We build a sauna ourselves

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It has long been known how beneficial pair procedures are for the body and soul. Surely everyone who has been to the steam room thought that it would be nice to build one for yourself. And many people successfully realize their dreams. It is not surprising, because there is nothing super complicated in this, and you need very little space for a sauna, so little that it is made even in a city apartment.

We build a sauna ourselves

Sauna area

Often, a sauna is equipped in one of the premises of the house, the main thing is that it is suitable in size, it was possible to organize its ventilation and power supply. In general, the use of an electric stove essentially frees our hands when choosing a place for a sauna, because we do not need to kindle a fire, remove chimneys, and so on. Therefore, the steam room can be quite successfully placed in the most unexpected places – in the basement, in the attic, and even on the balcony of an apartment in a multi-storey building. You should not be afraid of humidity and resort to expensive, labor-intensive waterproofing measures, because the sauna is perhaps the driest place in the home.

Saunas are also made as detached buildings of stone, wooden beams or log cabins; there are options for frame construction, earthen – semi-buried with turf, etc. This, of course, requires serious expenses, but it allows the developer to roam in terms of areas, layout and placement of the sauna in relation to the landscape features of the site. Ideally, if there is an opportunity to make a direct exit from the sauna to the bank of a small natural or artificial reservoir, a river. It is great when, in the warm season, between sessions, you can take air baths on the terrace, in the garden, in the shade of a canopy.

By attaching a sauna to the house, it is possible to significantly save on the laying and arrangement of communications – sewage, water supply, electrical wiring, but at the same time not to lose precious internal space.

Sauna dimensions and layout

It should be said that a sauna is not only a clapboard cabin with a heater. If funds and space allow, it makes sense to make a separate bath (in our case, a “sauna”) complex, which can consist of a sauna, shower, locker room, toilet, hot tub, resting place, pool, billiard room, gym … Everything here is limited only by the imagination and financial capabilities of the developer.

The size of the sauna is designed on the basis that several people will steam in it at the same time, most often from two to six. It has long been noticed that with a single stay in the sauna, this amazing and useful ritual loses its attractiveness, while a joint visit to such a complex provides a much more pleasant, one might say, even festive atmosphere.

We build a sauna ourselves

Each person in the cockpit must have a volume of at least 3 m3. That is, a family sauna for two people with a ceiling height of 2 – 2.1 m, it is quite permissible to have a floor area of ​​three square meters. The most successful minimum size is 2×1.8, when on either side there is an opportunity to arrange a bench for lying. For large areas, L-shaped and U-shaped platforms are arranged, or parallel loungers are installed.

In the arrangement of multi-seat steam rooms, it is traditionally customary to observe the ratio of seating to recumbent places – as two to one, respectively.

The height and area of ​​the sauna is usually taken as the minimum allowable, since the larger the volume of the cabin, the more energy and time it takes to warm up and operate.

Making floors

The construction of a sauna begins with finishing the floor. When choosing materials for these purposes, you should not get too hung up on their heat capacity. The fact is that the temperature at the floor level of the cabin is the lowest and therefore the thermal insulation properties of the coating practically do not affect the operation of the sauna..

In addition to using wood, floors are made on a concrete base, lined with natural stone (granite) or artificial materials. Sauna tiled floors are practical, inexpensive, and therefore quite common. There are no special requirements for its type and quality, it can be porcelain stoneware of any size, mosaic, clay tiles with various textures … It is better if the final surface is rough, on which it will not be possible to slip. As an adhesive, it is worth using mixtures intended for laying tiles on top of a warm floor, since temperature drops in such a room are quite significant.

We build a sauna ourselves

According to its characteristics, a thermal tree (the so-called terrace board) is very suitable for installing a floor in a sauna, which perfectly tolerates high temperatures, changes in humidity, dynamic loads, has a corrugated rough surface, persistent color and a beautiful texture.

We build a sauna ourselves

If the floor is wooden, then the logs should be placed on stone posts or substrates at intervals of 400 mm. Floor boards for these purposes are used from 40 mm thick, well-planed, without tongue-and-groove piles, even a non-resinous pine is quite suitable. They are screwed in with a gap of 2 – 3 mm, sinking the heads of the self-tapping screws into a pre-prepared sweat and closing them with wooden plugs.

Arrangement of wooden frames

It is most advisable to first assemble the ceiling frame and sheathe it. Then, through the lining, attach the frame of one of the walls to the base of the ceiling, after sewing it up, start working with the frame of the neighboring wall, and so on. Firstly, all the inner corners of the booth with this installation method are the most rigid and reliable. Secondly, it is much easier to fit and fix the edges of the lining in the corners, because the frame of the adjacent wall covers most of it. Therefore, further we will consider certain types of work, somewhat deviating from the logical order of actions.

Before making a frame, you should make sure that the room is rectangular by measuring and comparing its diagonals – they should be equal. If necessary, the adjustment can be made with the beams of the frame, retreating them to the required distance from the wall. Otherwise, ugly wedge-shaped shapes will necessarily form on the cabin ceiling. Also, with the help of a long building level or a plumb line, the verticality of the bearing walls is preliminarily determined, indicating possible deviations on them.

A dry pine bar with a section of 50×50 mm is used as frame elements. Depending on how the wall cladding will be cladding, it is placed vertically or horizontally, with a step of 400 mm. The thickness of the insulating material is offset from the main wall, its most “clamped” place, it can be 50 – 100 mm.

We build a sauna ourselves

For fastening to the base and exposing the frames, it is convenient to use galvanized straight hangers designed for the installation of plasterboard profiles. They are fixed with an interval of 500 mm on a brick wall with metal dowel-wedges (TDN) or self-tapping screws with washers to wooden surfaces.

First, you need to establish the frame perimeter of a certain plane, as a rule, these elements are fastened through the body with long screws or anchors. After that, you can install intermediate vertical or horizontal bars. In order for the plane to be flat and strictly vertical, it is imperative to use a level or plumb line. It is very convenient, by pulling thin nylon cords between the extreme beams, to set the rest of the racks or horizontal bars along them. For fastening, self-tapping screws for wood with a length of 25 mm are used, which are screwed through the perforated lugs of the U-shaped hangers. You can fix intermediate bars to the perimeter using galvanized or anodized corners.

In order to subsequently correctly mount the electric heater, which is installed on the finishing wall, it is necessary to provide embedded elements in the form of additional frame bars located in accordance with the fasteners of a particular stove. Mortgages will also be required for the installation of benches so that they are attached not only to the lining.

The normal height for a sauna ceiling is 2.1 – 2.2 meters from a clean floor. If the level of the main ceiling in the room is much higher, then it makes sense to make a rough floor of “non-commercial” wood, which will serve as the basis for fixing the thermal insulation and the ceiling frame.

Using a water level and a chopping cord on the walls, we mark horizontal lines for mounting the perimeter of the wooden frame, after which we set the bars on straight suspensions, similar to wall structures.

Organization of cabin ventilation

In parallel with the installation of frames, ventilation ducts and power electrical wires are being laid. For the sauna to work correctly, a well-designed ventilation system is required, which is capable of providing at least six air changes in the cabin per hour.

For these purposes, an inlet is made near the heater, not far from the floor, for fresh air entering the sauna. On the opposite wall, closer to the ceiling, there is an exhaust hole through which hot air can enter the general air ducts, or, for example, into the attic. Another ventilation opening is arranged in the ceiling, closed by a gate designed for quick and complete ventilation between sessions. This is the most common ventilation arrangement..

Depending on the design of the sauna and the peculiarities of its location relative to the outer walls, existing channels, other rooms, the supply and exhaust ventilation scheme may vary. Sometimes it is simply impossible to make natural air circulation, you have to arrange forced ventilation.

We build a sauna ourselves

A special foil corrugation with a diameter of 100 mm should be used as ventilation ducts. Such ducts must be fully extended during installation. To connect several channels, tees made of thin sheet galvanized metal and clamps of the appropriate size are used. When corrugation passes through capital structures, metal sleeves should be installed.

The inlet is closed with a wooden lattice, and valves are placed on the exhaust. By manipulating the dampers, they regulate the supply of fresh air enriched with oxygen, select a suitable flow circulation regime without the formation of drafts. This hardware is installed after the installation of the lining.

Sauna power supply

As a room with increased danger and high temperatures, the sauna requires special attention to the issues of arranging the power supply. For hidden electrical wiring, it is forbidden to use any metal and plastic pipes, corrugations and channels; instead, it is necessary to use wires with reliable heat-resistant insulation that can withstand up to 170 – 180 degrees, such as RKGM and the like. Inside the sauna, do not make wire connections, install sockets, switches, control devices.

If possible, the cables to the lamps should be led from the outside of the walls, entering the steam room only opposite the consumers. It is recommended to feed the heater in the floor screed..

Use only special luminaires – heat-resistant, with a degree of protection IP 65. They should be placed on walls no higher than 300 mm from the ceiling. Lighting is very practical and beautiful when the lamps are under the benches. Recently, durable and safe fiber-optic systems in which cables do not conduct electric current, but only light rays have become widespread in the organization of the light space of saunas and baths.

We build a sauna ourselves

All electrical equipment in the sauna must be connected through high-quality circuit breakers that protect the circuits from short circuits. To protect a person from possible electric shock, an electromechanical RCD with a low shutdown threshold should be installed – about 5 – 30 mA. It makes sense to place protection devices in a separate panel, on the outer wall of the sauna, in which, in fact, it is very convenient to switch all phase and neutral lighting wires, as well as grounding conductors.

Sauna thermal insulation

The sauna must be well insulated, which will ensure quick heating of the steam cabin and save on energy resources, and, consequently, on the power of the heater. The most widespread is the basalt-based mineral wool insulation, which does not absorb moisture, is vapor-permeable and non-combustible..

Mineral wool is laid in the wall frames with mats from 50 mm thick. Each element of thermal insulation should be carefully adjusted and laid so that there are no gaps between the sheets, they should close behind the frame posts. Therefore, you need to cut sheets with a certain margin in linear dimensions..

Particular attention must be paid to the thermal insulation of the ceiling, since it is through it that the greatest heat losses usually occur. The thickness of the wool should be at least 100 mm, depending on its density and the thermal conductivity of the enclosing structures. Minvata must be attached to a rough wooden ceiling using long self-tapping screws with large washers, or umbrella dowels to the stone base. Laying the mats directly as the ceiling is sewn with clapboard does not give the desired result, since there is no way to qualitatively dock the heat-insulating material.

We build a sauna ourselves

After installing the mineral wool, the entire frame must be covered with special foil paper. It is nailed to a wooden frame with a construction stapler with a mirror surface inside the cabin, and the joints are glued with aluminum foil tape. The foil has excellent reflective properties, it retains the radiation energy well and creates the so-called “thermos effect”. Sauna, built with foil, heats up quickly and keeps heat for a long time.

Covering surfaces with clapboard

For mounting the lining to the frame beams, it is very convenient and practical to use galvanized metal clamps. They are available for materials of various thicknesses, so choosing the right ones is not difficult for any lining. The clamp is put on the groove of the facing strip and nailed or with long staples using a construction stapler. Fastening with clamps does not violate the integrity of the wood, and besides, if necessary, the lining can be easily dismantled without any damage, which cannot be said about other methods of cladding.

We build a sauna ourselves

Another option is to nail the lining with nails through the base of the grooves. For these purposes, nails are used galvanized, anodized or copper, with a length of about 30 – 40 mm with a small head. They are hammered in at an angle using a “doboinik” made from a large nail with a cut off sting or, for example, from a broken drill with a diameter of 6 mm. This job requires precision and some skill. In order not to split the wooden lock, the heads of the nails are only slightly recessed.

At the first strip of lining, it is necessary to cut a spike along the entire length, if it is joined to an already mounted plane, it is often necessary to trim this place with a bar with coarse sandpaper. Then it is nailed into place with the help of “finishing” galvanized nails from the side of the thorn or screwed with self-tapping screws, under the heads of which holes are drilled and closed with a dowel – a wooden dowel. On the side of the groove, clamps are used. With horizontal installation of the lining on the walls, the cladding is made from top to bottom, the spike should be facing the ceiling, and the groove – to the floor.

After installing every 2 – 3 strips of lining, it is recommended to check their verticality / horizontalness, since the material has some movement in the joint. Deviations should be corrected, if necessary. For approximately the same reason, the seam in the corners of the room sometimes gets lost, especially with horizontal sewing. Therefore, in order for the seams on adjacent walls to match, adjustment is often also needed..

Please note that before starting the installation of the lining, it is advisable to sort it out and sort it in order to set aside the curved, damaged and knotty panels for working with them in inconspicuous or narrow places where the panels are cut – under benches, behind the stove, above the door, etc. etc. This is especially necessary when working with clapboard not of the highest grade.

We build a sauna ourselves

If the strips are cut with a jigsaw, then its metal sole must be sealed with paper tape so that black traces of metal do not remain on the surface of the lining. Files should be used with fine teeth for a “clean cut”.

Installation of benches

For the arrangement of shelves in the sauna, a frame is made of planed timber with a section of 50×50 mm. Its design depends entirely on the type of benches and their dimensions. With a ceiling height of 2.1 meters, the upper shelf is made at a height of about 1 – 1.1 meters, which allows an adult to sit freely on it. The width of this lounger must be at least 700 mm. The lower shelf is installed at a height of 600 – 700 mm, its width can be in the range of 400 – 500 mm, since it is most often intended for sitting.

The benches are mainly sheathed with abash boards with rounded edges. This African wood has a very low thermal conductivity, therefore it heats up very little. The floorboards are attached from the inside of the structure, so that there are no metal elements on the surface – nails, screws and others. A gap is made between the boards in the region of 15 – 30 mm, due to the fact that the continuous flooring prevents free air circulation in the cabin, moreover, lamps are often placed under the upper bench.

The side surfaces of the benches, as well as the wall backs near the upper flooring, are faced with Abash. Here it becomes possible to use some elements of decoration, it can be a diagonal arrangement of sewing, various combinations of directions, board width, etc..

We build a sauna ourselves

In order to make it convenient to clean, the side surface of the lower bench is not sewn up, or made removable. And sometimes the bottom shelf is made constructively independent, sliding.

Wooden headrests are often installed on the top shelf. In large saunas, decorative cornices and armrests made of soft rounded wood are arranged between the sun loungers and the floor.

Choosing and installing a door

Doors in a sauna must withstand high temperatures and changeable humidity without any deformation, retain heat as much as possible, and, of course, meet all safety standards. The same requirements apply to windows, which are increasingly installed in steam rooms..

Steam room door frames are made small – usually within 700×1900 mm. They are installed flush with the outer wall so that the opening is only outward and there are metal awnings here. For quick and easy opening from the inside, the doors are supplied only with magnetic catches or ball latches. There should be no metal elements on the inner surface of the door leaf, therefore the handles are made of wood, often decorated with turning or carving.

The door for the sauna is made either deaf from grooved boards of various types of wood, which are insulated and sheathed with clapboard, or glass and combined.

In terms of price – quality – labor costs, it is perhaps worth paying special attention to the factory glass door. Heat-resistant tempered glass doors are commonly used in the construction of saunas. They are beautiful, visually expand the enclosed space, have good tightness.

We build a sauna ourselves

They do not deform or rot, do not require maintenance and are very durable. As a rule, manufacturers complete them with stainless canopies, safe fittings, and a good heat-resistant sealant. Sauna glass door frames are made of dry glued wood. The glass is used frosted, tinted or transparent, sometimes with an original pattern.

The final stage

To protect shelves, backs, headrests, floor ladders from moisture and dirt, they are treated with a special impregnation based on vegetable oils. It does not contain solvents, is completely absorbed and does not emit any odors during the operation of the sauna, but it effectively helps to keep soft wood in perfect hygienic cleanliness..

When the walls are sheathed, the doors are installed and adjusted, the heater is in place – it’s time to connect the lights, install the ventilation grilles, and lay wooden ladders on the floor. Now you can heat the steam room, put on the hourglass, thermometer and go to relaxation …

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