What can be better than loosening up in a sauna room after a long day at work?
A fifteen-minute sauna session relaxes you to the core so much that you're sure to get rid of all the stress from the day.
In an earlier blog, you must have seen the enormous health benefits of saunas and steam rooms.
With a regular sauna session, you will have a strong heart, enhanced immunity, improved blood pressure, detoxified skin, and better mental health.
And that's exactly the reason why saunas continue to remain popular among people from all age groups.
Now, when it comes to availing the awesome benefits of a sauna regularly, a home sauna installation is the most efficient and affordable solution.
So how to install a sauna in your home?
Well, let’s dive right in and have a look.
How does a sauna room work?
Before we get into the question of how to install a sauna in your home, it’s important you understand the basics of a sauna’s working.
For starters, a sauna room is an enclosed space heated by a sauna heater.
Saunas are wood-lined, and depending on their size, they can have different seating capacities.
The sauna heater determines your sauna room's working. Heaters raise the temperature in the room between 150 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes you sweat and detoxify.
That's why sauna sessions are called a bath from the inside out.
A sauna room can be either traditional or infrared.
While a traditional sauna works by heating the entire sauna room, an infrared sauna is a relatively new concept that directly heats your body using infrared rays.
Both traditional and infrared saunas serve the same purpose. It all depends on your preferences for a sauna room.
We'll see more of it later.
Why do you need to install a sauna in your home?
Americans are increasingly opting to build an in-house sauna room.
That is for good.
You've seen the enormous health advantages that a regular sauna session offers.
Not to forget, it entirely relaxes your body and mind. It's probably the reason why your favorite meal or a glass of red wine tastes so better after a sauna bath.
But why exactly should you have a sauna room in your home?
Regular sauna sessions are a must if you want to get the most out of the sauna.
And public sauna rooms can be a costly affair. On average, a public sauna room can cost up to $50 for every session.
Some public saunas in metropolises like Maimi even cost a premium of $100 or more per session. That means a regular sauna session can indeed break your bank.
On the other hand, energy cost is the most likely expense if you use a residential sauna session. It is way cheaper than going to a public sauna regularly.
For instance, a 30-minute sauna session at home will cost you less than $1.
There you have it, a budget-friendly alternative to expensive public saunas.
There's more to it.
A public sauna room can be the breeding ground for infections since many people sit together in a closed space.
You visit a sauna to soak in the goodness of heat. And you don't want to get infected there, right?
A residential sauna room ensures you stay protected from germs and infections.
How to install a sauna in your home?
You've seen how a residential sauna room fares better than a public sauna. And you might be thinking of installing one in your home.
Installing a sauna room isn't very complex. But when it comes to choosing suitable materials or figuring out the cost, it can be tricky.
If you are a newbie looking to install a sauna, it can be especially confusing to choose between the different sauna heaters or the size of your sauna room.
For instance, you might be wondering, what do you need to install a sauna?
Well, we've compiled ten steps to help you install a sauna that’s optimum for your needs. So let's have a look at them.
1. Choose between traditional and infrared sauna heaters
Sauna rooms use two kinds of heaters, namely traditional and infrared. It can be particularly confusing to choose between the two.
You should know that both traditional and infrared sauna heaters serve the same purpose. The only difference is in the method of heating.
A traditional sauna heater heats your sauna room, raising the temperature to 180-195 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stones are critical heating elements, and the quality of sauna stones determines your sauna experience. The reason why major manufacturers like Steamist use top-notch Finnish stones.
You have to pre-heat sauna stones for 30-40 minutes before a sauna session.
Traditional saunas are your go-to option if you enjoy a hot sauna session. You should, however, go for electric sauna heaters only, as wood-burning and gas heaters aren't eco-friendly.
Another heating method for a sauna room is an infrared sauna heater.
They use state-of-the-art infrared technology to heat your body directly instead of heating the entire room. Infrared rays penetrate your body and raise the core temperature, resulting in pronounced sweating.
The temperature of your sauna room remains between 125 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Interesting, isn't it?
If you like a quicker sauna at a lower temperature, infrared sauna heaters are ideal for you.
Overall, choosing between traditional and infrared sauna heaters comes down to your heat preference. Both offer the same sauna benefits.
2. Decide on the right place of installation
A residential sauna room is a significant investment. And it also adds value to your property.
So it's essential to choose the right place to install a sauna.
You can install an infrared sauna almost anywhere.
You can have it in your bathroom, basement, spare room, or just any convenient location where you want a sauna room.
Things get a bit complicated with a traditional sauna.
Traditional sauna rooms are professionally installed. You need to factor in plumbing, drainage, electrical outlets, proper ventilation, etc.
For instance, the place where you install your sauna room must be connected to a water pipeline, have proper drainage, have electrical outlets nearby, and be well ventilated.
Your bathroom is the most likely place for a traditional sauna room.
3. Decide on the size of your sauna room
Whether building your sauna room from scratch or buying a pre-built sauna, size can be a billion-dollar question.
There are three things to consider while deciding the sauna room size.
First, the size of your indoor or outdoor space determines the size of your sauna. If an ideal location in your home has space limitations, you should choose sauna size accordingly.
Second, sauna size also depends on your budget. For example, small-sized sauna rooms are way cheaper than the bigger ones.
Third, you should decide the size based on how many people are using the sauna at a time. For example, small saunas can get cramped with more than two people.
Do you feel claustrophobic in small closed spaces?
If yes, large-sized saunas with glass walls should be ideal for you.
4. Figure out your budget for sauna installation
The cost of your sauna room depends on its size and the quality of materials used.
For example, some small-sized sauna rooms cost you as low as $1500.
That is cheap. Isn't it?
According to Forbes Home, an indoor sauna can cost around $3000, while an outdoor sauna can cost you between $3000 and $6000.
Forbes Home estimates suggest that you can expect to shed out $4500 on an average for a residential sauna room.
At the same time, a customized sauna can easily cost you $9500 or more.
You might wonder how much you should spend?
Your requirements and your budget should determine your sauna room expenditure.
You can create a list of your sauna preferences or requirements and purchase one which includes the most in your budget.
Quality of sauna room components, like sauna heater and wood, should be your priority.
You see, a low-quality sauna, however cheap, can malfunction and ruin your sauna experience. So, you shouldn't mind spending extra on high-quality sauna materials.
5. Select the right sauna wood
The interior of your sauna room is made of wood. So the quality of your wood determines the longevity and your overall sauna experience.
You can build your sauna room using a wide range of woods like hemlock, spruce, cedar, and less expensive pine and plywood.
However, you should choose a high-quality wood that is chemical-free, resists heat and moisture, retains color over time, and doesn't secrete resin.
Cedar and hemlock are widely used in building saunas and are ideal for your sauna room. These are much more durable and sturdy compared to cheaper timber like pine.
Cedar has a great aroma and beautiful finish, which is sure to amplify your sauna experience.
Also, it is resistant to shrinking and splitting, which makes it an excellent construction-grade timber.
Hemlock, meanwhile, is low on smell and can be a good sauna wood if you're allergic to certain scents.
Sustainably sourced cedar and hemlock are excellent materials to build a sauna.
There you have it, a solid and long-lasting sauna wood.
6. Go for a carbon heater for an infrared sauna
Are you installing an infrared sauna?
If yes, you should choose a good quality carbon heater for your sauna.
While infrared saunas use ceramic and carbon heaters, the latter is a superior choice.
Carbon heaters are expensive compared to ceramic, but they're light, thin, provide a safe and even temperature, and last easily up to 50 years.
Carbon fiber heaters generate infrared heat that penetrates deeper into your skin tissues. It allows your body to absorb more heat, and in turn, you experience much intense sweating.
That sounds amazing for sure. Right?
7. Consider an energy-efficient sauna heater
An energy-efficient sauna heater can reduce the running cost of your sauna room.
A low-energy sauna heater will consume less electricity, saving up your energy costs.
For instance, a 6KW Steamist sauna heater will cost less than a dollar per sauna session.
On the other hand, a public sauna room will cost at least $25 on average.
The difference is for you to see.
There's more to it.
A small 2.2KW sauna heater, on average, costs as low as $0.15 for a 20-minute sauna session.
It can't be any cheaper. Can it?
8. DIY your sauna room to save cost
Did you know installation costs a bulk of your total sauna room expenditure?
With DIY, you are sure to save on installation charges.
While some sauna rooms are too complex for DIY, there are simple to install sauna rooms as well.
Consider, for instance, an infrared sauna room which you can install simply anywhere.
You can convert your closet, garage, basement, or attic into an infrared sauna room.
Unlike traditional sauna rooms that need water connection, drainage, ventilation system, etc., all you need for an infrared sauna is an electrical outlet.
You can install a pre-built infrared sauna within two hours.
Also, their running cost is about half as much as a traditional sauna room.
Now you're going to install a DIY sauna room for sure.
9. Look for the best safety standards
The safety of your sauna room should be a top priority. Assured safety, and you're sure to enjoy your sauna session with peace of mind.
When we talk of safety standards, there are a few things that you should ensure.
First, ensure the electrical components, especially the sauna heater, are UL listed.
UL listing ensures that your electrical components are safe, properly designed, and manufactured with the highest standards.
Second, your sauna materials should be 100 percent non-toxic. Toxic materials can lead to off-gassing, polluting the air in your sauna room, and causing health problems.
Third, the glass doors and windows of your sauna room should be tempered safety glass. Ordinary glass runs the risk of breaking in high temperatures.
Finally, your sauna heater should have auto-cut features to prevent overheating.
10. Go for a sauna heater with a maximum warranty
Undoubtedly, a sauna heater is the most crucial component in a sauna room.
With an extended warranty cover, you can rest assured of manufacturing quality.
Since the manufacturer will handle manufacturing defects or quality issues, you can stay unbothered.
On the other hand, sauna heaters with short warranty periods can get you to spend a good amount regularly.
A residential sauna is an investment in your health and wellbeing. That's the reason why you should install a sauna room of the highest quality.
Even as installing a sauna room isn't very difficult, wrong installation or faulty components can ruin your sauna.
However, by getting some basic sauna facts clear, you can install the best sauna room for your home.
That's why we've compiled ten steps to help you install your ideal sauna.
Still wondering how to install a sauna in your home?
You can get in touch with us!
At Steam & Sauna Experts, we’ve the most seasoned sauna installation team. Also, our online storefront features the sauna components and accessories from industry leaders at the most cost-efficient prices.
In short, we’ve got all your sauna installation needs covered on a budget.