Bespoke sauna installation, Totteridge Common, Barnet: London

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27 Jan

Basement setting

The sauna is situated in the basement area of an attractive large property in Totteridge in The London Borough of Barnet and at its heart is the stunning Narvi Trio Electric Sauna Heater. It has a unique and convenient design and the Finnish Key-flag marked product combines cast stone with a steel base. For the best sauna steam (löyly) as much stone and as little metal as possible is important when it comes to heater design. The Trio cleverly uses the moulded stone mass around its top to ensure that the benefits of its already substantial stone capacity (40kg) are not lost. The shape of the Trio allows it to be located simply and easily into the corner of this particular sauna but it is equally well suited to being placed centrally if needed. Helpfully for our team of skilled installers, the required safety distance around the heater is only 50mm meaning it can be placed in small and tricky spaces with minimal distances to the wall.

Maintaining the space

We completed this beautiful bespoke sauna installation a few years ago and returned recently to service the space. Impressively, the regularly used sauna doesn’t look much different from the day we completed it. That is partly due to discerning clients who have looked after it wonderfully with regular cleaning and the use of towels on the benches and it’s also true that the high-grade materials we’ve used, including thermally modified aspen sauna timber, have helped boost its longevity. Its durability class – like most thermowoods – gives it an impressive lifespan of up to 25 years if looked after properly making it particularly suitable for use in saunas. It becomes darker in colour and takes on an attractive rich brown appearance along with a unique toasted scent in a sauna. We offer a number of sauna service packages which all help to keep your bespoke Finnish sauna in great condition, please do be in touch with us to discuss the options further.

Ensuring Longevity

The layout within the sauna takes on a classic L-shaped design and a recess in the ceiling is highlighted with the clever use of spotlights. For the floor, we used sauna duckboard on top of robust porcelain tiles. It offers good grip, warmth compared to tiles and it can be removed easily when cleaning out the sauna. To guarantee extensive durability and longevity we used Kingspan SPU Sauna Satu’s foil-backed insulation board to insulate and vapour seal the entire structure. It ensures no long-term degradation or thermal bridging occurs and it is kept separate from the cladding with thermally stable high durability battening boards which ensure no moisture from the vapour barrier affects it.

Ventilation System

A properly functioning ventilation system is an absolutely crucial addition to any authentic Finnish sauna. It’s a key Finnish sauna design principle and the basement setting here certainly brought us some challenges. It’s hugely important that there’s a constant source of fresh air being drawn into a sauna to ensure that the hot air is well circulated and stagnant air is removed. We used a number of heat and moisture resistant extractor fans in this instance to create air movements. Not using enough fans would mean there wouldn’t have been enough power to overcome the friction in the air and the required air distance travel in the extractor system. When specifying ventilation requirements before building a Finnish sauna it’s something crucial to bear in mind. The purpose of the ventilation system is also to create a convection current that will heat the room evenly and therefore reduce temperature stratification.

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