There’s nothing quite like having your own sauna at home. A place to relax, reinvigorate yourself, and mentally unwind, a sauna can be perfect at the start or the end of the day, or even both.

Not many people consider that it’s actually possible to install a sauna at home, whether it’s in a dedicated room in the house, or within a small detached building in classic Finnish style. With The Woodworker’s Shoppe, you can get some of the top tips for building a sauna at home, using our high-quality cedar paneling.

Get Your Wiring Sorted

Before thinking about installing cedar paneling, or even your insulation, you’ll need to make sure that you have your wiring in place. Lights and switches should be ready so that your paneling can be installed and any necessary cuts can be made. Consult a professional electrician when wiring for a sauna. They’ll be able to ensure that you get the best wiring types and wet-rated lighting fixtures for the unique conditions.

Make Sure that You’re Insulated and using a Vapor Barrier

Insulation is important in every room of your home but is particularly necessary for a sauna. Fiberglass bats make for good sauna insulation, thanks to their excellent resistance to moisture. In addition to insulating your walls, you should use a reflective vapor barrier sheet on all walls of the sauna. This will help to increase the overall energy efficiency of the room and will keep the heat in your sauna, where it is meant to be.

Choose Cedar Paneling for Excellent Stability in Humidity

The Woodworker’s ShoppeBecause your sauna will be warm and humid, you’ll need an appropriate solution for your walls and ceilings. Wooden walls are traditional in any sauna, and things just wouldn’t look right without them. Even if you are installing a sauna in a large bathroom using glass interior walls, you can use paneling on the feature corner walls to blend the traditional with your modern aesthetic.

We recommend cedar paneling over our interior pine paneling for use in a sauna, simply because cedar is more resilient to wear and moisture. Cedar is a premium material, and it will bring the best out of your upcoming home sauna project.

Use a Non-Permeable Floor

While it’s possible to use an inexpensive material like vinyl flooring, you will bring out the true beauty of your cedar paneling if you use high-quality non-permeable floorings, such as stone or ceramic tiling. Natural stone tiles will look great with your cedar walled sauna, but you could also go for ceramic tiles with decorative designs if you want to blend traditional and modern influences.

Alternatively, you could seal a bare concrete floor with high-quality epoxy flooring finish, and there are plenty of epoxies that use plastic chips to imitate the look of granite flooring.

Installing Your Paneling

Cedar PanelingAt The Woodworker’s Shoppe, you’ll be able to purchase cedar paneling that has been designed with an exclusive tongue and groove system. Unlike the majority of solutions on the market, we don’t just use tongue and groove along the lengths of our panels, but also on the ends. This reduces installation time and prevents excessive material waste.

Start from one corner of the sauna room, and secure the panels at each stud. Don’t worry if your panels go over a stud because the end matching ensures that you don’t need to cut ends to meet your stud pattern. Work from left to right, and back again, as you go up each wall. Remember to alternate any of your cut lengths to ensure that seams are spread throughout the wall. You’ll follow a similar process when installing on your ceiling joists, and most of our clients find that our tongue and groove system is the easiest that they’ve ever worked with.

For an example of just how easy it is, make sure you check out our demonstration video using knotty pine paneling. The process will be identical for your cedar paneling.

Natural Cedar Paneling Will Complete Your Sauna Aesthetic

With a little bit of planning and the right materials, you’ll be able to create the perfect sauna room, ready for your choice of bench seating and a gas, electric, or traditional wood burning sauna stove.