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The sauna is most often identified with Finland, where the hot, steamy and relaxing ritual originated. This bathing practice is believed to be good for the circulation and for opening the pores for a deep cleansing.
Since saunas can be placed in relatively small spaces in the bathroom, even in a bathroom closet, they are gaining popularity in this country as part of the at-home personal spa experience. Most home spas begin with a pool or hot tub and then move onto a sauna. Click one of these links if you are interested in reading more about adding a pool or a hot tub
Sauna IdeasTraditional steam saunas, entered right after showering, use stones on a heater to create the steam, which is accomplished when water is thrown over them to increase humidity.
Modern versions of home saunas sometimes have limestone panels instead of stones.
The faint lighting inside the wooden sauna adds to the calming effect as the bathers relax on wooden benches,
sitting high up in the sauna to better take in the hotter air.
After resting in the steam sauna, many people then take a second, cooler shower (in Finland it's often taken in an icy river) and return to the sauna for another period of relaxation and warmth.
For the modern home, saunas can be purchased in ready-to-assemble form, or may be custom-built and installed to suit your particular desires and space considerations.
There are also suppliers for authentic sauna accessories such as scents, soaps and large, thick towels to sit on and warm yourself in after unwinding in a relaxing sauna.
Click this link to have one of our prescreened contractors install a sauna.
Basic Sauna Problems
If your sauna's heater unit isn't working at all, test it first, but if it is still malfunctioning, you'll probably need to have it replaced.
When the water in your unit is too hot or too cold, it's probably a malfunctioning thermostat.
If the wood paneling in your unit is in need of repair, you might want to find out what caused the problem. If it's from a leak in your unit, make sure to get the leak (and the paneling) fixed. Kiln-dried wood works best in spas and saunas.
Faulty insulation, vapor barrier or door seal problems should be fixed by a professional. Not dealing with these in a timely manner will lead to more problems with your unit.
Matt Myers is a freelance writer for the home maintenance and remodeling industry. Formerly a contractor specializing in deck building and casework, Matt has written over 500 articles for both homeowners and contractors.