Frequently asked questions about Technical Troubleshooting and common Sauna questions.
IS AN INFRARED OR FAR INFRARED CABIN A SAUNA?
No. The only similarity to the Sauna is the wood lined room. An infrared cabin uses exposed heated elements to produce infrared heat. These elements are located on the back wall, front wall, and usually under the benches. Only the parts of the body that are closest to the elements get hot enough to perspire, similar to a spot heater. Saunas, on the other hand, are meant to heat the entire body via the heated air from a single heater filled with stones. Infrared rooms average about 125° F, whereas Saunas average 175-185° F. Infrareds have no means to create soothing steam or humidity because they do not have heated stones. Use of water is not an option. Some infrared companies claim that their infrared heat penetrates up to 3″ into your body. Even if this claim was true, one should be worried about anything penetrating that far into the body. Saunas safely heat the outside of the body and do not penetrate into it. Are infrareds better for you or do you sweat more in an infrared room? No. Saunas are known to provide the deepest cleansing of any bath in the world. Much of the information being provided by infrared companies is misleading and not factual. Infrareds are not a new type of Sauna. Please click on the infrared PDF file for more information.
Damp mop the floor as needed. The benches can be cleaned with a mild soap applied with a wet cloth. To remove perspiration stains on the wall boards light sanding with 120 grit sandpaper may be required periodically. To keep your room looking at its best always lay or sit on towels. Apply sauna wood oil periodically as needed to refurbish the wood, especially in commercial applications.
Heat up time is fast-about 30 minutes-and the Sauna is only on when being used, unlike spas. The average home Sauna costs as little as $3 per month to operate, when used for an hour 3 times a week.
Western Red Cedar is the preferred wood for sauna. Nordic spruce and Aspen are also excellent choices, but not as practical for commercial applications, as the light colored wood makes it more difficult to keep it clean.
A true portable sauna allows for quick assembly/disassembly to move from place to place and also has the ability to be plugged into a 15 amp and or 20 amp 120v outlet. Portable saunas are small, light-weight and not intended for commercial applications. They are mostly intended for light use, residential applications.
Saunas will normally be listed with a certain number of people capacity. If a sauna is listed as a two person sauna then two average sized people would sit side by side.
A Sauna can be put anywhere you have space– inside or outside. All you need is an easy to clean waterproof floor, a 220/240v. Electrical hookup for the heater, and for convenience, it is best to have a shower nearby for washing off. Health clubs, hotels, motels, master bathrooms, garages, patios, decks, basements are all ideal places for Saunas.
The ceiling height should be no higher than 7 ft, as it is important to bring the heat down to where the bathers can use it at bench level. It is also more economical to heat, and the Sauna will heat faster. Some commercial saunas require an 8 ft ceiling, in this case, attention must be paid when sizing the heater. Saunas beyond 8 ft in height can cause the heater to work too hard and malfunction.
Why is ceiling height so important in a traditional sauna? Because heat rises. To keep the temperature optimal in your room the ceiling height in your room should not exceed 84″.
SHOULD A SAUNA HAVE VENTS?
We recommend one lower vent, starting at about 4″ off the floor, somewhere near the Sauna heater, and a second vent on any other wall, preferably on the opposite wall of the intake vent, approx 24” off the floor between the upper and lower bench level. We do not recommend a vent at the upper bench level or higher, or in the ceiling. Venting is not a safety issue; vents only make it more comfortable for the bather. Vents are merely a cutout in the wall or a passageway from the Sauna to an existing room adjoining the Sauna. No duct work is required. We recommend venting from the Sauna to an area inside the house. The minimal heat that escapes into the house from the vents will not damage your drywall, wallpaper, paint, etc. You may vent to outside air if your desire, but keep in mind that cold air from outside may increase your Sauna heat-up time.
No, a drain is actually not recommended as hosing down the sauna for cleaning will damage the interior wood. (In rare cases a drain might be required by code). There is actually very little water drainage in a dry sauna. You should however, make sure to have a waterproof floor such as tile or concrete to allow for easy clean up.
Yes, but you will need to secure plywood onto your metal frame. Wood on the inside of your framing is needed to provide a surface for the wall boards to be nailed to. Another option would be to apply wood nailers across/in-between the metal studs to provide locations to secure/nail the wall boards to. This method would require a vertical installation of wall boards.
Yes. When we take the order, we go through a pre-cut worksheet which asks for the stud to stud measurements. Some angles may need to be cut onsite.
It is faster to install 1×6 material VS 1×4. Your time is reduced by an approximate half. 1×6 materials has a 5 “ face VS the industry standard 1×4”. 1×6 material has a robust look and it more appealing than thinner boards like the 1×4, which as a 3-1/2” face.
It depends on the room size. Most Scandia sauna kits larger than a 7×7 room are prepared standard for vertical install, but that can vary. Please verify with Scandia at time of order as certain sauna room sizes may come with horizontal install as well. Horizontal install T&G are available upon special request at an additional cost.
DO SCANDIA SAUNA KITS COME WITH VENT KITS?
No, in many instances where the heater is placed by the door, a vent is typically not necessary. If the heater is located in an area in the room away from fresh air, we recommend that venting is planned.
WHY MUST A SAUNA BE BUILT OF SOFTWOOD?
The humidity must be absorbed into the wood to keep the atmosphere relatively dry. Softwoods have this property and are cool to the touch. Hardwoods absorb heat and become too hot to sit or lean against. The wood must be kiln dried to within 9-11% moisture content to prevent shrinkage and warping.
HOW HOT WILL A SAUNA GET?
All of our electric sauna heaters carry either a UL listing which mandates that the high limit for electric sauna heaters in a 7′ high room be 194° F at the ceiling level.
SHOULD A SAUNA BE INSULATED?
Yes, insulation prevents heat loss. We recommend R-11 or R-13 fiberglass insulation. The insulation may be standard paper faced. All the walls and the ceiling should be insulated.
SHOULD A SAUNA HAVE A WATERPROOF FLOOR?
A Sauna must have a waterproof floor so that it can be easily washed and kept clean and sanitary, and free of odor. We recommend washable floors such as tile, sealed cement/concrete, or heavy duty vinyl. Wooden flooring is not hygienic in a sauna as it absorbs perspiration, facilitates odor causing bacteria, and it cannot be thoroughly cleaned.
IS A FLOOR DRAIN NECESSARY?
Commercial Saunas should have a floor drain to remove excess water by bathers and for cleaning purposes. Most residential Saunas do not need a floor drain, unless a water hose is used for cleaning.
Damp mop the floor as needed. The benches can be cleaned with a mild soap applied with a wet cloth. To remove perspiration stains on the wall boards light sanding with 120 grit sandpaper may be required periodically. To keep your room looking its best, always lay or sit on towels. Apply sauna wood oil periodically as needed to refurbish the wood, especially in commercial applications.
Yes you need to provide some type of roof protection for an outdoor sauna. We offer roof kits for all models as an option, but could design your own roof for the sauna. It is important that there is some sort of roof to protect the sauna from the elements.
No. the difference is so minimum that it cannot be noticed. The ¾” (Actual Thickness 11/16″) will provide a little better R Value, it has less chance of cupping and warping over time, and you have a wider shoulder & tongue to shoot the nail through.