Planning for an Indoor Sauna

Lead Image for Planning for an Indoor Sauna
  • 24-32 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1,500-4,800

An indoor sauna provides you a relaxing spa experience at home while also producing numerous health benefits. Installing an in-house sauna can be a challenging task to complete as a DIY project. However, for efficient sauna installation, you should consider all aspects of the design process.


The desired space will depend on the intended size of the sauna, the most common size is 6 feet as this allows for three or four people to sit on the bench or for one person to lie down. It is essential to allocate an area in your home where the sauna will be located. Ideally, it should be an area that is easily accessible and can have a shower system installed for the cooling process. Consider using part of a bathroom, a basement or even having a separate section attached to the home to house an indoor sauna.


Several heating options are available to heat an indoor sauna, including electricity, wood, and gas. Determining the heat source of the sauna will assist with the planning of the location. Electricity is perhaps the most convenient and widely used heat source. It is the most readily available power source and therefore the easiest choice. Gas can be used and is often considered to be a cheaper option and can be accessed for any home location. The use of wood can provide a pleasant aroma. However, it can be quite labor-intensive and may not be permitted by certain building regulations.


Indoor saunas are available in a variety of styles that range from prefabricated kits to custom-made designs. If the sauna is to be constructed as a DIY project, consult brochures and sales rooms for inspiration as these will help to identify layout specifications as well as planned ceiling heights. Choose sauna-friendly wood such as cedar and ensure that there is a window for natural light.

Sauna kits are relatively easy to assemble and can be purchased widely. Most kits include wall cladding, insulation, lighting, heaters, thermometers, and benches to sit on.


Air needs to circulate around the sauna as this will improve the performance of the heater. Fresh air can be created by either installing a vent under the heater or by ensuring that there is a minimum 1-inch gap under the sauna door. An effective air vent should have a sliding door to allow control over the amount of air that is circulated and it should be installed no higher than 54 inches off the floor. If the vent is too high, too much of the hot air will escape which means that the sauna will not operate properly.


Indoor saunas need to be properly insulated as this will maximize their performance and prevent too much heat from escaping. Aluminum foil is the best material to use although fiberglass can also be installed. The insulation material should not be pulled tightly over the walls as this could cause them to tear during the heating and cooling process.