What is a sauna?

A sauna is a room made from softwood and that incorporates a heater — either electric or wood-burning — that is capable of reaching up to 200° F. An average healthy individual can tolerate that kind of heat because it is a dry environment with extremely low humidity. This is called a dry sauna experience. However, one other integral traditional sauna component is sauna stones. These are placed in or on the heater, and when they’re good and hot, you sprinkle some water on them to create a burst of steam. This is called a wet sauna experience because it generates humidity. So to summarize, a sauna is a wooden room with an exceptional heater that is capable of producing either dry or wet heat.

What is the difference between a wet and a dry sauna?

Take water. Apply to hot rocks. Voila, wet sauna. That’s it. A wet sauna experience is simply when you pour water over the heater rocks, thus producing steam. Thus, a dry sauna is the absence of any humidity.

How are you supposed to take a sauna?

Taking a sauna is traditionally a rotation of dry, wet, dry, wet, etc. with cool-down breaks in between. A cool-down break can be anything as basic as sitting outside the sauna until you’re ready to enter again or it can be something as crazy as jumping in an icy lake. However, sitting in the sauna for an extended period of time with no breaks is not recommended. The rest is up to you. Some say that the rule of thumb for sauna usage is whatever makes you comfortable. The moment it ceases to be comfortable, it ceases to be the proper way to take a sauna; however, general recommendations are a maximum of consecutive 20 minutes at one time in a hot sauna.

How is a traditional sauna experience different than an infrared experience?

By definition, a sauna is a room where water is used to generate steam, so technically the infrared experience is not a sauna at all. Infrared does not warm the room but instead penetrates the body with infrared rays. It does so at a low temperature (120-150 ℉) and is helpful in relieving sore joints and muscles. The proper definition for the infrared experience is to refer to it as an “infrared therapy room.” The wet/dry effect of a traditional sauna is a total body experience, providing joint and muscle relief as well as a host of other health benefits.

Why is a traditional sauna experience considered good for your health?

Any health benefit attributed to sauna usage are linked to the fact that sauna rooms get hot (150-200℉ ). These benefits include improved circulation, lower blood pressure, enhanced immune system, respiratory relief, detoxification, burned calories, better skin tone, and joint and muscle pain relief. Please see our Sauna 101 webpage for further health benefits.

What’s the difference between an electric and a wood-burning heater?

The overall experience is similar whether heating with electric or wood. An electric heater usually standard and we also have wood-burning options. The wood heater will require that you vent the heater out the top or back of the room as well as provide an appropriate firewall around the heater. Installation should be done in compliance with the heater manufacturers’ instructions, as well as applicable building codes. Wood burning heated saunas offer the maximum heating option.

What’s included with each preassembled sauna?

Every sauna kit comes with all the pieces you need to assemble your sauna room,  heater, stones (If a traditional type sauna with stones), and lighting if your sauna is heated with wood or an electric heater (FAR-infrared saunas do not come with rocks).  We also have some optional accessories that you can purchase as well. Please see our Sauna Accessories web page.

How difficult is assembly?

Depending on the sauna make/model you choose, difficulty may vary from very easy to more complex, however, most saunas are quite basic and reasonably easy to put together. Some saunas have a buckle system of assembly and can be put together by 2 people in approximately 45 minutes; however, some models are more complex. Ultimately you are the one in charge of assembling your new sauna, although we do a lot of pre-assembly ahead of time. All of the panel, ceiling, bench and end sections are pre-assembled at the factory, and all of the holes are pre-drilled for your convenience. Generally two or three people can put the more complex  saunas together in just a handful of hours. A complete assembly manual comes with every sauna and many have video tutorials available as well. We will make sure you have all available instructions prior to assembly.

 How long will it take to heat up?

How hot or cold is it where you live, on average? The time it takes a sauna to heat up is contingent upon the ambient temperature surrounding the sauna. So if you have an outdoor sauna and you live in a northern climate and it’s the dead of winter, give your sauna a little more time to heat up. Furthermore, some people like their sauna hot and some like it blazing, and that’s a factor that will influence heat-up time too. However, as a rule of thumb, a traditional or wood burning sauna will heat to 165F in 30–40 minutes and to 190F in less than 60. A infrared sauna heats up almost instantly.

 What sort of ongoing maintenance is required?

Very little, actually. If you purchased an outdoor barrel sauna, you may need to tighten the bands or add additional filler staves after a period of time, usually within the first few months. Depending on the humidity and weather conditions in your area, the wood will either shrink or expand based on the amount of moisture absorption. The desired effect is to have the wood expand into the bands. To keep the inside clean, you can periodically scrub the floor or benches with warm water.

Can an outdoor barrel sauna go indoors?

Yes. Our Barrel saunas are designed with the outdoors in mind; the barrel sheds water and snow, and the lumber is weather-resistant. But it works equally as well indoors as it does outdoors. NOTE: Wood burning stove heaters require a chimney venting system and fireproof barrier around the stove.

What lumber can I choose from for the construction of my sauna?

Different manufactures offer materials, generally saunas are available in Aspen, Hemlock, Rustic Fir, Rustic Western Red Cedar, and Clear Western Red Cedar. 

 How do I decide where to place my outdoor barrel sauna?

Two rules: firm and flat (a slight taper for run-off is fine). You can place your sauna on a deck, concrete, paved stones, pressed gravel, etc. Our barrel saunas comes with molded cradle supports that protect the sauna from moisture when it is placed directly on the ground.

How do I decide where to place my indoor sauna?

Your indoor sauna can go on almost any surface — concrete, tile, laminate, etc. We do not recommend placing it on carpet. There will be a slight run off of water.

How will my new sauna be shipped to me?

Depending on the type and size of sauna you purchase, most saunas will be shipped on one or more pallets and will be delivered to the destination by truck, then offloaded curbside. If the delivery truck is not able to deliver to the requested destination for any reason, the sauna may be picked up at the depot by pick-up truck, or trailer. The package may be disassembled as necessary making it easier to move as well. Sauna kit shipping occurs on a regular basis using regular fully insured freight transportation companies and is generally seamless. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding sauna kit shipping.

What is the warranty?

Many saunas will come with a Limited 5 Year Warranty, however, warranties vary per manufacture and will be expressed on each product page. Please contact us should you have any questions regarding warranty coverage.