When thinking about saunas, many people envision a small room inside a gym, spa, or home. However, in their country of origin--Finland--saunas are often small rooms attached to the outside of a home, or are a free standing structure separate from the house. You can find these small buildings in backyards or beside lakes. There are even mobile saunas that can be pulled behind vehicles.
Moving your sauna to the exterior of your home has many benefits. First, it frees up space in your home, making saunas available to people with limited floor space. Second, it enhances the value of backyard/exterior property space. It can complement an outdoor hot tub, for example. Third, an outdoor sauna can extend the usage of your swimming pool into the winter months. Many sauna users enjoy alternating their sweat time with a dunk in cool water. With a sauna located poolside, you never need to close up your pool, which can save you money on winterizing chemicals and equipment.
An outdoor sauna will require different care than an indoor sauna. You'll want to make sure you are purchasing a sauna designed to be used outside. Make sure you treat the wood and keep it in the best shape possible. Read the care instructions included with your sauna. Saunas are made from soft woods such as cedar, which allow the absorption of steam. These woods handle swelling better than hardwoods. Since the wood has a soft, porous surface, abrasive tools can scratch the delicate timber. Hard chemicals can also penetrate the wood, damaging the integrity of the sauna. Use carefully selected tools and cleaners to treat the wood to avoid damaging the sauna. All cedar saunas can be treated with linseed oil on the outside for protection, which also gives them a rich color.
If the wood on the inside of your sauna gets stained over the years, you can often renew it with a nice sanding. Make sure you finish with a really fine grit to prevent a porous surface. That would make the wood more susceptible to becoming stained again.
Check out the wide range of sauna kits we offer to build your own backyard sauna. Saunasandstuff.com will help you find the best option for your style and space, as well as help you maintain your sauna so it lasts for many years to come.