You’ve decided the time is right to build an infrared sauna for your home. You do not want to job this out but you still aren’t quite sure if your abilities are up to this task. Following a simple set of instructions can provide you with the basis to install an infrared sauna that will enhance your lifestyle while increasing the value of your home. By doing it yourself, you’ll get more sauna for your investment dollar than having to settle for a commercially built unit with lesser features or quality.
•Basic carpentry skills and tools
•Selection of treated and waterproofed wood
•Various nails and screws
Step 1 – The Plan
Decide on location before construction. Locating the sauna indoors is less expensive than creating a free-standing structure. Inside you can take advantage of existing flooring and use of two walls. Once you’ve decided on the location, sketch out the sauna layout while deciding about selecting wither 120 or 240 volt power. If planning a large sauna, 240 volt power will be required. The design sketch needs to include room size and the location for heaters, controls, vents, benches and shelves as well as where the door goes.
Step 2 - Pick the Type of Wood
Sauna construction follows traditional practices where walls are built with 2 X 4s spaced out every 16 inches. Tongue and groove boards present the best process allowing the wood to maintain a tight fit while continuing to breathe – expanding and contracting with the varying heat. Avoid woods that split easily and are very dark such as oak. Whatever wood selected for the interior, it will be left unfinished.
Step 3 – Door Installation
Hinge the door so it opens out and away from the sauna. The window should be made of tempered glass. When using a pre-hung sauna door make sure the rough opening width is two inches or more than the door. Its height needs to be more than an inch taller so it can be squared up correctly.
Step 4 – No Insulation Required, But…
Although insulating your infra red sauna is not required, doing so increases the sauna’s energy efficiency keeping a steady temperature within.
Step 5 – Venting
Your infrared sauna needs good ventilation placing outgoing vents about two-thirds higher and on an opposite wall from the intake vent if needed. Use an intake vent if the space under the sauna door does not produce enough air.
Step 6 – The Floor
Most sauna floors are elevated platforms called duckboards designed to keep feet from getting wet. However, infrared heat is dry, thus eliminating the need for a duckboard. The floor does need to me made from fireproof material,
Step 7 – Installing the Bench and Lighting
Most sauna benches are two-feet deep and run the entire length of the wall. However, it is your sauna and you can get as creative as design will allow. An important note though is to make sure all screws, nails, etc. are recessed to prevent users from getting burnt touching hot metal. Make sure to install a sauna-friendly light that is heat resistant.
Step 8 – Installing Heat Emitters and Controls
Place emitter wires through the hole in the reflector. The back of the emitter fits in the hole and can be clipped to the reflector. Once attached to the reflector, the emitter wires can be screwed into the terminal block to keep them secured. Repeat this for each emitter used. These emitters should be installed on the walls below the bench. It is highly recommended to have a licensed electrician handle the electrical aspects constructing your new infrared sauna.