Bespoke sauna installation: Worsley, Greater Manchester
Nov 13, 2020
Finding a solution
Fairly compact in its design, this beautiful bespoke indoor sauna is an example of one of our smaller installations where we've managed to find a simple yet high-quality, authentic and tasteful solution to satisfy our clients’ needs. It’s also a great example of how we are able to work with and remarkably improve upon existing sauna spaces. Our intention was to create a sauna that could effortlessly fit into the original structural layout and it had to be able to utilise all of the limited space available to create a fit-for-purpose structure that fulfilled the brief. The end result is a truly stylish and luxury sauna which combines functionality and striking aesthetics.
This particular client had recently retired and had previously regularly travelled the world for work. Being familiar with the authentic Finnish sauna experience, he naturally wanted to replicate it on his return home back to England. He’d recently bought a fabulous house with an existing swimming pool, steam room and sauna and had used the sauna before it, unfortunately, suffered damage in a fire.
Authenticity and sticking to Finnish building regulations
As with all of our installations, regardless of size, we stuck rigidly to Finnish building regulation standards regarding sauna construction. For example, we properly vapour sealed the space and made sure there’s the correct amount of fresh air ventilation in the sauna. Air quality is crucial to a good sauna because a constant source of fresh cold air ensures the hot air is well circulated and it removes used air before it becomes too stagnant. It also helps to ensure that any volatile or organic compounds entering the sauna air are dispelled swiftly. Without ventilation, the sauna air quickly becomes stale and potentially unhygienic and the sauna structure itself can quickly deteriorate to become mouldy as excess humidity is unable to escape. We used the same product chosen to vapour seal saunas across Finland and designed specifically for the job; Kingspan Sauna Satu polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation board. This foil-backed insulation board works as both an insulator and vapour seal and will not break-down over time. It also crucially prevents thermal bridging from occurring by securing onto the studs as opposed to in-between them.
Designing the space
Part of our task was to ensure the new sauna matched up seamlessly with the existing surroundings so we also installed a matching glass door to the one that already existed in the steam room. After carefully removing the old sauna we proceeded with a classic and effective upper and lower bench set up. Sitting on the upper bench places the bather at the optimum height to be able to enjoy the rising heat and steam generated by the heater. It also gives a sense of privacy and cosines, whilst the glass door helps to allow natural light to enter the sauna.
For the interior, we settled on aspen which is a striking traditional wood noted for being both durable and sustainable. Due to its even structure and gorgeous colour, it also produces beautiful results in a sauna and its soft light tone also helps to give an airy feel within this particular space which doesn’t have any windows.
The aspen was treated with sauna wax to protect against both humidity and dirt whilst also allowing the wood’s natural hue to come through. All of the sauna timber used in our constructions is finely milled to a grade A standard – meaning it is of the highest quality recognised by the Nordic Timber grading system. We only work with FSC-approved timber that has been responsibly and sustainably sourced.
The Kiuas in the sauna is a quality, Finnish made, digitally controlled white Narvi NC domestic electric 9 KW which is wall-mounted to make maximum use of the space. Finnish key flag company Narvi make heaters that have an unrivalled stone capacity which ensures a perfect and very soft heat. Their heaters are also highly energy-efficient and produce very low-emissions. We’ve since had reports that the family regularly enjoy the sauna and are surprised by how much better it is compared to the one that was in the space before. Positively for us, another very appreciative family who are able to enjoy all of the health benefits associated with a regular authentic Finnish sauna routine for many years to come.