Sauna Construction Plans for Indoor Units

If you are in the process of mapping out your sauna construction plans there are some key points to be considered. At a minimum, all indoor rooms will have these basic needs:

Location of the Sauna

  • You’ll need to determine first if you have enough space available for constructing a sauna. If the bathroom is not large enough plan on utilizing a spare room, walk-in closet, the basement or the recreation room. The sauna will need to be easily accessible to a shower or other method of cooling down.
  • Don’t plan on constructing your sauna in such an unhandy location (such as the garage) that you stop using it regularly.
  • The floor must be constructed of either concrete or tile.
  • Most sauna construction plans specify a square-shaped room and should not be of any unusual design that does not allow the heat to reach all corners.
  • Also, the ceiling needs to be between 6 1/2’ and 7’ tall in order for the heater to work properly so keep that in mind when choosing the location.

Size of the Sauna and Heater

The next item to consider while writing out sauna construction plans is the size of the room. Most homeowners like a sauna at least 6’ long in order to stretch out on the bench, which will mean ordering a kit that can fit 3 to 4 persons. The size of the sauna heater that you order will depend on the room size. Heaters range between 2 kw and 15 kw but are easy enough to order once you know the measurements of the sauna. Check the manufacturer’s specs or contractor’s construction plans which will tell you exactly the size and model you need.

Type of Sauna Heater

Some homeowners will have the advantage of being able to install a gas sauna stove, if they already use gas to heat their homes. Otherwise, electric stoves are the best choice when drawing up your construction plans, unless you choose to go with an infrared heater. Wood-fired stoves are only for outdoor sauna cabins.


Venting the room for air circulation is a primary concern in your sauna construction plans. Most designers like the exhaust vent to be about 14” to 24” higher than the intake vent. Ideally, the intake vent will be at floor level on the heater wall while the outtake vent will be located on the opposite wall. (Tip: if you can plan for a 1-2” gap between the door and the floor, this can serve as an intake vent.)

Insulation, Framing and Wiring

Insulation, framing and wiring will need to be done by a professional in you plan on constructing a pre-cut sauna which will arrive unassembled and consist of tongue and groove panels made of cedar or hemlock fir. Along with custom saunas, these are the most work-intensive saunas to construct.

You can do the framing and insulation yourself using regular fiber-glass insulation and an aluminum foil vapor barrier, but plan on hiring a licensed electrician to do the wiring for the hookup of controls, heater and the lights.

Your best bet it to buy a pre-fab or pre-built unit to complete your sauna construction plans. These home sauna kits come with everything you need and don’t require any carpentry skills; just assemble the walls and ceiling panels and install the benches and the pre-hung door in a step-by-step process.

In just a few hours, you’ll be ready to fire up the heater in your new home sauna.

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