What Materials Can Be Used In A Sauna?

What Materials Can Be Used In A Sauna

The main material of a sauna is wood, which is used for the benches and the interior covering of the cabin. To optically improve a sauna, it is possible to build in stonewall elements or a salt wall behind the sauna oven. The different kinds of wood sorts differentiate with respect to the optics, the haptics and the smell. Frequently used sorts of wood are spruce, aspen, oak and hemlock. We will be happy to advise you with the planning of your sauna, and we will select your desired wood together with you.

If you want to turn your sauna into a real eye-catcher and when you like to have farsightedness from the inside, you should, in any case, consider the use of glass in your plannings: Especially for design saunas, glass gets used more and more often to achieve a lightness and transparency. In the area of the doors, an 8 mm strong ESG (single-pane safety glass) gets used, and in the remaining area, there will be inserted 10 mm ESG. Concerning the varieties of your design, there are hardly any limits, whether if the glass should be built-in framed or frameless and on the floor level. We will be happy about your ideas and wishes, which we gladly accept as a challenge. Also Portable Sauna Melbourne page which has everything Portable Sauna related that you might need

Every sauna design is different – some are focused on practicality while others offer more decorative appeal. Whatever choices you make for your sauna, there are certain universal principles, like using woods that don’t overheat or secrete resin for the benches and selecting interior materials that are resistant to heat and moisture.

Why Sauna Materials Matter

Far infrared or FIR saunas vary in shape, size, material, and construction. Every element that makes up your sauna will have an effect on the level of health benefits (or risks) it provides. Some saunas contain potentially harmful materials as a cheap alternative to more quality sauna materials. These types of shortcuts aren’t worth investing in for the sauna you choose for your home or business.

Sauna Wood

First, consider the wood used in the sauna. FIR saunas are often made of spruce, redwood, hemlock, poplar, basswood or cedar. Cedar has long been the go-to choice and continues to be the top option of infrared saunas today. The best type of cedar is Western Red Canadian Cedar. Be sure the cedar used in the sauna is sustainably sourced and eco-friendly.

Cedar is resistant to cracking and splitting when heated and cooled since it’s a softwood. It’s also the longest-lasting sauna wood available. It naturally eliminates the presence of moulds and bacteria – and important consideration as you decide on sauna materials since the warm and moist area of a sauna is a prime environment for both. Finally, Western Red Canadian cedar is non-aromatic cedar and has a very faint cedar smell, so even the most sensitive people will love their cedar infrared sauna.

Sauna Heaters

The heater in your sauna is an important sauna material for obvious reasons since it will be responsible for the type of experience you receive in your sauna. There are two main types of heaters to consider: carbon and ceramic. Carbon panel heaters are larger, distribute infrared heat more evenly, and produce high quality, long wave infrared heat, but typically, at a weaker level.

Ceramic-based heaters emit a greater amount of infrared heat than carbon panels, but create hot spots in the sauna and produce lower quality shorter infrared waves. A combination of the two provides the best of both worlds, providing beneficial long wave infrared heat and a lot of it.

Electromagnetic Fields or EMFs

Consider the number of electromagnetic fields (EMF) when researching the varying factors and sauna materials for your FIR sauna. Continual exposure to high levels of EMFs can be harmful to health.

In everyday life, we are subject to EMF from the moment we turn on the lights in the morning to our time spent in front of a computer during the day. Fortunately, the level of EMF exposure is relatively low in normal work or home environments, but adding any exposure puts us at risk for reaching a dangerous level. A low EMF infrared sauna ensures exposure rates stay within the threshold of what is considered safe.

Infrared heat has been used as a therapeutic benefit for years with the quality of sauna materials improving over time. As a result, you benefit from a better product and a more optimal experience. This makes all the difference when choosing the sauna best suited for you.

Which Wood Is The Best For Your Home Sauna?

Since you now know about the massive health benefits that having a sauna at home can bring you, it’ important that you choose the best wood type for your needs. Choosing the right model is a vital step in getting the most out of your sauna experience.

The type of wood you choose for your sauna is incredibly important as it will determine the durability, the style, the texture, the longevity and even the atmosphere of each session. If you want your sauna to last you a lifetime, make sure to select the best sauna wood type.

Let’s have a look at some of the best options available to you for your sauna project.

Basswood Against Allergies 

For individuals with sensitive skins, basswood will be a #1 choice. It’s light brown colour coupled with it’s hypoallergenic qualities, and soft texture makes basswood a tremendously durable and affordable wood.

Basswood will not emit any fragrance or toxins and rarely contains knots which is why it has soft-to-touch qualities. Classified as a hardwood, it is unlikely to bend or warp over time and will do great for both residential and commercial use.

Another upside for choosing basswood is its affordability. Some of our best-infrared saunas such as our top of the line Clearlight Jacuzzi are made out of basswood.

Get Cedar For Durability 

Used both for traditional and infrared saunas, cedar possesses a natural resistance to moisture. It does not expand or contract as much as other woods when the temperature fluctuates.

Cedar is especially prized for outdoor models such as barrels and cabin saunas. Its robustness and ability to withstand harsh weathers years after years with little degradation makes it hands down the best sauna wood on the market.

For An Authentic Style :

However quite rare, another strong & durable wood option is eucalyptus. Historically, eucalyptus has been used in cabinetry for years.

This premium wood is quite similar to teak wood in many regards but without the steep price-tag.

Sensitivity & Durability :

If you’ve ever climbed inside a hot vehicle and been slightly burned by leather seats, you’ve probably noticed the importance of material for comfort.

Similarly, saunas need a wood that remains comfortable to touch even at high temperatures. 

Hardwoods, like oak or teak, will often overheat when exposed to high temperatures for too long hence why we do not recommend them.

Considering this, make sure to select a wood that will not conduct heat as much. The ambient air must be scorchingly hot, but your skin shall remain intact. Let’s remember we’re not trying to cook steaks here!

Softwoods, like eucalyptus, cedar, and basswood are all great in that regard. This is why they are perfect for sauna use.

There are several types of softwood, so it’s important to choose one that works for you. Likewise, woods with excess sap in them should also be avoided. These woods can create dangerous fumes and even liquids capable of igniting when used in a hot sauna.

Heat & Sturdiness

In terms of practical woods to use, heat absorption is key. The wood for your sauna should be able to absorb the heat from the sauna without overheating. It’s important to find a softwood that can soak up steam and deal with heat absorption without having any long-term damage.

Eucalyptus, basswood, cedar and even spruce are some of the best types of softwood for long-lasting saunas. As we mentioned, your sauna should be heat resistant and should also stand the test of time. Anything less will be a major disappointment for your investment.

In addition to absorption, it’s also important that the sauna be affordable. Some types of wood are far more expensive than others.

As such, many people feel like saunas are a luxury item, but this often depends on the type of wood used. Saunas can be affordable for those who use the right type of material.

Another crucial issue to consider is the sturdiness of the wood. Since you can’t afford to take a chance on a flimsy sauna, it’s important to find a sturdy softwood. This also means finding a well-built frame so the sauna can be used day after day without worry.

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Sauna

For the most part, the health benefits of an indoor sauna versus an outdoor sauna are essentially the same. Instead, the choice of indoor versus outdoor depends more on the owner, their preferences, available space, time, and budget commitments. Within this decision, of course, there are pros and cons for each option.

Outdoor saunas require a suitable electrical connection unless they’re built for wood burning only. Since heaters require an outlet, this option isn’t for everyone.

But, with an outdoor sauna, there’s more room for creativity when it comes to design and quirks.

These saunas are perfect for individuals who want to enjoy their detox experience outdoors.

Indoor saunas are much easier to install as they need to be connected to your home’s existing electrical systems.

Likewise, your home will act as a barrier for the sauna, protecting it from the weather. 

Many individuals will choose to have an infrared sauna installed in an unused space or even in a large bathroom. Whether you choose indoor or outdoor, it’s important that you do your research on the specific sauna you want to install.

Choosing the Right Size

Generally speaking, saunas are sold according to the number of individuals who will be using the unit at once. If you wish to purchase a five-person sauna, make sure to note the dimensions of the unit and compare it with the measurements of the space that you’ve reserved for it. Note that some exterior saunas may require a cement pad before installation which will impact the vertical space required for your sauna.  

You should also consider your size and stature when choosing a sauna. Make sure that you’ll have enough room to recline and relax.

What Type of Wood Should be Used to Make a Sauna?

There are several factors that go into the overall design of a sauna, including the critical step of choosing the right wood. Saunas are designed for relaxation. They are a warm, soothing sanctuary for sweating and detoxing. That said, it’s essential to ensure premium comfort by making sure problems don’t arise, especially as a result of faulty design. A sauna that is too hot, cool or emitting fumes is no fun for anyone. Additionally, there are several things to consider when choosing the right wood, including the material. While softwood is the best option, affordability and whether the wood contains sap, knots, stains or paint are all critical considerations when selecting materials. Looking for Sauna Melbourne? Look no further, Portable Sauna has you covered.

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Scots pine is a coniferous tree in the pine family, and in saunas, it is most commonly used for outer walls. It is the most widespread species of pine, grown across Europe and Asia. The wood responds well to a thermal modification to produce an exclusive look, and we additionally offer sauna materials in natural, untreated Scots pine. The natural pattern of the timber can be highlighted using a special brushing technique.

Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

The wood of the Norway spruce, an evergreen coniferous tree of the pine family, also known as European spruce, is almost white, with a slight yellowish undertone – it is one of the lightest coloured coniferous woods. Grown in northern, central, and eastern Europe, Spruce is often used as timber, and for saunas, it is generally preferred for exterior walls. We can also brush the wood to enhance its attractive natural pattern further.

American ash or white ash (Fraxinus Americana)

American ash is a perennial deciduous tree in the olive family that grows in North America. It produces a wood that is valuable, durable, strong, and decorative, with an attractive texture that beautifully complements exterior sauna walls. Our thermally modified ash takes on a dark brown colour, giving an exclusive look, and it can be brushed to highlight its distinctive pattern further.

Western red cedar (Thuja plicata)

The western red cedar, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family that is also known as Pacific red cedar, is perfect for sauna benches and interiors because it doesn’t secrete resin or overheat, and it is also water repellent. Growing primarily in the western part of North America, Red cedar is known for its pleasantly rich aroma and its exquisite reddish colour with a range of natural shades, which also make it an attractive option for exterior panelling.

Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

The wood of Tsuga canadensis, also known as Canadian hemlock or eastern hemlock, is soft, with a coarse grain and a light buff colour making it well suited to exterior walls. As well as being durable and knot-free, wood from this coniferous North American tree of the pine family is ideal for use inside saunas because it doesn’t warp and it radiates heat evenly. Canadian hemlock also produces a delicate, relaxing aroma.

Common alder or black alder (Alnus glutinosa)

Thanks to its reddish tone and pleasant texture, wood from the common alder, also known as black alder, is popular as a finishing material in saunas. Growing around Europe, southwestern Asia and northern Africa, this perennial deciduous tree from the birch family produces a hardy, water-repellent wood that doesn’t overheat. We use alder to produce a variety of interior sauna materials and products, with thermally modified and brushed finishes available.

Softwood 101

First and foremost, when constructing a sauna, choose a softwood as it will better absorb heat released from steam. Additionally, softwood will not be too hot to the touch. Hardwoods, on the other hand, heat up quickly. Ideal varieties of softwoods are spruce, pine and cedar. Also Portable Sauna Melbourne page which has everything Portable Sauna related that you might need

Spruce is a light wood, mostly found in Nordic regions, such as Finland. It’s both practical and cost-effective. Pine is similar to spruce, except that it has larger knots which fall out when dry. Finally, cedarwood is rich in colour, resilient to rotting and emits a pleasant odour when heated. That said, not all are in favour of using cedar wood to build a sauna. Energy Mizers, Inc. claims that cedar creates mould, looks dirty after a short period of time and can spur breathing problems. For these reasons, spruce and pine may be your best options.

Scrap Sap

Try to avoid woods that contain sap. These woods can release unsafe fumes and extremely hot liquid that can burn you. To avoid sap and seepage, choose quality pine, cedar or spruce.

Not Knotty

The knottiness of the wood should be taken into account when constructing a sauna. Knotty wood is usually denser and not appropriate for use in sauna construction, and it often contains sap.

Steer Clear of Stain and Paint

Probably the most important consideration when selecting wood for your sauna is to make sure it is not stained or painted. Both stains and paints can release harmful toxins when the sauna is in use. Leave your wood completely and thoroughly natural.

Consider Cost

Make sure to find a variety of wood that combines quality with low cost. Spruce is a wonderful option. Cedar, on the other hand, can be quite costly.

With wood that’s soft, affordable, free from paint or stain, knots and sap, you can enjoy your long-lasting, safe sauna without stress or concern.

Once you’ve considered all of the technical aspects mentioned above, it is time to choose a sauna that fits perfectly with your decor while also being sturdy and effective. 

Some of our saunas have a rustic and Nordic look, while others are more modern and sleek. Regardless of your style of choice, a sauna will drastically complement the interior and exterior of your home design thanks to our high-quality wood selections. 

Eucalyptus, basswood, and cedar are all beautiful types of wood so that you may be looking at a simple choice of colour, treatment of knots and personal taste. However, we don’t recommend that you treat or varnish the wood on your own has this can lead to high levels of toxicity. Opt for natural, timeless beauty.

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