Everything You Need to Know About Prepping Your Home for Sauna Installation
Imagine having a place at home that could serve three purposes simultaneously — a health boost, a personal oasis to check-out and de-stress, and a place to spend time with friends and family.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Home saunas check all the boxes — from enhancing mental and physical health to improving your home’s aesthetic. But home saunas aren’t a new fad, they’ve been around for centuries stemming from various European cultures.
Today, in Finland (the birthplace of the traditional Finnish sauna,) there are approximately 2.5 million saunas built into businesses and homes. And now, we’re starting to see them take off in popularity in the western world too.
In the United States, there are roughly one million saunas installed across the nation. People are becoming more and more invested in the sauna experience and COVID has only made them more popular to install at home as a way to guarantee access in a world of restrictions. We’re seeing more and more people installing saunas with the goal of enjoying a consistent wellness routine whenever they please.
If you’ve been wanting to install a sauna in your home for a while, or the idea is just now hitting you as a great option for your lifestyle, there are a few factors that need to be determined first. We sat down with our sauna sales manager, Rory, to compile a list of some of the most important things to consider to prep your home for a sauna installation.
The First Decisions to Make About Your Home Sauna
Traditional or Home Infrared Sauna
First things first, there’s deciding what kind of sauna you want — traditional or infrared sauna?
Traditional Finnish saunas should be heated to at least 170 degrees, oftentimes they’re heated up to 190. They’re unique because you have the option to pour water over hot rocks, releasing steam and humidity into the air. Because of the water element, a traditional sauna will have a humidity level between 20 and 40%.
On the contrary, home infrared saunas run at a much lower temperature than your traditional Finnish sauna. And unlike a traditional sauna, heat penetrates the body through near and far infrared wavelengths to elevate your body’s core temperature.
In either environment, you'll receive the many health benefits of sauna from inflammation reduction to collagen production to stress relief. For most people, the decision between choosing a traditional or infrared sauna simply comes down to a matter of preference. You can enjoy high heat for shorter intervals or sit in less abrasive temperatures for longer stints. Whatever you decide, we encourage you to try both and see what you like before making your investment.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Home Sauna
Once you’ve decided on what kind of sauna you want, the next step is to figure out where to place it. You really can’t go wrong between installing it indoors or outdoors — it’s more a matter of personal preference and what you think you’ll use most.
On the whole, indoor saunas are typically built free-standing or put directly into the infrastructure of your home. You’ll see them commonly placed in home gyms, master bathrooms, basements, or home spas. If you’re building a new home, you may choose to build a custom sauna directly into your home, or on the contrary, if you think a move may be in your future, a free-standing sauna is convenient and can still be relatively easy to move.
Outdoor saunas have been gaining popularity in recent years and are a great addition to your backyard pool, or a complement to your outdoor shower. Since you don’t have a space constraint like you do with being indoors, outdoor saunas have a whole spread of customizable options and size variations. Keep in mind outdoor saunas do tend to be a bit more expensive, but if you’re looking to create a calming, outdoor oasis for your home, an outdoor sauna could be the perfect fit for you.
Whatever option you choose, just make sure it’s accessible and fits your lifestyle so you get as much use out of it as you want.
3 Steps to Prep Your Home for Sauna Installation
Now that you know a little more about what sauna to choose and where it might live in your home, we’re going to go through some of the ways to get your home ready for installation.
- Check the electrical
How you’re going to power your sauna is a critical question that needs to be addressed early on.
Usually, a home sauna requires 240 volts and a 30-60 amps dedicated circuit. Your home sauna will need a reliable electrical source to operate properly and accommodate the necessary power, so we recommend talking to an electrician first to see if what you want to do is actually possible.
- Sizing requirements
With an outdoor sauna, you have more flexibility with spacing. But with an indoor sauna, the size of your unit matters greatly. The width and height of your sauna unit needs to easily fit inside the room of your house that you’re planning on installing it in.
You’ll also need to decide how many people you want to have using your sauna at any given time. If your unit is going to be used by one person, the sauna can be much smaller than, say, one you want used by your 4-person family all together. The bottom line is, build a sauna for how you think you’d use it in your everyday life.
- Customizing your home sauna
Home saunas offer a multitude of opportunities for customization. With your new sauna, you can pick the heater you want and determine the overall design of your home sauna. We use products like Huum sauna heaters, Thermary barrel saunas, and Clearlight infrared saunas (to give you an idea of customization options) to outfit your finished product.
When we talked to our sales manager, Rory, about this topic, he had a few pieces of advice to share:
There’s a sauna out there for every person, from high-tech to modest and everything in between. In my opinion, the best sauna you can build is a simple one. Some people tend to get really excited and want to go crazy on details, but for most people, building a sauna that’s simple is a better return on investment, and they’ll get more use out of it.
But like we’ve said before, customization all comes down to your preference and vision for your home sauna.
Ready to Get Started on Your Home Sauna Installation?
If you’re feeling inspired to put a sauna in your home or you want to learn more about the process, reach out to our sauna expert, Rory! You can fill out our form here.