Aspen Sauna Wood
Is Aspen a good choice of wood for my home sauna build?
Aspen (Populus Tremula) is a tree in the Poplar family which grows well in the boreal region across northern europe. It can be processed into timber that has desirable properties for use in sauna construction. Mature Aspen trees can grow to 25m tall and produce a lot of straight grain growth. This produces an abundance of straight grain, knot free wood meaning you can get grade A timber for a relatively low cost.
Is Aspen a good choice of wood for sauna cladding?
Aspen has great aesthetic properties for creating light, airy modern feeling saunas. It has a pale creamy white colour which helps reflect a lot of light making aspen an ideal choice for converting those dark spaces in your home into a sauna. It has beautiful grain patterns that vary in colour and straightness which subtly enhance the look of your sauna wood.
Aspen readily absorbs treatments, making it an ideal candidate for stain or wax to change the colour for a bolder aesthetic. Finnmark Sauna recommends Teknos Satu Sauna Wax or Tikurilla Supi Sauna Wax which are both available in hundreds of shades.
Aspen has a subtle and pleasant fresh “green” timber aroma. It is important to consider the aroma of the sauna wood species you choose as the high temperatures make the wood even more aromatic whilst you use your sauna. A pleasant smell helps add to your sauna experience.
Is Aspen a good choice of wood for my sauna bench boards?
Aspen can look dirty easily due to its pale colour. Finnmark Sauna recommends using it for indoor saunas where the risk of walking in dirt on the soles of your feet is much lower. Products such as clear supi sauna wax or paraffin oil (white mineral oil) can be used to seal the timber to help reduce staining and make it easier to clean. The use of seat covers are also recommended to help keep your aspen sauna benches clean whilst providing the added benefit of additional insulation from the hot bench boards for even more comfort whilst bathing.
Aspen has quite a low density which limits how much heat energy it stores. This makes for an excellent choice on sauna benches as they won’t feel too hot to sit on when your sauna is hot. For comparison, Aspen has a density of 420kg/m3 whereas Spruce and Pine tend to be 450kg/m3 or greater.
Aspen is a good choice for the following applications in a sauna:
- Sauna Cladding
- Sauna Bench Boards
- Sauna Corner Mouldings and Edge Trims
- Sauna Headrests
- Wooden Sauna Accessories, including sauna buckets and sauna ladles.
- Sauna Vent Covers
Sauna Timber Grading: Finnmark sources only Grade A in the Nordic Timber Grading Standards which means less wastage and a finer finish.
Sauna Wood Provenance: Our Aspen is sustainably sourced from forests in the Baltic Countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as southern Finland we do not source from the Far East, Russia or Belarus.
Recommended wastage allowance: Aspen is relatively knot free and boasts generally few imperfections, as well as being a fairly strong and resilient timber. This means it should only need a wastage allowance of 15% when ordering wood cladding and bench boards for your sauna installation. We also recommend ordering a size larger than required so that you can trim either end with a chopsaw to get a fresh clean edge and reduce the chance of transit end damage propagating into splits
Aspen sauna wood is available in the following types of sauna construction timber profile and sizes:
STP Profile Tongue and Groove Cladding: 15mm thick by 90mm, 125mm, 140mm and sometimes 160mm wide.
STS4 Profile Tongue and Groove Cladding: 15mm thick by 90mm, 120mm, 140mm and sometimes 160mm wide.
STV Profile Tongue and Groove Cladding: Finnmark can source STV Aspen though this is made to order.
STEP Profile Tongue and Groove Cladding: 27mmx64mm
Kallio Profile Tongue and Groove Cladding: 15mm thick by 90mm, 120mm and 140mm wide.
SHP Bench Boards: Typically 28mm thick by 90mm, 120mm, 140mm and sometimes 160mm wide.
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