How to Build an Infrared Sauna

Building your own infrared sauna can give you the benefits of infrared heat for a lot less money than it would cost to buy a pre-built cabin. In addition, it is not as difficult to understand how to build an infrared sauna as it might seem. If you take the following steps, you can be relaxing inside your sauna in no time.


Before you can build an infrared sauna, there are several decisions you need to make. First, determine where you want your sauna. You can build it either inside or outside, but if you choose an outside location you may need to obtain a permit. Second, decide how big you want your sauna to be. Finally, make a detailed scale drawing on graph paper. Make sure to include such details as lighting, doors, benches and the sauna controls as well as the number and placement of the heaters. To figure out how many heaters you will need, calculate the cubic feet of your sauna and multiply that by 17. This will tell you how many watts of power you will need, and if you divide that number by the wattage of your heaters it will tell you how many heaters you should install.


The most important part of this step is choosing the type of wood you will use. Your sauna will be subjected to a lot of heat, so it is vital to select a wood that can get hot without cracking. The most common choices are cedar and basswood, with the main difference between the two being that cedar is scented and basswood is not. Other types of wood, such as hemlock, are also possible-- but stay away from plywood and particleboard because they do not withstand heat well and contain glues which can release toxins when hot. If you want to allow the wood to expand and contract easily while still fitting snugly together, you may want to use tongue and groove boards. These have the added advantage of minimizing the use of screws, which can get dangerously hot. If you do decide to use screws, you will want to make sure that they are deeply recessed to avoid this problem.

If you want to maintain a more constant temperature, you can insulate your sauna; however, this is not required. You also don't need to worry about a duckboard or a vapor barrier, but you do need to make sure that your sauna is properly ventilated. Intake vents can be installed near the floor, and outgoing vents should be built two-thirds of the way up the wall on the opposite side.


The sauna door should open outward, and if it includes a window the glass should be tempered. If desired, you can leave a space at the bottom of the door as your intake vent. As a general rule, your bench should be at least two feet wide and extend all the way across the sauna. The location of the light is based on personal preference, but make sure that it provides enough illumination to read in the sauna if you desire.


Ordinarily, the panels on the sides of the sauna should be installed vertically while those below the bench should be installed horizontally. They should be recessed into the walls and backed by fireproof insulation to eliminate any fire hazard. Finally, you will need to connect them to a power source. If you do not have sufficient electrical knowledge to complete this step, it may be a good idea to hire an electrician to do it for you.


This is the last part that you will need to put in your sauna. There are a wide variety of different kinds of controls, so you will need to check the schematic inside your unit to see how to wire it.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website are opinions of and do not reflect medical advice from professionals. You should always consult your doctor before taking advice or purchasing any products based on health related claims.