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What Are the Best Tips for Making DIY Saunas?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

For relaxation and comfort, it is hard to beat a sauna. Unfortunately for most people, the only place to find these comfortable steam rooms is at gyms and fitness centers. If a homeowner doesn't want to join the local gym just for access to the sauna, however, he or she may want to consider DIY saunas that can be built in a home or apartment. It is possible to buy kits for DIY saunas as well, thereby making the installation process even easier. Anyone interested in building a sauna in a home or apartment will need to do an analysis of the space in which the unit will be built.

Accurate measurements will need to be taken so the builder has an idea of how much space is available for DIY saunas. The sauna does not have to be exceptionally large, but regardless of how large or small it is, the unit will take up a fair amount of space in a bathroom or other room. If the builder intends to buy a kit, he or she can take measurements of the room and then find DIY saunas that will be small enough to fit in that space. If planning on building the unit from scratch, the sauna can be made to a custom size, thereby making the installation process somewhat less stressful.

Pre-cut sauna kits can be ordered from manufacturers.
Pre-cut sauna kits can be ordered from manufacturers.

The room will also need to be analyzed in terms of water resistance. The steam from the sauna will generally be contained within the unit itself, but some moisture can leak from the floors or walls. It is best to consider this before construction to ensure the room is protected should a leak occur. The builder can avoid leaks from the DIY saunas by choosing water resistant materials for the walls and floor of the unit, and by laying down waterproof material underneath the sauna's base before installation.

Consider how many people are likely to use the sauna at any given time. This will help dictate how large of a unit needs to be built, as well as where the heating elements need to be placed. Choosing a heater is perhaps one of the most important considerations when making DIY saunas, and several options exist. Try to choose a unit that is the appropriate size for the space; a heater that is too small will not produce enough heat for the room, while a heater that is too large can be dangerous for inhabitants.

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    • Pre-cut sauna kits can be ordered from manufacturers.
      Pre-cut sauna kits can be ordered from manufacturers.