Building a sauna in your basement is a trend quickly growing in popularity. A feature that was once primarily for the upper class is now becoming a common household must-have for families from all socioeconomic backgrounds.
A basement sauna is not only a great place to relax and unwind after a hard day at work, health professionals believe there are many health benefits as well. They are known to improve circulation, detox the body relax muscle tension, ease pain, and help treat some diseases and medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Lyme Disease.
The basement is a great place to for a sauna installation because the extra space gives you ample room to add features to your home that do not fit in with the main floor layout.
As beautiful and functional as basement saunas are, they can also cause major issues inside your home if not build properly. Sauna’s generate a lot of heat and humidity that can quickly damage the interior walls and produce mould. Therefore, when installing a sauna in your basement, you must use water proof materials, seal the structure properly, and install a good ventilation system.
The cost to install a sauna in your basement varies. While it is cheaper to build one yourself, if you do not have the know-how to install a basement sauna, hiring a professional will save you a lot of money and headaches later on.
If you are planning to install a sauna in your basement yourself, you will need to:
Pick the Right Location
Before building your basement sauna, choose the area to build your addition. Selecting a corner location in your basement is beneficial because two of the four walls needed for your sauna are already up. Exterior walls also provide a natural outlet for the heat and moisture to escape to the outside of your home.
Measure the Area
The size of your indoor sauna will determine how much materials you will need to build it. Before buying your materials, measure the space first. This will also help you pick the right design and layout for your basement sauna.
Type of Sauna Heat
Basement sauna’s heat can be wet or dry. With a wet sauna, water is poured on hot rocks to produce steam. Dry saunas are not steamed. The heat source from a dry sauna installation can be:
- Wood burning
Each type of heat conductor must have their own safety measures in place to protect you and your home. Once you choose the type of heat you want your basement sauna to produce, you should consult with a professional to make sure the heat generator and all safety features are installed properly before using your sauna.
Build and Insulate the Frame
Your sauna must be properly insulated, sealed, and ventilated. When installing a sauna in your basement, use waterproof, mildew resistant materials to protect yourself and your property from moisture and heat seeping through the walls. Make sure all your joists, nails, and corners must be properly sealed with mould and mildew resistant sealants and materials so moisture does not seep through the smaller openings.
When insulating your basement sauna, you should use R-11 for the interior walls and R-25 for the exterior walls.
Cedar is the most common wood used in sauna installation projects because of its durability, resistance to water bourne issues, price, and aesthetic benefits. Red cedar is typically the most cost effective but keep in mind, wood prices vary depending on consumer demand.
The walls are not the only part of your sauna installation that need to be water proofed. Moisture and heat can also penetrate through the flooring. Duckboard, plywood, cedar, and flooring materials designed especially for bathrooms should be used.
When adding the door, make sure it swings out and not into the basement sauna. Should something happen, you can easily become trapped in your sauna if the door opens inward. Outward swinging doors make it easy to fall out of the sauna if you need a quick escape.
Plumbing and Electrical Lines
Before installing your basement sauna, you will need to run plumbing and electrical lines through. Although it will add to the cost to install your basement sauna, it is much safer to hire a professional who knows how to install the lines properly.
Once you have installed your basement sauna, you can add your own personal touches to your haven. From simple to sophisticated, saunas come in different sizes and styles so you can construct your own unique haven in the comfort of your home.