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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Fellas,

I am planning to build an outdoor dry sauna. Ideally I would like to build a floating floor and would prefer not to pour a concrete slab in case the sauna needs to be moved one day (main plumbing drain will be directly underground).

I would likely build it on Dek Blocks with pressure treated lumber for the floor joists. Considering that I would likely insulate the floor (rigid foam between the joists) what is the best option for the actual floor? I imagine the floor will be getting wet when people pour water over the rocks and I imagine there will be moisture trapped down there if I do not use the proper material.

What would you suggest I put down to cover the floor? I was considering just putting down deck boards without any insulation but I imagine most of the heat would be lost through the floor, especially in the winter. I kind of stumped here and don't want to start construction until I figure this part out.

Suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Read that earlier when scouring the internet. They have some good points but the main thing I am looking for is an idea of what to put down for the floor. Ideally I think it should be insulated but also needs some sort of waterproofing so that the water and moisture does not linger. Need ideas of best cost effective way to do this or ideas of what materials to use for floor.
 

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Anything I might have suggested was covered in the big mistakes list.:vs_karate:
 

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Gravel base for drainage contained by blocks (rebar into ground and grout?). 2x4 pt frame and fill with xps panels, pt ply then one sheet linoleum? Sauna that size may take a while to heat, so maybe you should include a preheater. Can't remember exactly, but little water may steam off so you don't have to worry too much about floor damage. Cover with cedar plank floor. This was years ago so I would look for the sauna heater first and see what structure they recommend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gravel base for drainage contained by blocks (rebar into ground and grout?). 2x4 pt frame and fill with xps panels, pt ply then one sheet linoleum? Sauna that size may take a while to heat, so maybe you should include a preheater. Can't remember exactly, but little water may steam off so you don't have to worry too much about floor damage. Cover with cedar plank floor. This was years ago so I would look for the sauna heater first and see what structure they recommend.
Do you mean cinder blocks? I don't understand what you intend with the rebar and grout either. Will the linoleum not leave moisture trapped between it and the plywood?
 

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I would build the frame for the base, insulate it, cover it with PT plywood and have a floor drain installed with a sloped mud base like a shower stall c/w rubber liner, etc.
Finish the floor with a cedar wood like a 1 x 6 on furring so the water drains to the floor drain.
 

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Sorry for delay. One I remember was for my parents many years ago. It was indoor, and was a simple 220v heater with rocks in it. I think the manual said little water for steam was fine. I don't know how, but I had a stack of cedar t&g boards, otherwise, I think I would've used just the ply. My mom being very economical.:smile: Small enclosure just big enough for one person so it took maybe 15 min to heat up. I remember it became hard to breathe in there.
Don't know how permanent or mobil you want this to be, and what kind of sauna? Described above is what I can remember and not much water involved. But being outside and mobil, I think raised gravel base would give you reasonable protection from water such as rain. Raised gravel would have to be contained, so the block perimeter and blocks should be anchored, so the rebars. Probably grouting is a bit overboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Likely a 220 volt electric heater for outdoor use. I will probably make it large enough for 4-6 people. Will circular or octagonal shape effect the heat distribution?

Do you think it will suffice to build the floor frame on dek-Bloks? or do I need to put down cinder blocks around the base? I would prefer not to have any permanent kind of foundation (concrete slab, or mortar and cinder blocks) so that in the event it needs to be moved (access to main drainpipe, property sold etc) I can move to new spot. I will put detailed carpentry work on the exterior and so I need to make sure base is sturdy before I put all the work into the aesthetics.
 

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Building that size would depend on a good foundation. Instead of factory made foundation blocks, I would get a bunch of 12x12 pavers and stack them. If ground sinks, you can add blocks and just follow the settlement. For this reason, electricals should be flexible near the building. Shape of the building shouldn't have any effect on heat distribution. I think the manual said you need a small ventilation hole on the wall (top or bottom? - can't remember). Outside, I assume you need very good insulation and size matched heater (# of elements?) to avoid cold spots.

Whatever you do, leave a ventilation space between ground and the building. Not drying out could lead to musty smell inside that you won't be able to get rid of. Maybe you should search for sauna forums. I am guessing it isn't that simple or as simple as people getting along with the smell:smile:. All I can say is relatively dry heat sauna was simple enough for me.
 
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