The construction of a bath is necessary at any summer cottage and at a country house. But traditional options, which use brick or timber, have a number of disadvantages. But the frame structures deprived of them need to be erected using a special technology..
It is very difficult to build buildings, even such minor ones as a bathhouse, with your own hands from bricks or logs. You will need to spend a lot of money on materials, prepare flawless drawings. And without the help of someone, it will not be possible to do such work at all. Therefore, frame projects deserve increased attention.. Moreover, the consumption of wood in comparison with conventional timber structures is reduced by exactly half.
The buildings are relatively light, even if they are made in dimensions of 6 by 4 or 6×6 m; if the size of the structure is 3×4, 4×4 m, this circumstance manifests itself even more. Therefore, there is no need to prepare solid foundations. It is possible to finish external and internal walls at the same time, and the overall installation speed increases noticeably. The smallest area of the steam room is 250×250 cm.It is recommended to use asbestos-cement pipes with a diameter of 100 and a length of 4000 mm for the foundation, which are filled with concrete.
All wooden elements are thoroughly dried before installation.. The rafters are assembled on the ground, after which they are alternately raised and placed over the frame racks. The roof is made only in a ventilated version.
It is advisable not to raise the ceiling in the steam room above 210 cm.Only after finishing the frame, the bath is divided into separate rooms.
Advantages and disadvantages
The indisputable advantages of the construction of frame baths are:
- Ease of construction;
- cheap construction (low material costs);
- simplification of foundation work in comparison with other options;
- weak thermal conductivity;
- the ability to make communication channels inside the walls and not spoil the appearance;
- exclusion of shrinkage;
- no need for complex construction equipment;
- environmental safety (a rarity for dacha budget buildings);
- the ability to perform all work without the involvement of specialists;
- exclusion of wet works – it is possible to build in winter and even where there is no sustainable water supply;
- wide variety of finishes.
But after carefully studying the reviews of the owners and developers, you can immediately find certain shortcomings. Each of them can be eliminated by timely measures, only because you need to properly understand the possible problems. Frame baths in their pure form quickly cool down, and therefore, after a short time, an ugly fungus appears inside. To cope with this difficulty, you need to use only the highest quality insulation..
Styrofoam or simple mineral wool does not serve effectively enough, and the first option also ignites easily.
It is possible to extend the service life of a panel bath if the entire used timber and boards are impregnated with antiseptics of a special sample. After 18-24 months, the frame shrinkage is sometimes 80-100 mm. As a result, external and internal finishes are deformed. You can reduce this risk if you take chamber-dried sawn timber..
Subtleties of design
The simplicity of construction and its availability for non-professionals does not mean that you can safely start work without preparation. Even the experience of such work does not give grounds for a complacent attitude.. A well-thought-out project and drawings of the future structure will help to avoid serious mistakes..
On a small area (3×4 or 4×4 m), it is required to maximize the intensity of space use. If possible, such small baths should be avoided altogether if there is sufficient territory for building.
The simplest scheme is when the steam room, shower room, boiler room and wardrobe compartment are combined. But such a step is acceptable only for mini structures or transportable baths, because it is impossible to distribute the temperature as expected. Therefore, they try to create, even with the smallest dimensions, albeit very small, but self-contained rooms. A 3×4 m bathhouse may well be heated with a small boiler or a wood-burning stove. Individual designers even find the opportunity to complement it with a veranda or terrace..
The smallest projects have a number of valuable properties:
- insignificant consumption of building materials;
- almost complete elimination of waste;
- high speed of work;
- durability and reliability (since it is not required to save on the quality of components in a small area).
It should be remembered that even a small one-story extension to a house must be registered with the cadastral registration authorities.
On a larger plot, it is quite possible to build a 6×6 bath: it will already allow you not only to wash off the dirt from yourself, but also to invite the whole family and even a group of friends. Typical projects with such sides imply a significant area of the rest room – it can reach 20 m2. Most often, it is there that the stairs connecting the first floor with the attic are also located..
A two-story bathhouse is superior to a one-story bathhouse already because it allows you to organize additional space for life and leisure. Often there are rooms for receiving guests, bedrooms, billiard tables or other sports equipment.
Thanks to frame technology, the overwhelming part of the costs relates to the base of the building, and if it already exists, the subsequent stages of work will be much more affordable..
In the construction of two floors, the first step is to create a foundation from support pillars, and the base must be covered with a layer of waterproofing. Experts recommend building the truss system of the bath from boards with a section of 10×5 cm, and a board with a thickness of 2.2 cm usually goes to the crate.
The frame-panel structure is assembled according to the principle of a toy constructor. It is not difficult to find combinations of elements suitable for the construction of a washing room with a pool, then they are only placed on a prepared frame. The kit usually comes with detailed technological instructions to help avoid mistakes – if only they are strictly followed. In the case of mobile baths, everything is even simpler – they are assembled not at construction sites, but at industrial enterprises. All that remains for customers is only to supplement the finished blocks with the necessary details..
Most projects involve the use of gable roofs, the attic space under them is not organized or it is very small. But inside, they often put bath equipment. When choosing the type of foundation, they are guided by the category of soil and its condition. The mass of the building, even if we take into account the presence of a second floor in a number of variants, is relatively small. The design indicators of insulation depend on whether the bath will be used all year round or is it intended only for the warm season..
Calculation of the amount of materials
It is not so difficult to calculate the need for metal frame nodes: any seller can do this, having learned the required dimensions and performance. In typical projects, the exact consumption of metal is normalized, and if they are compiled according to an individual order, then all the calculations are undertaken by the designers. But all the same, they must be controlled, since even on iron material, some builders can make “mistakes” in their favor. Before calculating the needs for wood, you need to choose whether a timber or a log will be used in this case. Timber-based structures are preferable because:
- shrinkage is noticeably reduced;
- there are no strict restrictions on size and geometry;
- work is greatly simplified.
The strongest timber, according to experts, is made from conifers, moreover, they are less susceptible to the destructive effect of insects and microorganisms gnawing on a tree. The standard dimensions of the timber taken into account in the calculations are from 10×10 to 20×20 cm.The volume is calculated by multiplying the length by the height and thickness of a single element.
Some of the masters claim that you need to add 10-30% to the result. But this step is frankly stupid, because, on the contrary, you will have to spend less timber – it is not mounted on the openings of windows and doors..
Inexperienced customers and even builders replace the length of the perimeter with an area, and then they are forced to stop work, buy missing materials and spend money on their transportation. In order not to be mistaken, you should also carefully check the labeling and accompanying documents.. In some cases, the price tags and in the speeches of the sellers indicate slightly larger dimensions of the timber than it really is.
To further save money, you can change the timber to boards, and the cladding can be made of plastic lining or profiled sheets. When working, only boards of the highest category are acceptable.
Having calculated the need for materials and choosing the size of the frame bath, you need to deal with the sequence of construction work. There are no fundamental differences from the construction of other baths or city houses in the order of the stages, but each of them reveals its own specifics.
So, when erecting a base, it is best to use columnar structures. They are assembled from asbestos-cement pipes with a diameter of approximately 10 cm, reinforced from the inside with concrete. Then they mark out the outer contours and, using a drill, drill openings that go 2 m deep.
For your information: the depth of penetration in some cases may be more or less. This decision is made based on the type of soil and the depth of groundwater. Each pipe is introduced into the opening and covered from above with coarse sand, moreover, it is thoroughly rammed. When pouring, concrete is used, which is prepared from:
- 1 part of M200 cement;
- 4 pieces of sand;
- 7.5 parts of fine gravel;
- 3 parts pure water.
According to the step-by-step instructions, the filling of the pipes should be smooth, a strong steel plate is placed on each of them when ready. The mounted pipes must dry, and only then the turn comes to the installation of the lower piping. The box is treated with disinfectants and covered with a waterproofing layer. Logs are placed on top of the strapping, from which a rough floor is formed. In the interval separating the structure from the lag and the strapping, roofing material is laid, sometimes this place is abundantly coated with mastic.
The construction of the foundation under a frame bath, which has two or three floors, must take into account the total load and snow pressure. Wooden bases are allowed only for miniature baths, the total area of which is 12 sq. m and less. Increased attention will need to be paid to calculating the diameter of the timber and leveling surfaces.
Be sure to put several bars at the same level, trimmed around the perimeter with stakes. Such systems perform well on clayey soils, where they serve stably for many years..
When building saunas on screw piles, there is no need to join the supporting structures with a bar or channel bars. Such supports help to build even on a hillside or on a strongly eroded river bank with a turbulent current. The introduction of piles into the ground is carried out either with the involvement of special equipment, or due to the efforts of several builders at the same time. When working, it is absolutely impossible to deviate the support from the horizon line..
At every fourth turn, the position of the pile is carefully calibrated using a magnetic level. It is forbidden to remove structures tilted during twisting by technology, their position is corrected using a rotary level. Any strong concrete and rebar can be used to eliminate gaps separating the piles from the surrounding soil. After finishing the installation, the piles are checked for evenness. If everything is in order, the heads are welded on top of them; the drain in the bath is always equipped not only in the washing room, but also in the steam room.
Many people try to put the bathhouse on a strip base. This solution is acceptable even on soil prone to movement and subsidence, which can easily swell. The tape is divided into Finnish and Canadian; both technology schools are simple, but require a careful and responsible approach. Monolithic foundations are erected directly on the construction site, and prefabricated foundations are only laid and connected. Most often, they are guided by a shallow deepening (up to 50 cm), such a tape is evenly spread under load-bearing walls.
Choosing a suitable base option is often difficult without geological surveys. The simplest check can be carried out independently: the type of soil and its visual characteristics are recognized by digging a trench 150 cm deep. They carefully evaluate not only the height of the standing groundwater, but also the level to which the ground freezes.
For any type of foundation, the construction site is cleared of grasses and bushes, flowers and sod in advance. Even stumps, roots and any objects that can interfere with construction should not be left..
Sturdy cords made of colored fabrics help to simplify the marking. In accordance with the markings, you need to dig a recess for the foundation, which will be 50 cm deeper and 400 cm wider than the prepared landmark. The cushion of the building is made of sand, which is poured abundantly with water and rammed. Then the first layer is covered with rubble. Waterproofing is installed along the lateral planes of the trench. Roofing material is traditionally used, although more and more modern penetron is replacing it..
The formwork is created as follows: the upper edge of the waterproofing serves for laying boards, their thickness is 50 mm, and their width is maximum 1.5 m. The boards must be laid without the slightest gaps, with an elevation above the ground by 30 cm. wire reinforcement, wound 50 mm below the top point of the formwork (later completely hidden by a layer of concrete). Concreting is carried out with a mixture of cement, sand and gravel, in terms of density, it is similar to dense sour cream. Additional hardening is achieved by plasticizers.
It is recommended to prepare the mortar yourself, as it is much faster than getting the mortar from the factory. In addition, this approach will help preserve the quality of the cold seam, avoid water seepage through it, which would spoil the base. And, importantly, the differences in cost are negligible. After completing the work, the foundation is covered with a liquid-impermeable material. Concrete will harden in 24 hours, but will gain final strength only after a few weeks..
The formwork should be done using even and strong panels so that its appearance is perfect. Nails are hammered strictly from the inside to the outside. If you do the opposite, it will be much more difficult to remove the shields.. When working on formwork structures, you need to immediately think about the conclusions for the sewerage, water supply and electrical cables.. If they are not immediately provided, then you will need to hammer and break the quality of the monolith.
It is quite acceptable to put a strip foundation in the form of a monolithic belt under the bath from the frame if the fertile soil layer is removed and replaced with poured sand.
Both a monolithic solution and a shallow structure, and a non-deepened base must be protected from the force of frost heaving. To do this, use:
- drainage means;
- side faces;
- insulation around the blind area;
- removal of heaving soils with their replacement with sand or crushed stone.
Shallow belts should not be used on different slopes: there they will not withstand significant shear forces. When building on dusty sand or embankment, an expansion plate is placed underneath. A correctly executed monolith always has a greater height than width. Moreover, the difference is 2-4 times; such a step will make the basement part of the structure optimal, it will be possible to form both overlapping beams and ground floors.
Walls and floor
They begin to work by placing special racks, which will be fixed by the upper harness. Other racks are added in between. They will make the bathhouse stronger and more stable. The box is covered with boards, they are attached to self-tapping screws. Having sequentially assembled the parts, they form the structure finally..
In frame buildings, windows and doors are mounted immediately, without waiting for the complete completion of the work.
In most frame baths, floors are created from logs and boards, but it will not be possible to accurately determine the appropriate size of these elements without complex calculations. But this is not necessary – private developers may well do with ready-made averaged values. In most cases, boards with a thickness of 30-40 mm and finishing logs based on a bar with a section of 100×150 mm are acceptable. The thickness of the board, expressed in millimeters, should approximately correspond to the gap between the lags, expressed in centimeters.
If thermal insulation is used, the gaps between the logs of the finishing flooring are corrected taking into account the created insulation layer.
As for the basic materials, all long-serving wood species are suitable for creating a floor in a frame bath. But poplar and other soft wood are unacceptable. Before purchase and use, you should carefully check the dryness and integrity of the material, the absence of cracks, splits and other problems. Ideally, all lumber should come from the same batch that has passed the chamber drying.
It is advisable to make the finishing flooring from an edged or grooved board, since it does not need to be additionally sanded, but the rough base can also be unedged.
An alternative to wooden structures is often a self-leveling floor. This solution has become more and more popular over the years, pushing aside also ceramic and stone surfaces.. The key advantages of a self-leveling floor can be considered:
- the integrity of the coating being created;
- high mechanical strength and excellent wear resistance;
- zero level of fire hazard;
- absence of dust and harmful emissions during operation;
- a significant variety of design options, including decoration with three-dimensional drawings;
- maintenance is much easier than for wooden structures.
But there are also objective weaknesses: for example, a self-leveling floor finally hardens only after a few days, when you can walk on a wooden floor right away. There is a high risk of scratches and dirt, and the cost of such a coating is very high. Any bath floors are recommended to be made with a slope towards the drain, this will prevent water and soapy foam from spreading in all directions. The self-leveling floor can be done horizontally (without a slope) or the mixture can be poured onto a base that already has a slope. The first option requires carefully sealing the intersections of the floor with the walls, and the second is more difficult to perform, but it directs all the liquid in the right direction at once.
The self-leveling floor cannot be simply “poured”: its substrate is prepared very carefully. Powerful concrete screeds should be laid on top of the tree, and with reinforcement. The sooner the mixture is poured, the better – it rapidly loses fluidity, and if this happens before the end of the work, all costs will be in vain. Most often, the floors are poured together..
For baths, it is recommended to use compounds based on polyurethane, they have proven themselves much better than epoxy or polymethyl acrylate.
When working with walls, in most cases, the front cladding is made on the basis of lining or chipboard. Waterproofing is provided with parchment placed under the outer skin. Only then is the insulation used, which should be ideally environmentally friendly and fire safe. The total thickness of the cake and its individual layers is determined by the climatic parameters of the territory and the peculiarities of using a frame bath.
A structure used year-round should have not only thicker walls, but also a special vapor barrier. The best solution for it is plastic film..
Painting the wall cladding, even in dressing rooms, is undesirable, because vapors of even the safest paints and varnishes can be harmful to health. When thinking over the structure of the walls, special attention is paid to how the ventilation ducts and electrical wires will pass through them. Since flammable materials are used for outdoor decoration, and there is often excess moisture in the air, it is worth giving preference to closed, thoroughly insulated cable ducts..
If the rooms will be finished with boards, their thickness should be about 30 mm. At a lower value, strength suffers, at a higher value, the structure becomes heavy.
The basic parts used in the construction of the roof of the frame bath are gradually laid and assembled directly on the site. The truss should stand on the prepared frame base. Placing the roof on a rough boarding helps to simplify the creation of the roof. The model cake always includes ventilation systems, so the gap from the rafters to the counterbeam is filled with a vapor barrier. The lathing must be attached to the timber.
Then the time comes to make gables from oriented slabs or high-quality boards. In most cases, you should confine yourself to the simplest single-pitched roof, which is performed quickly and without unnecessary difficulty. But if you choose a completely original design, not every specialist will be able to complete the work competently and within the allotted time..
What is very important, with the same area, gable solutions turn out to be 50-100% more expensive, and this difference is not justified even by their specific capabilities. With the correct calculation, a cover with one slope will last for many years and all this time will be extremely convenient to use..
Do-it-yourself flat roofs on baths are not recommended. The economy of such a choice is only apparent – the need for powerful artificial ventilation with natural weakness absorbs all the savings. According to qualified builders, a pitched roof should be located at a general slope of 20 to 30 degrees. If this condition is met, liquid and solid precipitates will spontaneously go down.
There are two ways to create a slope: deliberately making the walls unequal in height or by installing racks. In the second option, the material is spent less, but the heat will keep worse..
Experienced roofers know for sure that as roof slopes decrease, smoother facing materials have to be used. But at an angle of less than 10 degrees, even the best solutions do not allow you to get rid of the resulting puddles and snow drifts. Mauerlat is formed from a coniferous timber with a cross section of at least 15×15 cm. Outside it is covered with a layer of waterproofing (lubricated with mastic or wrapped in roofing material). The rafters are made exclusively from flat boards with a section of 5×15 cm, which are made of hard wood.
With such dimensions, an optimal margin of safety is achieved and it remains possible to fix insulation up to 15 cm thick, if necessary. For your information: the length of the rafters is calculated with redundancy for overhangs, which improve the protection of the walls from water. All ends of the rafter legs are equipped with cuts for Mauerlats, which are fastened with nails or metal strips. The lathing is attached to the legs of the rafters at right angles.
Under certain roofing materials that are prone to deformation, an unbreakable sheathing based on moisture-resistant plywood is necessarily created..
In other cases, lattices are placed from slats, their thickness varies from 2.5 to 3 cm. But in each specific case, of course, this thickness should be uniform throughout. It is advisable to overlap baths with pitched roofs with ondulin, corrugated board, metal or soft tiles. If there is a simple ceiling below, without an attic or attic, it is required to lay slab or roll insulation. Regardless of this, they use:
- hydrophobic film;
- fire retardant and antiseptic impregnations;
- fasteners of a special design;
- carefully selected and tested tools.
Single-pitched roofs should rest on rafters spaced at 0.5-0.8 m steps. The roofing material should be attached to the base using special screws, including synthetic rubber caps. These tops help block water seepage. If there are no specialized fasteners, you need to use simple self-tapping screws, supplementing them with external rubber gaskets. Then the gables are sewn up, the drain is equipped – on this the external work on the frame bath is completed.
No matter how reliable and durable the created “box” is, it will not work to be limited to it. It is imperative to protect these structures from negative external influences and at the same time make them more attractive.
Exterior wall decoration helps developers and designers express their tastes and aesthetic priorities. Often they try to sheathe them with siding, clapboard. Block house and plaster are inferior in popularity to these materials..
Before applying any cladding, you need to check the rough walls. They should not even have minor cracks, the sheathing joints should fit snugly against each other. With the help of vinyl siding, you can create a variety of visual paintings: an imitation of a simple wood, and a “brick” wall, and something high-tech in spirit. Plastic panels show themselves no less well, and if you need to increase the natural appearance of the bath to the limit, you should choose a block house.
In the case of choosing a lining, it must be kept for several days in order for acclimatization to take place.
Decorating a frame bath from the inside is no less important than from the outside. It is recommended to give preference to environmentally friendly materials, their increased cost is fully justified. The choice of design in interior decoration is now unlimited, you can use any style, not necessarily traditional Russian. Dressing rooms are trimmed with both deciduous and coniferous wood. But it is advisable to choose the color as calm and balanced as possible, given the purpose of the bath.
Wash compartments are covered with clapboard, soaked in advance with mixtures that block rotting. Some consumers use plastic panels and even polycarbonate sheets. There is no place for conifers in the steam room, with the exception of cedar. Among the deciduous varieties, linden is invariably in the first place, which does not burn when touched and does not fade after long use. In more budgetary projects, preference is given to aspen and alder.
You can decorate a brick sauna stove using tiles: this option is the simplest, cheapest and at the same time allows you to provide an attractive appearance. Tiles should not be hung on the masonry, they should rest on the base of the stove. It is worth abandoning simple plastering, it does not give decent results even in dry rooms. Quite good results are sometimes brought by the use of decorative stone..
If the stove is not laid out of bricks, but is supplied to order, it is worth choosing the solution that corresponds to the chosen style..
Even the strongest and most reliable materials will not last long if moisture stagnates inside. And the constant accumulation of musty air will not give anyone pleasure. All these problems are solved with the use of carefully thought-out ventilation. In most cases, the choice is made between supply and exhaust and natural systems. Self-circulation is ensured by placing an air inlet at a height of 0.5 m from the floor, and an air outlet at about the same distance below the ceiling.
It is absolutely unacceptable to place both holes equally low. This will lead to a “congestion” of the air – there will be cold near the floor, and unbearable heat on the canopy..
It is possible to equip the outlet at the bottom only when using forced ventilation or a large ventilation pipe. The inlet of cold air can be organized in the space behind the stove, and the outlet in the floor itself, if the basement is connected by ventilation with outside air or other premises. For baths built into the house, you must always use forced ventilation..
How to insulate?
It is unreasonable to blame high-quality and intensive air exchange for the lack of heat in the bath. Almost always, the real cause of the problem is weak and poor-quality insulation. In most cases, mineral wool slabs are used. Due to the large amount of air inside, they perfectly retain heat, and the high melting point allows you not to be afraid of fire. Often the frame wall is insulated with reed slabs, which are environmentally safe and do their job well..
The cheapness of foamed synthetic materials and their lightness, resistance to moisture make such protective coatings one of the best. But it is important to understand that not all materials in this series are equally perfect. In addition, any such insulation is allowed to be used only where strong heating is excluded..
Thermal protection must necessarily be covered from contact with water and water vapor. Wet insulation quickly deteriorate and lose their positive qualities.
The classic approach to the insulation of stoves and the surrounding space involves the use of asbestos to protect various materials. It can be applied in the form of slabs or canvases.. But given the danger of asbestos fibers for humans, it is advisable to use other finishing methods:
- basalt fiber;
- needle-punched mats.
Heat in a bath can escape not only through walls; most of its leaks occur through floors and ceilings. To create thermal protection inside them, expanded clay is sometimes used. In wall insulation, it is used less and less, because it is too heavy (500 kg per 1 m3) compared to generally available counterparts. In addition, expanded clay is significantly inferior in terms of heat retention to both foam and mineral wool, so the thickness of the insulating layer grows. And even if he slowly but steadily absorbs water, it turns out to be very difficult to dry the material..
Warming of frame buildings with sawdust has a rather long history. They are absolutely safe in environmental and sanitary terms, but putting such heat protection will not work quickly. Wood shavings are used not only for insulation, but also as bedding for animals, fertilizer and in many other cases. Therefore, suppliers no longer give it away for free, but prefer to receive money for such a demanded product. In a large city, sawdust is also sold in supermarkets, but there the price level is even higher than at sawmills.
Only hardwood shavings are suitable for work. The maximum permissible humidity is 20%, and it is better if it is even lower. Clean sawdust on construction sites has not been used for a long time, because they settle and form voids, a fungus may appear inside.
It is imperative to treat raw materials with boric acid or copper sulfate. The standard mixture also includes clay or cement (for finishing the ceiling), lime or gypsum.
The sawdust layer under the floor should be at least 200 mm, and in the northern regions of the Russian Federation this figure can be increased by another 50%. Bulk laying involves mixing wood processing waste with binding materials, then the composition is poured into molds made of wood, on which the floor is laid. The base is protected from dampness using kraft paper, polyethylene and similar materials. The composition is located uniformly over the entire area, it has to be tamped only in rare cases. The final readiness of the insulation is achieved in two days..
Examples of finished buildings
Beautiful frame baths can be made in a variety of designs. This is what a structure looks like with a not too steep roof pushed forward above the facade. A kind of platform is placed in front of the door, to which you need to climb a small staircase. The design concept is clearly built in the spirit of maximum naturalness of the building. Many corner baths, built using frame technology, are finished with siding..
With proper execution, it turns out to be extremely difficult to distinguish them from simple log buildings. The modern approach to saunas often involves the use of a minimalist style. A striking example is shown in the photo – there is only a canopy, a small ladder and clapboard walls and a rectangular window. You can build such a structure with your own hands, moreover, in the shortest possible time. It is easy and convenient to use any of the presented types of washing.
For information on how to build a frame bath, see the next video..