Bespoke sauna installation, Brookway, Blackheath: South East London
This authentic Finnish sauna is the kind of simple, classic set up that’s found in many homes across the Nordic country. There’s a washroom immediately outside with a cosy changing room area and the saunas layout makes the very most of the available dimensions. A spacious upper bench can seat up to three bathers and there’s further space below on the lower bench. Discrete under-bench skirting hides the upper bench frame and finishes the look of the room superbly. The upper and lower benches have been specified at 1200mm and 750mm respectively. It is the perfect height in order to enjoy the löyly at the top of the sauna or to rest lower down in less intense heat.
Natural light and accessibility
A single window allows for a great amount of natural light to envelop the sauna and a footrest and foot rail are at the perfect height and angle to ensure the users feet can stay nice and warm. A grab rail provides good accessibility for our clients, one of whom is from Finland and both of whom are coming up to retirement age. The wood chosen for this one is thermo aspen which is sustainable and a hugely popular choice because of its particularly stunning colour and durability. The thermo timber is created in Finland using heat-treatment. Throughout the process, steam helps to prevent the wood from splitting and becoming damaged.
The sturdy Narvi Trio 9kW electric sauna heater was specified to heat the 10m3 room. The unique heater combines cast stone with a steel base in order to provide a great amount of steam. It uses the moulded stone mass around its top to ensure that the benefits of the heaters already large stone capacity (40kg) are not lost by having a metallic casing. The stone mass acts like extra sauna stones to further transfer heat and steam when water is added. The Trio also benefits from having exceedingly small safety distance requirements from combustible materials and its refined aesthetic means it is equally well located and handsome when it takes pride of place as the centrepiece of any sauna.
Air circulation and lighting
Good air circulation is crucially important when trying to achieve the best Finnish sauna experience. Without fresh oxygenated air, a sauna can be stifling and some users can report feeling nauseous. In this particular design, the intake vent is located low down, behind the heater and a small gap under the door also draws in the fresh air. Hot air rises from the heater and establishes a convection current. This continuously draws in the fresh air and expels stale air from the sauna. A dump vent located near the ceiling is used to release hot humid air if the sauna becomes uncomfortable. The same vent also works to dry the room out after a sauna session. We only use lighting products that have been designed specifically for the demanding environment of a hot, humid Finnish sauna. For this sauna design, Ledify LED sauna lighting was specified for use behind the backrest and the bench lips. They are specifically designed to be highly water-resistant and come in 3000K warm white for a natural glow.