Building your own sauna - this must be observed

Many house and property owners would like to build their own sauna themselves. For this purpose, either sauna construction kits or selected raw materials are used. The aim of building your own sauna is above all to save costs, but also to realise your own individual ideas for your future sauna.

The demands on the space required for the sauna are very varied. On the one hand, it must be considered for how many simultaneous users a sauna is to be built. While a small sauna for one or two persons without an additional cooling and relaxation room and without a plunge pool, changing room and anteroom only takes up a few square metres of space, the large sauna with all its additional rooms and facilities needs a little more space.

A basic decision is also made where the location of the sauna is decided. Should the sauna be integrated into the premises of the house or should it perhaps be built as a separate house on the open air grounds? These are important questions that also affect the construction of the sauna.

Suitable materials for your own sauna construction

Basically, the sauna interior consists of a waterproof tiled floor,

Besides the right materials, a sauna heater is the heart of your sauna

possibly with floor drain and in any case with a sufficiently high transition to the inner wall area. A concrete floor but also a tiled floor is generally covered with wooden grids or wooden tiles, which must be cleaned and disinfected regularly. The wall panelling itself is known to be made of wood. It must be considered that not all woods are equally suitable here.

Nordic spruce or fir, hemlock wood and other resin-free woods from good production and processing have proven to be advantageous for sauna construction. It is important that the woods in sauna construction are processed in such a way that they are installed without distortion. Appropriate thicknesses of planks and boards must be observed. Not suitable for sauna construction are absorbent materials such as cellular concrete, lightweight building blocks, plasterboard and other fibre composite boards, glued wood or so-called impregnated wood. In this case you must obtain thorough information before buying.

Behind the inner facing, which should be provided with rear ventilation, follows the insulation closed off by the barrier layer. Aluminium and copper foil are particularly suitable as barrier layers, which are applied here as a vapour barrier to the insulation layer. The thermal insulation itself can consist of all commercially available insulating materials which are heat-resistant, non-combustible, non-gassing and odourless. For saunas indoors, an exterior cladding is not absolutely necessary; in the outdoor area, the sauna should also be fitted with statically safe cladding, for example made of suitable woods in the appropriate thickness, if possible.

Attention: The ceiling of the sauna should be made diffusion-open, otherwise condensation water will form. A suitable diffusion foil can be worked in here. Otherwise, a suitable thermal insulation must also be ensured at the top.

From an energy point of view, exterior windows should not be incorporated into the sweat room itself. A control window is only located in the sauna door, which is also made of wood, is equipped with a wooden handle and opens to the outside. Locking systems are not permitted for a door on the sweat room.

Correct ventilation and extraction

Decisive for the correct climate in the sweat room and for the smooth functioning of the sauna heating system is the correct arrangement of the ventilation opening. Ventilation is provided via an opening behind the sauna heater, slightly above floor level, of sufficient size and with the possibility of supplying fresh air. The ventilation opening is located approximately at the height of the upper row of seats and should also allow for the direct discharge of used air to the outside. Both openings are located on the opposite walls of the sweat cabin.

You will find helpful information on the recommended dimensions of the air vents, which are based on the size of the sweat room as well as on the performance of the various sauna heaters.

Without the correct ventilation the sauna will not function properly and, in addition to rot and mould in the sauna area, there can also be health hazards for sauna visitors, which are mainly due to a lack of oxygen.

Equipment of the sauna

The sauna oven itself is of course the most important piece of equipment in the sauna. It is recommended to place the sauna heater in a corner, depending on the design of the sauna. This way the heat can be distributed most evenly in the room. No wall coverings made of tiles, metal or similar materials should be placed near the stove, as they unpleasantly increase the one-sided heat radiation. To protect visitors from accidental contact with the hot sauna oven, a wooden grille is recommended. The sauna control unit is mounted on the outside wall of the sauna, which regulates the heater.

A foot bath warms up your feet before a sauna session.

As a rule, wooden versions are also preferred for the water bucket and the sauna ladle. Even if stainless steel buckets and ladles look very chic, they can heat up very unpleasantly. The same applies to door handles and any handrails. The sauna benches themselves are of course to be made of splinter-free, resin-free and cleanly smoothed wood of suitable quality. We can also process wood types such as birch, alder, lime or poplar.

If sauna stones are used, the amount depends on the total volume of the sauna and of course on the stone intake possibilities of the respective heater. It goes without saying that suitable materials must be used for sauna stones. Diorites, granites, basalt stones and gneiss are recommended. Other materials are not suitable.

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