For fitness and wellness enthusiasts, saunas have become synonymous with a healthy lifestyle regimen.
In fact, whether it's after a workout session at the gym or after a long day at the office, a soothing sauna session is usually the order of the moment.
So don't be surprised when we tell you that there are over one million sauna installations in the country already.
Moreover, this trend is only set to surge as installing a sauna in homes becomes easier and more affordable by the day. After all, it's way more convenient and pocket-friendly to sauna in your home than in an upscale spa, isn't it?
Now, if you've been planning on undertaking one such sauna installation project, let us tell you it isn't an easy feat. That's because even one small decision gone wrong, and you can have a failed sauna project on your hands.
Nevertheless, with the top dos and don'ts of sauna installation handy, you can not only complete your personal spa project successfully but also have it precisely to your taste.
Wondering what these dos and don'ts are?
Let's dive right in and have a look at each of them.
The dos of installing a sauna:
#1. Do choose between an indoor and outdoor sauna
The most important thing that you should do at the time of home sauna installation is decide whether you want the sauna indoors or outdoors.
You see, most modern-day households and public wellness spaces have saunas installed indoors. And for good reasons, as indoor saunas are way more convenient to build.
An indoor sauna can be anywhere from a compact shower-sized bath to a large room, depending on your space and requirements.
Not to mention the fact that these saunas are easier to build since there's no need for new construction. All you've got to do is insulate the room and install sauna wood, heater, lights, benches, etc.
However, for classical Finnish sauna enthusiasts, an outdoor sauna might be the best option. Herein, you need to have a dedicated outdoor space with properly installed electrical and plumbing systems.
Also, outdoor sauna installation calls for thoughtful decisions such as size and type, including whether you want a bath, barrel, or pod-shaped sauna.
Bonus: The benefits of an outdoor sauna might surprise youTedious and expensive as it seems, building a sauna outdoors has its own advantages.
How, you may ask?
Well, to start with, an outdoor sauna installation is a conscious move as outdoor areas on a property have a lot more space compared to indoors. Also, with one such sauna, you can have the twin benefits of improved aesthetics and a greater increase in your property's value.
Similarly, you can either build an outdoor sauna by the pool or complement it by installing a cold shower right outside the sauna. This will allow you to take a cold plunge after a hot sauna session and take advantage of hot-to-cold spa therapy in the traditional Finnish style.
Furthermore, outdoor saunas built with top-notch sauna wood can last you for decades and in most likelihood even longer than indoor saunas. And that's despite the fact that outdoor saunas are all wooden.
You may also want to read - DIY Barrel Sauna: A Complete Guide To Build It From Scratch.
#2. Do decide on a location for your indoor sauna
When it comes to installing an indoor sauna, location is not a constraint. That's because these saunas offer limitless flexibility in terms of choosing a location.
Nonetheless, there are a few factors that you've got to take into account, such as the availability of electrical outlets, easy-to-build and insulated enclosures, etc.
And to that end, here are some indoor locations that are perfect for installing sauna at home:
Nothing comes close to a sauna tailored to your liking, not even the highest-end saunas in the top-rated spas and retreats.
Imagine having a sauna session that's customized to your heat and humidity preferences, lighting and aroma tastes, etc., to the utmost precision.
You won't get such an experience in any other sauna, would you?
And that is exactly why we suggest you go for all-out personalization when installing a sauna in your home.
Now, in case you're wondering how to get your sauna tailor-made, here are a few ways to customize your wellness space:
A. Install sauna controls that allow custom heating
As you might already be aware, sauna heater controls are used to start the sauna heater and regulate the sauna ambiance.
But what if we told you that there are such sauna control units on the market that let you customize your heating preferences?
In fact, from feeding your desired temperature and duration settings to pre-setting your sauna session timing, these controls would let you do just about anything.
Sounds awesome, doesn't it?
B. Go for sauna walls with Himalayan salt crystals
From better breathing to glowing skin to speedy detoxification and more, Himalayan salt is associated with a ton of benefits. And when used in sauna walls, these salt crystals can do wonders for your health.
The best thing is that building a Himalayan salt sauna is cost-effective, contrary to the assumptions of it being super expensive.
C. Use aromatherapy oils
Aromatherapy goes a long way to amplify your sauna experience by infusing soul-soothing aromas within the sauna enclosure.
Also, unlike steam rooms, you need not install a separate aroma pump in saunas, as pouring the aroma oils over hot sauna rocks is all it takes.
In short, sauna room aromatherapy oils are indeed the most cost-efficient way to customize your sauna experience.
D. Install custom lighting
Like in any other wellness space, we can't overstate the importance of mood lighting in a sauna room.
Also called as chromatherapy, the use of the right kind of sauna lighting can elevate your mood and help you relax better. So be sure to include sauna lighting to your taste as you install a sauna in your home.
Note: There are more ways you can go creative in the sauna. A knack of creativity is all you need.
#4. Do address safety concerns adequately
Ensuring full-proof safety is critical in an indoor sauna installation. That's because apart from the complex electrical and mechanical components of a sauna, you're also dealing with excessive heat conditions.
You see, from heat strokes to skin burns to dehydration, there are a lot of risks that sauna bathers face in enclosures with uncontrolled ambient heating.
Not to mention, a poorly installed heater, among other electrical components, along with faulty wiring, also risks fire accidents.
As such, here are a few safety tips that we suggest you incorporate into your sauna room installation:
A. Electrical and fire safety is essential
Saunas, like other home installations, need to be fire-safe and protected against electrical hazards. And to that end, you should always consult an expert and get your sauna's electrical components professionally installed.
In fact, even if you're opting for a DIY installation, it's essential that you undertake such a project with expert guidance.
Similarly, when it comes to fire safety in a sauna, we always recommend you use non-inflammable materials as much as possible. Also, it makes sense to have a fire extinguisher installed at a handy location to respond and cope with fire emergencies timely.
B. Sauna heater should have an auto-cut feature
To prevent overheating in a sauna bath, modern-day sauna heaters are equipped with temperature sensors and auto-cut features.
So how does it exactly work, you might wonder?
Well, the principle is pretty straightforward, wherein the temperature sensors monitor the ambient temperature continuously. The auto-cut features, at the same time, shut down the heater the moment your enclosure is heated to your preference.
The result: Your sauna bath has comfortable heating with zero risk of overheating and the problems caused by it.
C. Bonus: Plumbing systems should be in top shape
Saunas don't essentially need to be connected to a plumbing line. That's because pouring a little water over hot sauna rocks is all you've got to do for steam generation.
Nevertheless, if you have a plumbing line connected to your sauna, you should check for leaks and other faults to eliminate the chances of damage to the sauna.
The don'ts of installing a sauna:
#1. Don't choose your sauna in a hurry
A home sauna installation, like other home addition projects, involves passion and a big-ticket investment. Meaning a flawed or inferior sauna installation is the last thing you want.
But how to install a sauna that meets your expectations?
Here are a few things you can do:
A. Decide the type of sauna heater
Sauna heaters are typically of four types, namely, electric, gas, infrared and wood burning. And among these, electric and wood heaters are considered perfect for home installations.
To begin with, an electric heater offers you the perfect combination of effective heating and energy efficiency. So much so that a typical electric sauna is heated within minutes and doesn't cost more than $1 in utility bills for a standard 30-minute session.
Nonetheless, for classical sauna enthusiasts looking to experience old-style sauna bathing, a wood-burning sauna heater might be the way to go.
Although a little more expensive in terms of upfront cost, running, and maintenance, with a wood heater, you're in for a truly authentic sauna adventure.
Infrared sauna heaters, at the same time, are a different beast altogether and incorporate state-of-the-art infrared heating technology for the most efficient and time-saving sauna.
Also, it's easier and more affordable to install infrared sauna heaters over conventional ones.
B. Decide the size and capacity of your sauna
It is essential to figure out the ideal sauna size and heater capacity before you go on to buy sauna accessories. And you can do so by factoring in the size of your enclosure and the number of people who'll sauna at a time.
For instance, if your sauna room is sized anywhere between 250 and 400 cubic feet, an 8 KW sauna heater will be perfect for your needs.
C. Decide on sauna materials
A sauna and all its interior structures are primarily made of wood and glass, among other materials.
So when it comes to building a solid and long-lasting sauna, it's essential to get the best wood for the sauna, such as red cedar, hemlock, Nordic spruce, etc.
Similarly, the glass that you use should be toughened, have insulating features, and be built to withstand heat conditions.
#2. Don't buy a used sauna heater
Sauna heaters are the mainstay of your sauna experience as they ensure optimum heating and steam flow. As such, the heater in your sauna should be always in tip-top shape.
Moreover, when buying a sauna heater, you should always avoid pre-owned heaters no matter how affordable they seem. That's because there's a good chance they'll lack the desired performance, especially when compared to a brand-new heater.
On the other hand, buying a new heater will ensure that you're covered by a fairly long warranty period, apart from the impeccable performance.
As you can see, installing a sauna is way too easy once you've figured out the basics, such as dos and don'ts.
In fact, with these dos and don'ts in mind, you can install sauna rooms that are at the top of their game and offer the best ever experience.
Still curious about how to install a sauna in your home or what do you need to install a sauna?
You can get in touch with us!
At Steam & Sauna Experts, we bring decades of experience in installing and maintaining top-of-the-line sauna rooms. Also, we have a large inventory loaded with a full range of steam sauna accessories from industry leaders like Steamist, Amerec, and Mr Steam.
So, whatever your sauna installation needs are, we've got them covered.