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How to Build a Sauna: DIY Infrared Sauna Tips

From commercial use to home saunas, Clearlight offers all the components you need to build your own custom sauna for to fit your needs. This blog will cover tips to make the building process as easy as possible, along with things to consider prior to building your own from an infrared sauna kit.

Materials for a DIY Infrared Sauna

Is a Business or Home Sauna DIY Right for Me?

Before starting your DIY journey, it is important to be realistic with yourself first. Adding an infrared sauna to your home or business is an exciting decision, but make sure the installation process isn’t biting off more than you can chew with a new project. Installing an infrared sauna is typically done in one of three ways:

  1. Ground-Up: User builds a new infrared sauna out of lumber and tools by following blueprints or creating a new DIY sauna plan from scratch. This method can be extremely time-consuming and requires meticulous attention to detail. While it is the most hands-on method, it does allow for high levels of customization and a sense of pride in the end.
  2. Custom Infrared Sauna Kits: Designing your own sauna with custom infrared sauna kits is the happy medium between the ground-up and base model options. These kits can be modeled to fit your space perfectly and are easily installed. By using DIY infrared sauna kits like these, you get to design many aspects and still put your building skills to work, but with less pressure.
  3. Base Model: User purchases a base model sauna that is easy to install, but with lower customization opportunities. For those wanting a more hands-off approach to adding a sauna to their home or business, this route is ideal for high-quality results with less effort.

Sauna DIY Kit Considerations

If you’ve read the above and have decided that a DIY infrared sauna is right for you, great! After the first step of deciding which sauna installation is right for you, there are a few more steps in building the sauna of your dreams. When building your own sauna, you must consider these four components: type of sauna, size, wood type, and accessories.

Type of Sauna

There are two main types of sauna, traditional and infrared. Traditional saunas use high heat and steam to create the hot environment. Using this system requires more maintenance in the long run, as the wet-dry system has more opportunity for wear and bacteria collection if not cleaned properly.

Infrared saunas, on the other hand, use radiant heaters to warm the interior. These infrared systems require less energy to heat and penetrate the body, which makes the experience more comfortable and lowers your electric bill. There are plenty of infrared sauna benefits that are more pronounced than when using a traditional sauna.

Small Group of Friends Sharing a Large Sauna

Sauna Size

Once you’ve decided on which type of sauna to build, it’s time to decide which size is best for your needs. Consider the number of people who will be using the sauna at a time, how big of an area your space allows, and if the sauna will be used for any activities such as hot yoga.

For personal use, 1-2 person saunas may be ideal to save space and energy. Larger families and businesses will benefit from the space of a 4-5 person sauna models. Custom saunas typically range between 25 and 80 square feet, but can be designed to fit a much larger capacity. We recommend a sauna ceiling no higher than 7 feet to keep heat close to the occupants.

Wood Type

Now that you’ve decided how big to build your sauna, the next necessary step is choosing the type of wood to use in construction. The type of wood you choose makes a considerable impact on the construction of your custom sauna. Avoid woods that get too hot to the touch, contain high levels of sap, and are easily damaged by heat or water.

Instead, choose woods that are soft, resilient, and are visually appealing. Basswood, birch, and spruce are the three most popular woods for building a DIY infrared sauna for your home or business.

Accessories & Amenities

Finally, the last decision to make when building a custom sauna is the fun part: choosing your accessories and amenities! While this step doesn’t require building, it is an exciting part of customization. The sauna health benefits in its base form are wonderful, but why not kick it up a notch with some upgrades for the ultimate personal sanctuary?

Building a sauna from scratch may make it more difficult to add in extra amenities. However, DIY infrared sauna kits allow you to include a range of accessories already built in. Some of these upgrades include halotherapy generators, chromotherapy lights, digital keypads with smartphone control, and audio sound systems.

Woman Sawing Wood to Build Custom Infrared Sauna

How to Build a Sauna

You’ve made all your decisions for your perfect custom sauna, and now it’s time to build it! Depending on if you decide to build from scratch or build from a DIY infrared sauna kit, your process will be slightly different.

Building from Scratch

When building from scratch, your building process will start with collecting the measurements of your space and gathering materials such as lumber, tools, and hardware. Cutting your lumber to the precise measurements of your space is imperative, as an improper fit will result in a poorly-functioning sauna that may not retain heat.

There are plenty of online tutorials and blueprints to help you plan the design and construction process. If you are feeling unsure, cross referencing a few plans can give you more clarity on which techniques work best.

Building from Infrared Sauna Kits

Using an infrared sauna DIY kit, the building process is much easier. The initial steps include simply filling out a form with your specifications and ordering a kit. The prefabricated kits come with all the materials necessary to assemble your sauna, and simply mount to the wall and most plug in to a standard 110V/220V outlet.

No matter how you decide to add an infrared sauna to your home or business, it is a wise decision to make! Building from scratch, building from a kit, or ordering a base model will all give you a product that is sure to create a sanctuary that will keep you happy and healthy for years to come.


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