design and size of your sauna, in general, you will need:

  • Power drills & bits
  • Power saw
  • Staple gun
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hammers
  • Levels
  • Pliers
  • Finish nailer
  • Safety glasses 

Materials (General)

  • 2X4 or 2X6 lumber & tongue and groove panelling
  • Sauna foil-faced vapour barrier
  • Foil tape
  • Batt or fiberglass insulation
  • Nails, staples, & deck screws 
  • Sauna stove/heater
  • Wet/dry rated electrical fittings & wiring
  • Thermostat
  • PreFab sauna door

SaunaFin home saunas are your ticket to total rejuvenation! If you need more details for setting up your sauna, ordering a sauna kit or getting a custom sauna, connect with team SaunaFin today!

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