The Finns, as a northern people, have long used the sauna for hygienic purposes and for the health of the body. For many decades, the Finnish bath has changed and improved, people have adapted it to modern conditions and even install it in city apartments..
What it is?
Historically, a Finnish bathhouse is a low, closed, small space from 2 to 6-8 sq. m, designed for 2-3 people. Previously, such baths were heated by a hearth placed in the center of the room with red-hot stones. There was no chimney as such, ventilation was carried out through an open door and an inflow near the floor. The room was very dry and hot.
Instead of a washing room, there was a barrel of cold water or there was a natural reservoir nearby.
Modern technologies have made it possible to get rid of suffocating smoke and soot with the help of a ventilation system and new modifications of stoves with a chimney. A tub of water was replaced by a hot tub, pool or shower. The lack of windows is compensated by electric lighting.
Only a small area remains, a finish made of natural wood of special species and a very high room temperature, which triggers beneficial healing processes in the human body.
Features and Benefits
The climate of Finland is very close to the climate of our Russian northern and temperate latitudes. There is much in common in the way of life of our peoples. It is very reminiscent of the device of the Finnish bath by the method of kindling the bath in a black way, which was used until recently in Russia..
The stove in such a bath was made without a chimney., hot smoke warmed up the room, destroying bacteria. Before entering the steam room, the bathhouse was ventilated through a small window and an open door.
The soot disinfected the surfaces, and the black smoky walls became absolutely sterile. There was also a tub or trough with water, where the bather was washed from soot, which in its properties replaced soap. The water produced moist steam, which penetrated the pores and cleaned them. The more hardened ones plunged into an ice-hole or a river, so the bathhouse was placed on the edge of the village, preferably next to a reservoir.
Smoke bath temperature is approximately + 50 ° C, humidity – 70%.
Big today popular love is the Russian bathhouse, the heart of which is hot, up to + 60-70 ° C with up to 90% humid aromatic steam steam room. Nearby there is a washing room and a dressing room with a dressing room.
Modern private housing construction has made it possible for almost every household to acquire its own bathhouse, which has expanded the list of necessary premises. A relaxation room has been added for breaks between hot treatments. The veranda under the canopy of the bathhouse has turned into a place for family evening tea in the summer.
Not everyone is able to withstand the hot humid air of a Russian steam room; a Finnish sauna will help here. Although the air is hot here, the temperature reaches + 90 ° C, it is easier to carry than a humid Russian steam room. This is due to the very dry air, where the humidity should not exceed 10-15%. There are fewer medical contraindications for a sauna. The health benefits are colossal.
The steam room in the sauna takes up very little space, as it is heated by an electric stove to keep the air dry, and there are enough seating places, since they are not steamed with brooms. Use a shower or pool for cooling and bathing. As such, the technical room of the sauna occupies a very limited space, therefore it may well be accommodated in a special glass booth in the bathroom of a city apartment.
You can equip a dry steam room in a traditional Russian bath with a relaxation room and a washing room..
For a Finnish sauna, the main equipment is a stove, it is better to give preference to an electric one. An electric oven with a thermostat will allow you to create the desired microclimate in the steam room. Better to buy a specialized sauna heater, the stove has a built-in system for air circulation, which ensures quick and uniform heating of the room.
The stove is selected according to its power based on the size of the steam room – 1 kW per 1 cubic meter of steam room volume.
Air humidity is regulated by a special steam generator, separate or built-in.
An electric stove is good for city apartments or for a small sauna in a country house. To save energy, the sauna is equipped with a conventional solid fuel stove., in this option, you will have to manually maintain the desired temperature and humidity. The advantage of a solid fuel stove is the ability in the same room at different times, if desired, to arrange either a dry Finnish or a wet Russian steam room with brooms.
Both an electric and a wood-burning stove are placed in any corner of the room so that the passage to the seating areas is clear to avoid burns.
Stove stones are selected for medical reasons. Specialty stores sell sets of stones with the characteristics of minerals, including popular are jadeite, talcochlorite, gabbro-diabase, quartzite, Himalayan salt. For the outer cladding of the stove, these minerals, bricks or tiles are selected. Building mixtures for finishing should not contain harmful impurities.
You can not use any stones from the site, they can emit dangerous chemical compounds when heated.
The second necessary equipment in the steam room is supply and exhaust ventilation. In a house or apartment for air supply, 5 centimeters are left under the door in the steam room, the hood is connected to the ventilation duct of the house. If the draft is not strong, then install additional electric fans in the exhaust openings..
In a log bath, an inlet is arranged in the lower part of the bath wall next to the floor, and an exhaust outlet is located on the opposite wall under the ceiling. Both openings are closed by flaps, which can be used to regulate the flow of fresh air.
Steaming shelves are an integral part of the Finnish sauna equipment. Since the movement of steam is absent, as in the Russian steam room, the shelves can be at any convenient height, the length is not important, here they do not steam with brooms, but mostly sit.
The height of the shelf is taken at least 40 centimeters from the floor, and the upper shelf is installed at such a distance from the ceiling that you do not have to bend over.
In the case of using the premises periodically for a sauna and a Russian steam room, you should focus on other sizes. The lower shelf should be at a distance of 40 centimeters from the floor, the upper one – at least 1 meter from the ceiling to give room for a sweep of the arm with a broom.
A shower or hot tub will be required to cool the body. This area is separated from the room by a pair of glass or wooden doors. In the apartment, these functions are carried out by the bathroom, in a separate building you can make a pool or shower.
The organization of lighting plays an important role for the safety of using bath procedures, since the high temperature dulls attention, and it is uncomfortable to sit in the dark. Thermometers are installed in each compartment, and a barometer is installed in the steam room to eliminate excess moisture.
Building your own bath is the dream of most homeowners. A Finnish sauna with an electric stove allows you to equip it with your own hands in your apartment. On sale there is a wide range of ready-made cabins for home saunas. Size is for 1-2 users, takes up no more than two square meters of area and is placed in the bathroom or separately.
Such saunas are fully equipped with all the necessary equipment and have detailed installation instructions. A specialist from the manufacturer will help you assemble the cab and install all the components.
The construction of a sauna on a suburban area provides ample opportunities for creativity. It is quite possible to build a budget small-sized bath with your own hands. On an area of 10-12 sq. meters fits everything you need, the small size will allow you to save on heating, the small recreation room expands in the summer due to the veranda. The simplest project of a bath with a veranda includes a steam room, a shower and a relaxation room or a changing room and a covered terrace.
It is worth spending the extra money and increasing the size of the veranda. An open space under a canopy will allow you to admire the landscape and relax after hot procedures in the summer. Placing a barbecue area next to it will make an evening rest comfortable in any weather. For year-round use of the bathhouse, panoramic glazing of the terrace is used., which is made of aluminum, wood or plastic sliding or hinged structures. Glazing is also performed with soft materials – polycarbonate or foil.
Particularly noteworthy are the capital structures with a barbecue terrace under the same roof with a sauna. The brazier is installed in such a way that smoke does not enter the windows or the dining area. To do this, maintain a distance of at least two meters from the table and windows. The wall around the barbecue is trimmed with heat-resistant material – stone or bricks. For such a construction, you need free space on the site and significant financial investments.
A sauna with a barbecue terrace can be supplemented with a bathroom and a vestibule for the cold season.
Lovers equip a dry sauna in the bath complex, where there is a comfortable shower room, a swimming pool, a relaxation room, a billiard room or a room for training and spa treatments. These are elite complexes where modern hydro structures are used under the roof or in the fresh air, which require communications and appropriate maintenance..
The main accent of such a bath can be a glass roof., which will allow you to admire the starry sky while swimming in summer and winter. The project of a bath with a swimming pool in front of the terrace will allow to combine a relaxation area with a wellness area.
Barrel-shaped baths are a budget and convenient option for summer cottage construction. This is ideal for a Finnish bath. They are easy to install, have the necessary set of premises, quickly melt, are made of natural materials, take up a minimum of space on the site.
You can install such a barrel on the shore of an artificial or natural reservoir or in another picturesque and comfortable place..
The heart of the Finnish sauna, and sometimes the only room, is the steam room. The finishing material should have good moisture resistance and a pleasant non-slip surface, not burn, not emit harmful substances when heated, and have aesthetic qualities. All these requirements are met by natural wood..
Linden, alder, aspen are best suited for cladding walls, ceilings, and making shelves. These species have a pleasant light wood color that adds light to the steam room..
Cedar and larch have strength, resistance to moisture, produce a good healing effect, and also have high decorative qualities of the cut.
The most expensive and valuable type of wood for sauna finishing is African oak abash. It releases healing essential compounds and has an even solid texture. Due to the high price, it is often used in fragments, for shelves and handrails. Sauna slats are the best option for small spaces.
Much attention is paid to the insulation of the incandescent stove body from wood. For this the stove and the wall around it are trimmed with natural, decorative stone or ceramic tiles. These materials have a high coefficient of heat resistance and a beautiful appearance. When choosing, do not forget about the stones recommended for the sauna..
Shower and pool are finished with moisture resistant materials: tiles, plastic panels or natural stone. The material must be hygienic and easy to clean to keep the room clean. In a limited area, instead of a pool, a swimming barrel is installed, in this case the entire room can be made of wood.
The bath building is being built from any building materials available in the region and corresponding to the budget. In terms of quality, durability and performance, natural stone is in the first place. A stone structure looks brutal, will last for more than one hundred years, is practically not exposed to atmospheric influences, has a low thermal conductivity.
The disadvantage is that the cost of a stone house is quite high..
The traditional building material – brick – has similar properties. Environmental safety is combined with excellent technical characteristics and aesthetic appearance. Brick allows you to build complex architectural forms. A brick bath is a symbol of solidity and good quality.
The disadvantage for an unheated bath is that the room heats up for a long time, but it also retains heat for a long time..
The classic material for building and decorating a sauna is natural wood. Wood for felling has the appearance of a log or a bar. The log is more suited to the rural style, and the timber is easier to assemble. Both materials have the same decorative qualities..
The best wood species for these purposes are aspen, larch, cedar. Buildings made of these materials can do without interior decoration, only the walls will need to be treated with special compounds.
A log house can be built from affordable and inexpensive pine. Pine has a beautiful color and knotty wood pattern. But from high temperature, resin begins to stand out and harden with ugly drips, so the steam room must be sheathed with another type of wood. A pine tree lounge will be an inexpensive and great base for decorating with hunting trophies, carvings and paintings with hunting scenes.
Building blocks are widely used in private construction: foam concrete, aerated concrete, gas silicate blocks.
These are inexpensive materials available for self-construction, the installation process does not take much time.
Spectacular examples for inspiration
- Sauna in a house with walls made of heat-resistant glass looks beautiful and stylish.
- Decorating the walls of the steam room with wood cuts gives the interior originality.
- Sauna in a modern style is appropriate even in a small apartment.
- Himalayan salt inserts are very beautiful with backlighting, they perfectly ionize the air.
How to equip a Finnish bath with your own hands, see the video below.