Wood burning sauna: How to build your own sauna?

Whether it's an outdoor sauna or an indoor sauna, having your sauna is a great way to relax and enjoy some time for yourself. But where do you start? If you're handy with tools and have some basic carpentry skills, you can build your own wood-burning sauna. Wood-burning saunas are cheaper yet give you an authentic sauna experience. In this article, we'll show you how to build a wood-burning sauna so you can enjoy all the benefits of owning your sauna.

What are wood-burning saunas?

As the name suggests, wood-burning saunas are saunas that use wood to generate heat.

Wood-burning saunas are a type of traditional Finnish sauna and are considered the purest form of sauna.

These saunas use wood-burning sauna stoves to heat the rocks in the sauna, which then emit heat and steam.

The wood-burning sauna stove not only provides heat but also gives the sauna a distinct smell that many people enjoy.

There is a stove pipe that goes from the wood-burning sauna stove to the chimney. It takes out the smoke that comes out of the fire-wood.

However, they take a bit longer to heat the sauna room, unlike an electric sauna stove or infrared heaters. Also, a wood-burning stove needs more maintenance than other types of sauna stoves.

Other than that, wood-burning saunas offer many benefits that make them worth the extra effort. These saunas are very famous in North American sauna society.

How to clean the sauna stove?

The sauna heater or the sauna stove is the most important part of the sauna. It needs to be cleaned regularly to function properly and last longer.

This is because the smoke that comes out of burning wood makes the sauna stove dirty. If the sauna stove is not cleaned, it will become less effective at heating the sauna room and also start to rust.

Here are some tips on how to clean your wood-burning sauna stove:

1. Use a wire brush to scrub

2. Use a mild soap and water solution

3. Use a vinegar and water solution

4. Use a baking soda and water solution

5. Rinse with clean water after cleaning

6. Dry the sauna stove completely before using it again

7. Repeat this process every few months or as needed

If you have a single-wall stove pipe, it’s important to clean that as well. This will prevent any soot or creosote build-up, which can be a fire hazard.

How to build your wood-burning sauna?

So not that we know a few things about wood-burning saunas, let’s get down to business and build one!

Here’s how you build it:

1. Decide what type of sauna you want

Decide whether you want a backyard sauna or an indoor sauna in a spare room. If you want an indoor sauna, then you need to find a spot in your house that’s large enough to accommodate the sauna. Indoor saunas are easy to maintain because you don’t have to worry about the weather.

2. Choose the right location

Once you’ve decided on the type of sauna, choose the location carefully. The location should be close to a water source so you can easily fill up the buckets needed to pour water over the hot rocks. It should also be in an area that’s not too windy and has good drainage.

3. Gather the materials

You can either build it from scratch or get a sauna kit. Sauna kits are easier to build but they’re also more expensive. However, you will get all the materials in one place so it will be easier for you to get started. You will also get an instruction manual that will make the process much easier.

If you’re building it from scratch, then you’ll need to gather all the materials yourself. This includes lumber, insulation, sauna doors, windows, and vents. You will also need a sauna stove, rocks, and buckets.

4. Start building

Once you have all the materials, it’s time to start building! If you’re using a sauna kit, then follow the instructions that come with it.

If you’re building it from scratch, then you’ll have to build the bottom frame first. Then, add the walls and ceiling. Insulate the sauna well to make sure it retains heat. After that, install the sauna doors and windows.

5. Install the sauna stove

You have to be very careful when installing the sauna stove. Make sure it’s installed properly and that there is enough ventilation. The last thing you want is for your sauna to start smoking because of poor ventilation.

Once the sauna stove is installed, add the rocks. These rocks will retain heat and make the sauna even hotter.

6. Install the sauna accessories

Now it’s time to install the sauna accessories. This includes the benches, lights, and anything else that you want in your sauna. Depending on your preference, you can add or remove any of these accessories.

7. Test out the sauna

Once you’ve installed everything, it’s time to test out the sauna. Make sure the temperature is set correctly and that the sauna is working properly.

If everything is working fine, then congratulations! You’ve just built your own wood-burning sauna. In case something’s not working right, then you can always troubleshoot and fix it.

How to maintain your own saunas?

As we mentioned earlier, wood-burning saunas need to be maintained regularly. This includes regularly cleaning the sauna and the stove pipe. You should also check the sauna for any damage and make sure that it’s working properly.

Unlike gas saunas that use propane tanks or electric saunas that use heating coils, wood-burning saunas need to be heated with wood. And wood creates carbon and smoke. So, you must clean the sauna regularly to prevent any buildup of soot or creosote.

Cleaning the sauna is not a difficult task. You can use a soft brush to scrub the walls and ceiling. For the floor, you can use a stiff brush. Make sure you’re using the right cleaning products to avoid damaging the sauna.

After you’ve cleaned the sauna, it’s time to check the stove pipe. This is important because the stove pipe is what vents the smoke out of the sauna. If it’s blocked, then the smoke will start to build up inside the sauna, and that’s not good.

To check the stove pipe, light a fire in the sauna and see if the smoke is being vented out properly. If it’s not, then you will need to clean the stove pipe.

That’s it! These are the things you need to do to maintain your wood-burning sauna. If you do these things regularly, then your sauna will last for many years.


A wood-burning sauna is a great addition to any home. It’s a great place to relax and unwind after a long day. And it’s also a great way to socialize with friends and family. If you’re thinking about installing a sauna in your home, then we hope this article has helped you. Thanks for reading!