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Heavenly Saunas
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The Heavenly Pre-Built Sauna

Heavenly Saunas' Pre-Built Sauna is completely freestanding. With cedar interior and a choice of either cedar or economical luan panelling exterior, these saunas are also available with an amazing variety of door and window options. Redwood is available in place of cedar at slightly higher prices, subject to availability.

Every Pre-Built Sauna is preassembled on the factory floor to test the fit of each component. Every part is then labeled upon disassembly, to assure the easiest and quickest installation at your site.

Heavenly Saunas' Pre-Built Saunas are easy to assemble. You simply stand the premanufactured wall panels together on the provided floor frame, connect them together, then set the ceiling panels in place. You then install the premade benches and duckboard floor, have your elecrician connect the power, and you're ready to sauna! Since the Pre-Built Sauna is just as easy to disassemble, you can even take it with you when you move.

The Heavenly Pre-Cut Sauna

Heavenly Saunas' Pre-Cut Sauna Kit is designed for someone who already has an existing space, such as a small room or large closet, that they'd like to turn into a sauna. It is also ideal for do-it-yourself customers who would like to do more of the assembly themselves.

We supply everything that you need to line the inside of the room with cedar or redwood, as well as a pre-hung door, premade benches and duckboard floor.

You are required to provide the structural framing, insulation, vapor barrier and exterior panelling, which are all easily available at your local building supplier.

All Pre-Cut Sauna Kits are available with the same wide variety of door and window options as our Pre-Built models.

Sauna Bathing or Steam Bathing?

Finns who immigrated to the United States centuries ago brought with them a unique bathing custom which is now only beginning to become popular here. Often confused with a steam bath, a true sauna bath is very different, even though both types of baths offer the same therapeutic benefits.

The temperatures in a traditional sauna can actually approach 200 degrees Fahrenheit! The extremely low humidity present in the sauna makes these temperatures tolerable. Properly designed, the sauna's relative humidity rarely exceeds 5% when operated in the "dry" mode. This permits the copious amount of perspiration produced by the body to dry quickly thus having a cooling effect.

All saunas have a radiant air heater which has a container of volcanic stones. These stones retain and radiate heat more consistently, which is why the Tylo electric sauna heaters have such a deep stone compartment. The stones can also be sprinkled with water to produce the "wet" sauna. This creates bursts of steam (called loyly by the Finns) which disappear quickly into the porous soft wood of the sauna. Humidity then climbs from a few percent to 20-30%. This instantly intensifies the sauna's heat as if the temperature had increased drastically (although it may even have dropped slightly).

By contrast, a steam bath makes use of a steam generator. This device heats water directly, not air. The steam room enclosure fills completely with condensed vapor. Clouds of "steam" envelope the bather. The humidity exceeds 100% and the temperatures are much lower than those of the sauna. Because of their very different modes of operation, the choice of construction materials is critical. A totally non-porous material such as tile or acrylic is the choice for a steamroom which must also be made steamtight.

Previously, a homeowner desiring a steam room needed to frame and tile an enclosure and then fit it with steamtight doors. While this resulted in a beautiful installation, both the labor and materials made this method quite costly. Now, modern plastic technology has made the easy to install enclosure available. It has drastically reduced the cost of installing a steamroom in your bathroom or excercise room. The Tylo Steamroom enclosures are easier to install and more efficient than their framed counterparts by virtue of their design.

Although the steamroom enclosure must be non-porous and relatively steamtight, the opposite is true of a sauna room. A sauna must be constructed of porous materials (meaning some type of wood), and it often actually employs air circulation through intake and outlet vents. Many varieties of wood are acceptable for sauna construction, but care must be taken when selecting the type and grade.

Whether it's dry heat or clouds of steam, the choice is yours and it is only a matter of taste and lifestyle.

The "wet" sauna vs. the "dry" sauna

People often confuse a "wet sauna" with a steamroom, although the two are very different. All saunas have a radiant air heater with volcanic stones. In the "dry" mode, the sauna is operated in the absence of moisture.

Temperatures in a dry sauna may approach 200 degrees Fahrenheit! But, because the humidity is only a few percent, and the bather's perspiration evaporates quickly, these high temperatures are tolerable.

To create a "wet sauna", a small amount of water is poured onto the heater's volcanic stones, creating burst of vapor which disappear quickly into the sauna's walls. Although the temperature inside the sauna may even drop slightly, the humidity climbs to 20 or 30 percent, and the effect of the heat intensifies drastically.

The traditional Scandinavian practice is to begin with a dry sauna followed by a period of rest outside the sauna. The bather then reenters the sauna, this time with a ladle and a wooden bucket filled with water. A "wet sauna" is then taken followed by another period of rest. Showers are taken before and after the bath.

What are the therapeutic benefits of sauna and steam baths?

Both sauna baths and steam baths stimulate circulation and respiration, reduce muscular tension and cleanse and rejuvinate the skin and body through perspiration.

We have heard that a heavy cigarette smoker can actually leave a brown stain on a white towel as they perspire toxins from their body in a sauna.

The benefits of sauna and steam bathing have been known to almost all of human civilization for eons.

Why only Clear, Grade A Select Western Red Cedar?

The wood inside a sauna must be a soft wood so that it remains cool during the sauna bath, and it must also be free of knots. We use only clear wood throughout our saunas because the knots are harder than the surrounding wood. They can become very hot and can burn the bather. They can even shrink and fall out.

All clear wood comprises our entire sauna. Many other sauna manufacturers use this grade only in their benches. Despite this, our sauna prices are quite competitive even with those made of much lesser materials.

We have always made, and will only ever make our saunas from wood that is totally clear of knots. This is the most expensive grade that you can purchase. Some of our competitors have been supplying knotty Cedar (even though their literature still says "clear"), but you will never find a knot anywhere in one of our saunas.

The species of wood that we use is far better than just spruce or hemlock. It's the best wood that can be used for saunas - Western Red Cedar. This species offers a beauty not found in most other woods. More important, even though it is a soft wood, it has natural decay resistant properties making it more durable than most hardwoods.

There was a time when all of our saunas were made of Redwood, and Cedar seemed like a second choice. Redwood and Cedar are very similar species, and in many cases, the visible differences are indistinguishable.

Both Redwood and Cedar have a high natural content of tannins and phenols, substances which impart to the wood its natural resistance to decay, and Redwood, on average, has a higher content of these, so it is perceived as being slightly more resistant to decay. With respect to saunas, ironically, Redwood's higher content of these substances will cause it to blacken when exposed to the body oils and sweat of the bather.

Interestingly enough, if you look at the product range from any of the Scandinavian sauna companies, you'll see that their very best top-of-the-line saunas are made from "imported" Western Red Cedar. Even the Finns and Swedes know it's the best wood for a sauna. We're just lucky enough to have it growsing right here in North America!

What type of venting does a sauna require?

For generations, one basic tenet of proper sauna design has been to include some type of ventilation in the sauna. The standard European sauna spec, which even predates the electric sauna heater, calls for an inlet vent under the stove and an outlet vent either in the ceiling or the top of the wall, as far from the inlet vent as possible.

An added requirement specifies that the inlet vent and outlet vent open into the same room or space, and this part of the specification has been particularly important in homes with forced air domestic heating and cooling. It's definitely also ill advised to draw your fresh air from or exhaust your sauna air to the outdoors, if the sauna is inside the house.

This is because venting occurs only from convection, as the air in the sauna is heated and rises. There is no fan involved, and the flow of air is very, very small - on the order of only a few cubic feet per minute. If the air pressure outside the sauna is different between the inlet and outlet vents, it could interfere with the proper flow of air.

Although one would think that the reason for ventilation is to provide fresh air in the sauna, we in the U.S. learned decades ago that the real reason is to draw air around the heater and move the heat to the farthest part of the sauna. As a consequence, according to the age old spec, venting matters much less for very small saunas (less than 5 x 5), where the heater could hardly have a problem reaching every corner of the sauna with its heat.

In such cases, the space under the bottom of the door can double as an inlet vent, providing air for the heater, and the outlet for the air, if any, is pretty much provided by the unavoidable space around the rest of the door higher up.

Part of the standard sauna venting specification states that the inlet vent must remain unobstructed, whereas the outlet vent can be louvered, allowing for it to be closed completely. Thus, it is not a contradiction of the standard specification to build a small sauna completely absent of any outlet vent.

To be sure, in almost two decades of selling saunas, we have plenty of anecdotal evidence that proper venting can improve heat circulation and consistency. However, there are those quite well respected in the industry that would argue that, especially in a small sauna, no venting whatsoever is required, even an inlet vent.

At least for small saunas, we're inclined to agree with this, despite the fact that it flies in the face of traditional sauna design. We're not certain, however, that we'd agree with those that would say that, regardless of the size of the sauna, the only reason that you ever need a vent is when you have a large commercial sauna being used by perhaps hundreds of smelly people each day. We're more inclined to think that larger saunas can benefit from proper venting even in residential situations.

Aside from vent placement, the next question most commonly asked by people building their own saunas is "how big do I make the vent"? The traditional specification is quite vague about this, and from our experience, it seems that this is the most forgiving part of the spec.

Tylo, the Swedish maker of the sauna heaters we have sold for almost the last 20 years, states that a vent area of about 15 in2 is suitable for a small residential sauna, but that larger commercial saunas should have about 45 in2. Our standard vent size, which has always been suitable, regardless of sauna size, is a hole measuring 3.5" by 7", which equals 24.5 in2.

When it comes to proper sauna design, there is no shortage of opinions, and this fact could be no truer than with respect to venting. The bottom line is that there is mostly a consensus in the industry that fresh air be supplied to the sauna heater, either through a vent near the heater, or with the heater installed right next to the door, and by placing a louver in the outlet vent, you can have complete flexibility in adjusting the flow of air through the sauna.

If you purchase one of our Prebuilt saunas, it will have an inlet vent right under the sauna heater and an outlet vent, either in the ceiling or high up on a wall, as far from the heater as is feasible. Normally, we place the vent in the ceiling, but if you would rather have it in the top of a wall, you only need let us know.

If you purchase a Precut sauna kit, we'll supply you with all the necessary trim, and you can decide how you'd like to do it. Precut sauna kits include three vent grilles (one each for the exterior of both vents and one for the interior of the inlet vent), as well as a sliding adjustable cover for the inside of the outlet vent.

How easy are they to install?

All Heavenly Pre-Built Saunas are free-standing which can save hundreds of dollars by greatly simplifying installation. There is no need to do any support framing whatsoever. Our saunas can easily be set up in the corner of a larger room.

No special tools or skills are required, and our instructions are written with the do-it-yourself customer in mind. All components are precut, predrilled and pre-assembled. Complete assembly of a Pre-Built Sauna takes only a few hours.

Click Here to access the assembly manual for our Prebuilt Saunas (PDF Format - 615 Kb)

More effort is obviously required for the installation of one of our Pre-Cut saunas, but the benches and floor are still preassembled, the door still prehung, and all of the pieces are precut to your exact custom specifications.

Click Here to access the assembly manual for our Precut Sauna Kits (PDF Format - 689 Kb)

How much do they cost to operate?

Unlike a pool, spa or hot tub, a sauna is only heated when it's in use. This means that you are using electricity only for an hour or two per day at most.

Even in areas where electric rates are rather high, regular use of a sauna will add only pennies per day to your utility bill.

What type of Sauna Heater do I need?

Since we offer the best sauna, we have decided to use the best heater available - Tylo of Sweden. This heater has patented double side vents and a multi-stage thermostat which improve its performance and efficiency.

Stainless steel and aluminum construction offer improved durability, and Tylo adds their "Thermosafe" coating to the outside of every heater which eliminates the need to build a space wasting guard around the heater.

Three styles of electric sauna heaters are offered, and all the incorporate the features mentioned above. The only difference between the heaters is the location of the controls.

The Sport model has its controls at the bottom of the heater and the controls on the SuperSport model are located more conveniently on the front near the top of the heater. The Deluxe model sauna heaters have a completely separate control panel intended for mounting on the outside wall of the sauna. The Deluxe model heaters are most common for large or commercially installed saunas, and a locking cover is also available for the control panel.

The fourth sauna heater style is the wood fired heater. It is excellent for outdoor installations where electric power is not readily available. Two sizes are available, the largest with a built-in water tank.
Click Here to read more about our Tylo sauna heaters.

How much do the saunas cost?

Because only the very best material goes into making one of our saunas as compared to one of our competitor's, and because Redwood and Cedar are generally more expensive than Pine, Spruce or Hemlock, you would expect to pay a high premium to purchase a Heavenly Sauna.

In fact, our prices are quite competitive when compared to saunas offered by other manufacturers. For essentially a much better sauna, you still pay about the same price. Because of the premium paid for clear, all-heart Redwood (subject to availability) and Cedar, and thanks to our purchasing power as a manufacturer, you pay about the same as it would cost you to purchase equivalent materials uncut.

Click here for Sauna Prices and to
Design Your Own Sauna

What Accessories are available?

Every Sauna should have at least a thermometer for measuring the temperature in the sauna and a wooden bucket with ladle for carrying water into the sauna. These two accessories, as well as a headrest, are included for no additional charge with every Heavenly Pre-Built and Pre-Cut Sauna

The Bucket and Ladle are used to sprinkle small amounts of water on the volcanic stones in the top of the heater in order to create a "wet sauna".

Dozens of other accessories are available, although we haven't had the chance to add pictures of these, or their pricing, to our web site yet. These include a Sauna Hygrometer and an Hourglass Sand Timer.

The Hygrometer is installed next to the Thermometer and measures the amount of humidity in the sauna. In medium and larger sized saunas with longer benches, sauna bathing is often done in the prone position. The Sauna Headrest, made from the same Redwood or Western Red Cedar as the sauna is used for this purpose.

The Hourglass Sand Timer is a traditional way of timing your stay in the sauna. It is both aesthetic and convenient. If you're interested in any type of sauna accessory, please don't assume that we don't have, just because you don't see it here.

Five Year Warranty

Heavenly Saunas are sold with a limited residential five year warranty, a copy of which is available upon request.

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Heavenly Saunas