How to Build Sauna Benches

Written by bryan schatz
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How to Build Sauna Benches
Sauna benches are best when constructed to leave 42 to 48 inches of headroom. (sauna image by Mikhail Olykainen from

When building your own sauna benches, you will want seats that are functional and aesthetically pleasing. Using the proper materials, planning before you build and having some basic construction knowledge will help ensure quality benches. Choose dimensions specific to your sauna and take measurements before committing to a particular design.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Electric drill
  • Knot-free cedar planks, 1 inch by 4 inches
  • Knot-free cedar planks, 2 inches by 4 inches
  • Corrosion-resistant screws
  • Level
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Random-orbit sander
  • Wood filler

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  1. 1

    Measure the space in your sauna where you will install benches and plan a design with two levels of benches.

  2. 2

    Cut the thicker planks for the bench framework with several pieces cut to act as cross members for increased strength. Cut the thinner planks to fit above the frames.

  3. 3

    Cut wall supports from the thicker planks. Fit the supports to the sauna walls for the benches to rest upon. Line up the wall supports at exactly the same level so the benches do not angle to one side or another.

  4. 4

    Construct the frames using corrosion-resistant screws. Countersink the screws into the planks and the holes, then fill in with a solvent-based wood filler to prevent water from collecting. Screw the thinner planks to the frame leaving between 1/2 inch to 1 inch between each plank for ventilation.

  5. 5

    Sand the benches to a smooth finish.

  6. 6

    Place your benches above the permanently secured wall supports.

Tips and warnings

  • Make your plans based on commonly used dimensions. For example, generally the first level of the benches will be placed between 16 and 18 inches above the floor. The next level will be placed above the lower bench between 16 and 18 inches as well, leaving at least 42 inches above the upper level for headroom.
  • Cut all the timber prior to construction to ensure uniformity.
  • Sanding is important to prevent splintering.

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