WHAT KIND OF SAUNAS DO YOU DESIGN AND INSTALL?
We are specialist designers and installers of properly insulated and ventilated permanently fixed indoor and outdoor saunas built to building regulations incorporating the use of installation materials that are durable, compliant and add value to the property. Our DIY saunas are not supplied as flatpacks since it is almost impossible to get a perfect fit unless the sauna is built properly on site.
As far as the sauna finish is concerned, we normally use Alder and Aspen, both normally treated and thermally treated but we have the capability to source any sauna compatible wood and equipment, and fix it confirming to the manufacturer's specifications.
WHO ARE YOUR MAIN CUSTOMERS?
We design and install saunas for homeowners, architects, builders, property developers, hotels, health clubs, and the corporate sector. The Sauna Company specialises, in particular, in the design of mechanical and electrical services to serve residential and commercial use indoor and outdoor saunas, steam rooms and spas. We can advise at a very early design stage on the special requirements for the sauna materials, sauna heating equipment, climate control and ventilation systems essential for high end sauna installations..
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN YOUR SCOPE OF WORK?
We start with preparing initial design drawings that include the sauna layout, mechanical services, and joinery details. A 3-D illustration is produced for each project for approval before we start on site. The preparatory works, partitions and floor tiling are usually done by the main contractor. We come in periodically to place the insulation, ventilation, and services. Once the site is ready, the sauna is delivered and fitted, typically within five working days, heated to required temperature and cleaned before handing over. We provide detailed manuals complete with as installed drawings for customers reference and records.
HOW MUCH IS A CUSTOM SAUNA?
Because every sauna we do is unique and specially designed for a particular customer keeping his or her needs in consideration, it is almost impossible to provide a price list. But guide prices are given on our prices page and the initial consultation is free.
WHY DO I GET MY SAUNA DESIGNED BY A SAUNA SPECIALIST?
When you decide to build or renovate your home, do you go to a building materials supplier, a hardware store or an electrical goods supplier? Or do you contact bricklayers, plumbers or electricians? No, but you go to an architect or a specialist interior designer. So it makes little sense in approaching a general contractor or carpenter for designing and building a sauna.
HOW BIG, AND HOW HIGH SHOULD I MAKE MY SAUNA?
A typical residential sauna is between 1.2m and 2.4m wide with the room depth being kept between 1m and 2.4m. The best height for a sauna to perform effectively and to conserve energy is 2.1m. But it also depends on the intended use, budget, location etc. Our saunas range in size from those that are suited just for one person to ones that even a dozen or more can enjoy at a time. Glazed panels and doors give even the smaller saunas a sense of space and a larger sauna will take longer to heat so simply choose a size that is adequate for the number of people likely to be enjoying it. There is little value in going overboard for less likely bather loads.
AM I LIMITED TO SAUNA DESIGNS SHOWN ON YOUR WEBSITE?
In a word, no. You are not limited to the designs or shapes we show on our site. Our design engineers can produce a set of plans even from a sketch or photograph. Almost any sauna shape can be sized and designed to fit your property, or your specifications. The only important consideration is the necessity to ventilate the sauna. In the case of outdoor saunas, it is fairly straightforward, however, indoor saunas, especially in basements, need a bit of planning and design work.
WHAT IS AN INFRARED SAUNA?
The German astronomer William Herschel was the first to discover the existence of infrared radiation in 1800. He used a prism to break down sunlight into its spectral parts and found a non-visible but warming radiation beyond the red, the longest wavelength range, of visible light. He discovered that there is an invisible light that was hotter than everything else. That's what we call infrared radiation nowadays.
WHY IS A FAR-INFRARED SAUNA BETTER THAN A FULL-SPECTRUM SAUNA?
Full Spectrum is an expression used by companies that sell saunas with both Far- and Near-(Mid-)Infrared emitters. At first, this sounds effective as you get everything in one package. So why is this not the case?
Near-infrared requires your body to be within around 2 to 3 inches of the infrared lights. This is due to the fact that skin doesn't absorb near-infrared too well from a distance. Since you usually sit at least 6 inches away from the walls/ emitters, near infrared saunas are questionable.
Heating up the body, sweating and detoxification are the core goals when using a sauna. This result is what you get from a far infrared sauna which penetrates deepest into the tissues. Near-infrared light generates the most heat but does not penetrate deep into human tissues.
All this doesn't mean near infrared is useless though. It's a question of how you're using it. Near-infrared can in fact be very beneficial when it comes to treating certain skin areas of your body. Near Infrared penetrates the epidermis layer of the skin. It is beneficial for your cell health and wound healing.
WHICH IS BETTER, A TRADITIONAL SAUNA OR AN INFRARED SAUNA?
Traditionally, people who went to a sauna would sit in a log cabin structure around a fire pit with rocks laid over the top. When the fire warmed the rocks enough, these people would throw a bucket of water onto the rocks, creating a great deal of steam. This high heat and humidity were believed to provide a number of wonderful health benefits.
Infrared saunas focus on the heat part of the sauna experience rather than the humidity part. There is no steam, only rays that heat up the body without raising the overall temperature of the room.
The methods of action that traditional saunas and infrared saunas use are completely different. A traditional sauna heats the air around you to a degree that your body kickstarts its natural cooling process. This means bringing blood closer to the surface of the skin and opening the pores to release sweat. Infrared saunas emit a wavelength of light that your body absorbs without heating up the room around you. This absorption of IR rays is aimed to start that same cooling process without having to steam you in the process.
The usual circumstances in which we would suggest you go for an infrared sauna are if you only have a standard 13A socket and no drainage available at the location where you want to install the sauna in, if you can upgrade the supply, we would always recommend going for a hybrid or a traditional sauna.
I HAVE HEARD ABOUT HAVING SALT IN THE SAUNAS FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES, WHAT IS THAT?
Pink Himalayan salt is known for being one of the purest forms of salt on our planet. It’s rich with beneficial minerals and has become a very popular item in cooking, home decor, yoga studios, meditation rooms, and yes, saunas too. When used in a hot sauna environment, Himalayan salt can work together with the benefits of your sauna to provide an even more powerful punch.
When you place Himalayan salt blocks in your sauna or get a sauna with a Himalayan salt wall included, the heat activates the salt to attract moisture; this phenomenon is known as hygroscopy. It allows the natural humidity present within your sauna to condense on the salt blocks and trigger the ionization process. As the ionization begins, it is believed that Himalayan salt discharges negative ions that target bacteria and other contaminants, such as dust particles, to aid in purifying the air.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY SAUNA SAFE?
There is nothing dangerous about sauna bathing, but it’s always wise to use a little common sense, so here are a few things you should bear in mind.
Always use the ladle to pour water on the stones. It keeps you away from the first burst of steam.
Never wear any jewelry in your sauna. The metal could heat up and burn you.
Don’t eat or drink alcohol in your sauna.
Don’t eat a big meal just before you take a sauna.
Drink plenty of cool water after your sauna. The sauna will make you sweat and you need to replace that liquid.
If you have high blood pressure you should avoid the sauna or at least consult your doctor first.
Don’t stay in the sauna for more than 30 minutes. 15 or 20 minutes is a better length for most people. Have a cooling shower and then you can go back.
If, as we have suggested, your sauna is located near a shower, it would be sensible to have non-slip flooring between the two.
All sauna doors should open outwards for safety reasons, and the door should not be lockable or able to be accidentally jammed shut.
A sauna can run at up to 100deg C so there should be no metal nail heads or screws on the inside that could scald bathers. Knots in the wood will heat up more than plain timber so they should be avoided as well.
Light fittings should be approved for sauna use and wired in by a qualified electrician.
The floor immediately outside the sauna door should have some sort of non-slip covering.
A sauna is a healthy place, a haven, almost a place of refuge from the strain and stress of the modern world. A little common sense will mean that you and your family can always enjoy your sauna in safety.
HOW MUCH DOES A SAUNA COST TO RUN?
Throughout the world, sauna heater manufacturers are continually trying to design and build more efficient sauna heaters and so it is no surprise that the modern range of our saunas is amongst the more efficient and economical to run than ever before.
The size of your sauna heater will vary according to the size of your sauna, but the average family sauna runs on a heater that is 6kW. This size of sauna will take up to an hour to get up to temperature. And of course, different people will have their thermostats set to different temperatures. Somewhere between 80deg C and 100deg C is most popular with the lower end of that range being more usual for a family sauna and the most comfortable setting.
So if the sauna has taken an hour to get up to temperature, and that has used 6kWh at an average cost of 30 pence per kWh so £1.80. Running the sauna will then cost a bit less than £1.80 an hour depending on how often you open and close the door. But in any event, you are looking at approximately £3.00 to have an hour’s sauna in your own home.
You might even include the cost of your post-sauna shower, but cool-down showers during your sauna session should be taken cool or cold anyway and so cost very little. Keeping your sauna clean and fresh looking takes little more than a brush and some soapy water so no real cost is incurred there. A sauna is incredibly cheap to run especially compared to the enjoyment and benefits that it can give you and your family and friends.
WHAT IS THE BEST LIGHTING FOR INSIDE A SAUNA?
Your sauna is a place to relax so the lighting in your sauna is essential to establishing the right mood and feel. And sometimes the location of your sauna may have little or no natural light, so sauna lighting is also essential for safety.
Sauna lights come in three main types; bulb, LED strip, and fiber optic sauna lighting. Within those three types, there is a huge range of styles and prices.
Bulb lights are the cheapest and also the easiest to replace. Just like anywhere in your home, after a time the bulb will go and you simply replace it with a new one. You can also have a range of different colored bulbs to create different moods and change them accordingly and use a dimmer switch to raise or lower the light levels.
Fiber optic lights come in different color options as well. With a fiber optic setup, the light source is outside the sauna and the light is ‘beamed’ into the sauna along fiber optic cables that can be put anywhere you want, even right above the stove or heater. A color wheel can be installed between the light source and the fiber optic cables to give a continually changing lighting effect.
LED Strip lights are very efficient and can be used so that your sauna has as few shadows as possible or they can be placed under the benches, for instance, so that the light shines through the slats and creates patterns upon the wall.
Using simple colors can alter the mood dramatically. Warm light will make the sauna feel hotter but can also be comfortable, intimate, and relaxing. Choosing a blue light might seem a strange choice but it will make your sauna feel mellow and romantic. Fiber optic sauna lights can be set up to either use a single color or run through a program of different shades, which can have a very stylish effect. The lights themselves can be positioned anywhere you like – although only a fiber optic light can be put directly above the sauna stove.
A sauna should never be over-lit, they are places of relaxation, but choosing the right level of light can make a large sauna feel more intimate or a small sauna feel airier. Mood lighting is also popular and many people like to add essential oils to the water that they throw on the hot stones.
I HAVE BEEN TO SAUNAS WITH MUSIC PLAYING INSIDE, CAN I HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THAT?
Although traditional saunas used to be completely silent places with no background sound and the purists of sauna still maintain that, for some of us, the ability to listen to our favorite music as the sauna eases away the aches and cares of our day, is an option too good to miss.
The simplest way to be able to enjoy music in your sauna is to install a pair of speakers and have them connected to your home stereo or radio. Because of the high heat and humidity in a sauna, you do need to be careful what sort of speakers you choose, however. Speakers with paper cones will simply not stand up to the conditions.
The Sauna Company supplies and installs weatherproof 50W speakers designed specifically for use in saunas and steam rooms. They come in two designs; one for surface mounting under the lower sauna bench, and the other for recessed installation into the sauna wall.
ANYTHING ELSE TO MAKE SAUNA LIFE BETTER?
A few well-chosen accessories can certainly add to the feeling.
A good sauna thermometer has obvious benefits but in addition to that, a hygrometer for your sauna will let you see exactly how moist the air is. A thermo-hygrometer is a sauna accessory that combines both of these devices into a single unit so that you can check on both the temperature and the moisture content of the air in your sauna at a glance.
A sauna bucket or pail and a ladle are probably the most obvious sauna accessory. The bucket holds the water that you splash onto the hot coals for that all-important Löyly – the hot steam associated with a traditional sauna – and the ladle not only measures out a small amount of water for you but also keeps your hands clear of that first burst of steam.
Sauna sand timers are rather like large, old-fashioned egg timers. Sand in an hourglass that measures usually a maximum of twenty minutes in five-minute sections so that you can time your sauna stay to a nicety.
The Sauna Company has a forward-looking approach to sauna design and installation, and we can procure a range of accessories that will not only match the sauna beautifully but also add a stylish touch to any sauna.
There is a complete range of ladles, buckets, thermometers, hygrometers, and timers in blonde wood with aluminum detailing; a similar range in birch with stainless steel detail, and their classic accessories feature traditionally made buckets and ladles with hemp handles and loops.