northernsaunas.comSauna Wood (and Why It Matters)
Which Wood Is Really 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 color 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 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.
Hard woods, like oak or teak, will often overheat when exposed to high temperatures for two 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 scorching 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 soft wood, 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 soft wood 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 soft wood 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 towards 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 soft wood. 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 is 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 simply 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 units dimensions 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 own size and stature when choosing a sauna. Make sure that you’ll have enough room to recline and relax.
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 other are more modern and sleek. Regardless of your style of choice, a sauna will drastically compliment 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 you may be looking at a simple choice of color, 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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Sweat Safely !
Gabriel from Northern Saunas
Hi Adam, great idea. Has my full support. Have been introduced to sauna in Finland, within the family of ex-girlfriend, traditional style, what a relief. The only thing that's hard to find in CR is the freeze borehole of a frozen lake (haha:-)
Love it! Those are some good looking saunas! We have the idea to make a Russian style ‘banya’ eventually as well, would be nice close by the river with a nice cool off and then back in!