How to choose stones for a bath

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In a sauna or steam bath, stones not only accumulate heat and help generate steam, but also fill the atmosphere with useful microelements and serve as an excellent decoration. After reading the article, you will get a complete understanding of the functions of the heater, the various types of stones, the rules for choosing them, bookmarking and operation..

How to choose stones for a bath

Function of stones and differences in use in sauna and steam bath

The stones in the sauna store heat to generate steam, which quickly raises the temperature in the steam room to the desired value. Couples can be different depending on the preferences of the visitors. Dry steam has a high temperature, when used, the air heats up to 100–120 ° C. The effect of such a steam on the body is quite harsh, but it still finds its fans in Finnish saunas thanks to the extreme note. The Russian bath is distinguished by moist steam, which has a much higher heat capacity. The air temperature rarely rises above 60-80 ° C, but due to the high humidity, the steam gently affects the body, evenly warming it.

To generate steam in a Russian bath, a closed-type heater is used, the lada of which opens only for water supply. This determines the first criterion for choosing stones – size. They should easily pass through the camera window and be able to move comfortably inside. At the same time, rather large boulders can be placed on the sauna stove..

How to choose stones for a bath

The second feature when choosing stones is their heat capacity. For a sauna, it should be as high as possible, because open stones quickly release heat. At the same time, a closed heater will have enough stones of medium heat capacity, because the heat transfer is not as intense as in a sauna..

Healing effect: natural minerals and their combinations

For baths and saunas, high density igneous rocks are used. The higher it is, the more stones will be able to accumulate heat and will give it away longer. Each mineral, when heated, releases useful elements in moderate quantities, has the ability to infrared radiation of a certain spectrum and intensity. It is better not to use self-collected stones in the bath.

Table. The main characteristics of stones

Rocks of stonesDensityHeat capacityStrengthSpecial properties
Jade3430 kg / m30.88 kJ / (kg K)364-936 MPaNormalizes blood pressure and kidney function
White quartz2650 kg / m30.75 kJ / (kg K)2000 MPaStrongly ionizes air when heated and cooled
Raspberry quartzite2630 kg / m30.7 kJ / (kg K)200-250 MPaRelieves diseases of the musculoskeletal system and the respiratory system
Talcochlorite2980 kg / m30.98 kJ / (kg K)100-450 MPaUnique heat radiation, strengthens the immune system
Basalt2520-2970 kg / m30.84 kJ / (kg K)400 MPaIt keeps heat for a very long time, natural radiation is good at relieving stress
Granite2600-2700 kg / m30.79 kJ / (kg K)250-300 MPaDoes not have
Gabbro-diabase3070 kg / m30.6-0.8 kJ / (kg K)311 MPaWhen overheated, a specific smell appears
Porphyrite1450 kg / m30.83 kJ / (kg K)400 MPaBeneficial for skin and lungs
Peridotite3200-4400 kg / m31 kJ / (kg K)250 MPaAbsorbs carbon dioxide, perfectly accumulates heat

An alternative budget material for laying a heater is ordinary pebbles. It will have to be changed every year, but such stones can be stocked up in any quantity at a suitable reservoir. Pebbles include different breeds, most of them can be used in a bath. River pebbles have no special properties, but sea pebbles are saturated with iodized salt and useful minerals. Concerns are caused only by the unknown level of radiation in ordinary pebbles, which can be an order of magnitude higher than the permissible norms, as well as the dustiness of the material itself.

Use of “artificial stones”

Baths often use “artificial stones” – cast iron balls or stainless steel blanks. They do not emit anything into the air, but they perfectly accumulate heat. An example for clarity: if you throw 2-3 hot balls weighing 1 kg into a bucket of water, the liquid will actively boil for several minutes.

How to choose stones for a bath

The main advantage of cast iron “stones” is their low cost and very long service life. In order not to fill the entire volume of the heater with expensive natural material, lay cast-iron stones on the bottom and decorate with minerals on top.

Stove aesthetics

To make the stove not only provide useful heat, but also have an aesthetic appearance, decorate it with different types or combinations of stones in accordance with the interior of the steam room. The material itself has a nice texture, but stones can also be boned or sanded for a softer outline. Therefore, minerals such as talcochlorite or porphyrite look great on their own. But jadeite, for example, will perfectly combine with inclusions of black shungite, and white quartz can be mixed with basalt or raspberry quartzite.

How to choose stones for a bath

If an open stove requires more stones than the pallet holds, a forged cast iron grate is installed around the perimeter – so the stones are guaranteed not to crumble. Also, in many baths, it is customary to lay stones around the chimney, which adds to the total heat capacity of the sauna stove and reduces the consumption of firewood. To hold the stones around the pipe, a basket of figured cast iron rods is mounted.

How to choose stones for a bath

How to select really high quality stones

Even stones bought in the store may be defective. It is quite difficult to identify it, but it will not be superfluous to knock each cobblestone with an iron hammer. Evidence of a dense and homogeneous structure – a resonating and slightly ringing sound, the stone literally “sings” upon impact.

Stones collected from natural deposits can pose a radiological hazard. Find a way to test them with a dosimeter, or get the material from a store. Do not pick up stones that have stains that look like wet spots.

How to choose stones for a bath

When choosing stones for the stove, consider the surface texture. Chipped stones have a natural cut with a large number of irregularities and give off heat to the steam better. But with prolonged use, they form a large amount of sand and dust, especially in closed heaters. Therefore, for a Russian bath, bunded or polished stones are well suited..

Correct laying of stones

For each sauna stove, the number of stones is set individually; stones on the lining of the pipe are not included in it. Too large a mass of stones will heat up for a long time, and if there are not enough stones, it will not be possible to give the required volume of steam. Thus, the required stone mass can be determined experimentally..

How to choose stones for a bath

The chamber should be laid with stones as tightly as possible, the share of air in the total volume of the bookmark should not exceed 10-15%. At the bottom of the chamber, it is better to pave small cobblestones that do not have healing properties, but keep heat well. For these purposes, peridotite, basalt or soapstone is suitable. Lay the upper layers with larger jadeite or white quartz stones. You should not try to tamp stones, they should lie tightly, but relatively loose. Do not be lazy once again to sort out the masonry for a more compact laying of stones.

Small polished stones should be placed in electric stoves. This is done to preserve the heating elements..

For the heater to serve for a long time

It is not enough to put stones in the stove, you need to adhere to certain rules for caring for the stove. First of all, do not water the hot stones too abundantly, it is better to do this more often and in small portions. For optimal steam output, use a small perforated bucket to pour stones. To avoid sharp pops and “explosions” of steam during watering, pour hot water over the stones.

How to choose stones for a bath

When spraying stones, do not add aromatic oils, beer, or honey to the water. It is better to dilute the additive with water and set it directly on the stones in a metal container. This will help to avoid surface deposits and unpleasant odors and will also extend the life of the stones. Once or twice a year, the stove must be sorted out, cracked stones, sand and dust must be removed. Before re-laying the stones, it will not be superfluous to rinse and dry. Remember that the durability of the stove and the quality of the steam depend on your efforts and care..

How to choose stones for a bath

Pleasure and warmth to you. Enjoy Your Bath!

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