How to build a finnish home sauna

Written by elizabeth hannigan
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How to build a finnish home sauna
Finnish saunas may improve your circulation. (sauna image by Mikhail Olykainen from

The Finnish are firm believers in the mental and physical health benefits afforded by a good sauna. Although Finland's population is only 6 million, the country is home to 2 million saunas. The Finnish have saunas in their homes, gyms and workplaces, and Finnish UN troops have even been known to build temporary saunas in their camps. You can have a Finnish home sauna of your very own even if you have no special carpentry skills. There are a number of home sauna kits on the market that make building a home sauna quick, easy and affordable.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Finnish sauna kit

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  1. 1

    Decide where in your home you want to place your home sauna. Some kits can be installed in extra bathrooms or empty bedrooms inside while others are for your yard. If you want to install the kit inside, measure the room you want to install it in carefully and make sure that you have enough space. If you need a sauna in a special shape or size, you might have to custom order your kit. If you want a backyard sauna, you will have more models to choose from.

  2. 2

    Comparison shop for sauna kits online at sites like Home Saunas N' Kits, Superior Saunas or Cedar Barrel Saunas. These sites all offer the option of ordering a prefabricated sauna kit or having one custom built to your specifications. Take a look at the different constructions and building materials. You can get an inexpensive, plastic sauna or you can buy a luxurious cedar sauna. Make sure to note whether the kit you choose is for indoor or outdoor use.

    Home Saunas N' Kits

    Superior Saunas

    Cedar Barrel Saunas

  3. 3

    Choose the details and extras you want to build in your sauna. You can choose different types of seating depending upon how large your sauna is and how luxurious you want it to be. You also will need to choose a lighting fixture so that you are not sweating in the dark. You can choose accessories such as water pitchers for the heater or special sauna towels to sit on while you are in your sauna. If you buy all of your components from the same manufacturer, they will all be sure to fit together properly.

  4. 4

    Choose a heating method for your sauna. If you are building an indoor sauna, you can choose between one with an electric heater or one with a modern, infrared heater. The infrared heaters run on electricity but consume less energy and keep your sauna warmer. If you build an outdoor sauna, you can choose between an electric heater, an infrared heater or a traditional wood burning stove with a basin for warm rocks and water to create steam. Note that only the outdoor, wood burning stoves are authentic Finnish saunas.

  5. 5

    Assemble the components of your Finnish sauna kit as directed by the instructions included in the kit. Finnish sauna kits come in ready to assemble pieces that snap together. You do not even have to assemble them with a hammer and nails, they just fit together on their own. This assembly can be completed in a single afternoon. Make sure that you follow the directions exactly, especially when it comes to adding the lighting and heat elements. Once your Finnish sauna is assembled, it is ready to enjoy.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure that the heat element you buy is the correct size for your sauna; if it is too big, it could be a fire hazard and if it is too small, your sauna won't heat.

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