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Kyanite 01-11-2013 09:19 AM

How to slope floor for drain in Sauna
To all,

I've built a 7x10' sauna off the ground and plan on putting a drain in the center of one of the 7' walls. The floor is level and plywood. How do I go about creating a gradual slope across the room and direct water to the drain? I am planning on installing tile and was trying to determine if I could use cement board to create the floor or would I need to attempt to pour a floor?

It should be noted that I'm a novice carpenter.


juels98 10-05-2016 03:39 PM

Re: How to slope floor for drain in Sauna

You cut something called sleepers. 2x4s cut in to triangles that give you the slope you need. I wouldn't pour the floor as that would add extra weight that's not needed. Simply put Durock over those sleepers, followed by a shower liner, then 1/2" thick cement layer (Sand Topping Mix)

JazMan 10-10-2016 11:53 PM

Re: How to slope floor for drain in Sauna
For anyone reading this old thread; Please do not follow any of the recommendations in the above answer. Nothing there that is accurate for this situation.


juels98 10-11-2016 07:30 AM

Re: How to slope floor for drain in Sauna
How is your reply helpful to this thread?

JazMan 10-11-2016 10:56 AM

Re: How to slope floor for drain in Sauna
It's very helpful cuz it alerts anyone reading it to look further.

Obviously the OP is not around trying to get info on his almost 4 year old question, chances are he's done by now. The suggestions in #2 are something you'd expect from maybe your barber, not anyone who understands tilework or the need for waterproofing.

I woulda given a longer answer if it was a current project and also if it wasn't so late this morning tired from travel.

BTW, I know you're kinda new here, it's a custom for people to introduce themselves and give a brief bio of their relative history and qualifications. Websites and ways to contact them is also a good way to give readers confidence if the suggestions they make. You can start with a first name and approx. location. Welcome to the forums.


juels98 10-12-2016 09:44 AM

Re: How to slope floor for drain in Sauna

You are correct in noting that this is a 4 year old thread. People search forums for answers and this question is helpful regardless of the thread's age. I know I had the same question when building my outdoor sauna. So yes, my original answer is valid.

Per OP, the sauna is built outside and off the ground. I assume on pillars. Though not described in OP's post, I assume the floor joists are 8" or 10". Each joist size has a limit of how much weight such a floor can hold. There are tables for this data. The OP doesn't specify the size of the hot room, but I'll go off my hot room size. At 6x12, with about 1/2" thick concrete (Sand Topping Mix) I was at about 6 bags at 60# each. That's 360lbs of mix alone. You add water and 400lbs is a safe bet. Now, continuing with assumptions, my sauna stove is 400lbs-- I assume OP's is around that size. So you got about 800lbs in just the cement/stove. Obviously he'll have people using the sauna-- that's about 150-250lbs per person. The structure can only hold so much weight. So yes, I think pouring the floor for an up in the air sauna on pillars may be too much and instead of using tile, he should just slope the floor with sleepers, Durock and 1/2" of cement towards the drain with a shower liner as I originally suggested. That's how most sauna floors are built.

stick\shift 10-12-2016 09:56 AM

Re: How to slope floor for drain in Sauna
juels - just so you know, Jaz has a reputation across more than just this forum for really knowing his stuff. If you want to disagree with him, you need to do a lot better than making all of the assumptions you listed and provide sound reasons for suggesting something different.

JazMan 10-12-2016 04:21 PM

Re: How to slope floor for drain in Sauna
Hi Juels,

I know old threads can be just as helpful, just not to the original OP. I was gonna let it go but couldn't in good conscience. The fact that old threads can be helpful does not make the answer you offered right. I don't get the logic there, it's not valid.

The floor of a sauna is built like the floor of a shower, with certain extra steps. No concrete backer for the floor (you should know CBU's add NO strength) and definitely you can't expect " o deck mud to hold up very long. It's all wrong.

Where did you come up with this method? Got a method number from the TCNA Handbook?


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