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How to design the perfect size and location for your sauna candle window

light steam graphic
A recent email exchange from an authentic sauna DIY builder:
Question: Do you have a recommended size for a candle window between the sauna and changing room?  Planning on using a piece of tempered glass.

Answer:  Great question!  The answer is really as simple as: “whatever size feels right.”  You can source tempered glass for your candle window from a local glass company.  A piece of 1/4″ tempered glass is not too expensive and it can be cut to the exact size you like.

What I suggest:
  1. Frame your common wall (the wall between your sauna hot room and your changing room) 16″ on center, as usual.
  2. Get a piece of cardboard and cut it out to what you think would be a good candle window size.
  3. Tack up the cut cardboard where you think it makes sense.
  4. Imagine your sauna benches in place.
  5. Walk around to ensure you’ve got it in the perfect location.
  6. Fold or add cardboard to ensure you’ve got it the perfect size.
  7. Keep in mind views and angles and the wall on either side.
  8. Mark your final candle window location.
  9. Sawzall existing stud, if necessary, and frame in for your window, using 2×4’s.

IMPORTANT:  Don’t do #9 until you have your glass in hand.  Glass is 110% unforgiving.  When framing for your window, it’s important that the opening is plum and square, and the opening is at least 1/4″ larger than the piece of glass.  As you set your glass inside the frame opening, it’s a good idea to use glass little cork glass spacers, so the glass rests on these spacers, and not directly on the window framing.

Above is detailed in the book  Sauna Build, from Start to Finnish.  I wish you good luck with this and I know you’ll make it work well.
Let’s think about a guest post when you’re done.
More about candle windows here.
PS.. this is a textbook example of field verification.
a custom made candle window between sauna hot room and changing room.
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