Sauna Wall construction help
Does anyone here know how to build sauna's?? I sure could use some more basic understanding to the construction process. It is a freestanding building with 2'x4' framing 16" oc. and Cedar/Cypress lap siding exterior with cedar/cypress T&G inside and on ceiling.
Neither my builder or CAD drawer knows how to build the Sauna walls. I've told them all i know from internet research, but i can't explain some of the requirements: Please correct me if this is wrong and help me understand the air space behind T&G siding and air gaps on top & bottom of walls for keeping the wood & insulation from getting wet.
This is what I've learned so far and what I want to do:
Nippa Wood Burning sauna stove/with rocks
Monolithic slab with drain to septic (to pass code here in Florida)
6" cement curb to keep water from "wicking" going into the wood. Our sauna is also used for bathing (we will pour buckets of water over our heads for rinsing & cooling down)
PT sill plate (what size??) on top of curb
Outside wall 8" wood lap siding on vapor wrapped (what kind?)
UN-treated (??) 1/2" plywood
2'x4' framing (is this ok to be UN-treated studs like the plywood?)
R-11 OR R-13 fiberglass Batting insulation. Will R-13 fit??
Aluminum vapor barrier (loosely fitted, overlapped, taped with heat resisting kind).
T&G interior wood paneling (NO plywood underneath just the studs)
NOW how does this interior wood go onto the wall studs and have a 2" air space. How can all this fit into a 2'x4' wall? Do we have to use furring strips? if so, HOW? Also I have never seen gaps at the top or bottom of the walls for venting on pictures of others' saunas.
How does this get constructed?
:) Any help would be greatly appreciated, Katherine:)
WOW! Bob--you sure know and understand a lot about Sauna building for not having built one yourself. Thanks for the reply--been checking for a reply twice a day--I love this forum. I understand a little more now. It is 3:30 AM and I can't sleep.
We will be using the sauna a lot. My husband and I are retired--the sauna baths helps our aching bones and relieves our stress. One at night just before bedtime helps me sleep better too! I'm hooked!! Ours will have more water on floor so the drain to septic was neccessary to meet code here. Our Finnish friends in Michigan have a wooden floor in their sauna and the water goes through the cracks to the rock layer on the ground below.
A Finnish saying goes:
"Build Sauna first, then house!" :D
Which is what we are doing.
This morning I picked up the permits for our house & Sauna--it took 4 weeks! The sauna plans passed without all the details that my builder needed (his company didn't draw up the plans for us because originally we wanted another builder).
My husband & I took them to our new builder right away, and he said that he thinks a cement block wall with foam insulation would be better for him to build. Earlier he told us about the issues of walls rotting, health problems because of PT materials, etc.--it sounded like he was brushing us off. He even said what if we sold our house and years later the walls rotted for the new owners. I guess he thinks it would come back on him. :confused: I don't understand his thinking--he has been in commercial building for 35 years and just a couple years now building homes.
He would only be liable for one year, right?
Well, doesn't the ceiling have the same issues? Heat/steam rises!
I am having intake/exhaust vents put in (and yes I've read about the space under the door working as a vent)--but I've also read about a space behind the T&G wood siding interior for extra protection in keeping the insulation dry from condensation caused by the high heat--180 to 200 degrees--is how we like it!
I guess that is what the furring strips are for.
I told him I didn't know about the foam insulation/heat mixture & toxins--he said no more than fiberglass batts. I then told him I wanted rockwool (mineral wool insulation) it's safer.
Well, back to the "drawing board" or should that be "saw horse?" I wish you were here Bob!!
:rolleyes: Any thoughts on all of this??
Re: Sauna Wall construction help
Just thought I add some comments for anyone reading this thread. I recently built an outdoor sauna myself. I'm a DIY, tough I'm up in Minnesota :)
I too have thought about PT wood and fiberglass and health issue. The conclusion I came up with is this. The fiberglass sits behind a layer of foil and 1/2" cedar T&G. I don't think any toxins are getting out. As far as PT wood-- the only place I have it exposed is for under bench supports. With the heat and steam-- I don't think regular 2x4s would last.
Finally, as you've probably seen on sauna build sites, good air circulation is important, so I have about a 2"+ gap under my door to the hot room and a 4" x 3" window permanently open on the opposite wall. The hot room remains hot with the added benefit that there's good air to breath. They call it "convection"
if you have any questions, let me know!
Re: Sauna Wall construction help
Ah, "build sauna first and then house".
48 years ago, I remember this part well as we had to swelter at night trying to sleep until the cottage was built.
Unfortunately, I was only 4 years old during the construction and didn't see how the ol man put it together.
One comment though, use Roxul for insulation. Vapor will get past the barrier.
We lived in there during the construction of the cottage. Will you do the same?
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