A word on building your own sauna and dealing with the sauna floor.
Here’s an email exchange that may offer some guidance:
The Saunatimes.com website has me a converted man…I no longer want an outdoor sauna, now I NEED one!
I live in Surrey, BC. Our winters are mild by Minnesota standards but the dampness and rain chill a person to the bone.
I have started to aquire the materials to build my outdoor sauna and have a few questions about the ideal outdoor sauna design.
1. The opposing bench design looks like a good idea on paper but I noticed your portable sauna has L-shape benches. Is there a change of “ideal”?
2. Flooring in the sauna and change area. Any recommendation on how to finish them or does bare plywood stand up alright?
And my response:
Wonderful email, and i’m glad to have helped and influenced you. You ask two great questions:
1. “L” bench is the more ideal… yes, change in “ideal sauna” glad you caught it.
2. Plywood floor. Yes, start with plywood as a subfloor, then:
- Paint it or treat plywood with a water sealant.
- In the hot room, I suggest screwing in a drip edge around your perimeter. Your first row of t&g cedar can rest on that. I rip a 2×3 green to get a 45 degree upper edge.
- cut and install a shower drain in center of hot room.
- get a couple bags of vinyl cement patch, 40# i believe. it’s cheap.
- mix that in a wheelbarrow.
- trowel it down in the hot room floor.
- 3/4″ around perimeter, down to about 1/4″ at the drain.
It’s a real slick system…. couple points to keep in mind..
- keep your bottom plate in tact where your door is, or sawzall it and screw it down so your cement has a place to stop.
- consider patio block where your woodburning stove will sit. Lay that first, before cement. trowel up to patio block.
- chalk line your drip edge before screwing it down to bottom plate, framing, as a trowel mark, guide.
- You don’t need much of a pitch if you’re sauna building is level.
- You’ll build cedar decking (1×4 cedar with 1/2″ spacing) on top of this. this is where you’ll walk. feet stay dry.
take pictures! keep in touch.