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What could be among the best ways to obtain extra miles with all the empty living space or room in your basement? Since there are many ideas to fill the empty space in your basement, one of these ideas is building a sauna in your basement.


Building A Sauna In Your Basement

Remember that while you may have a gym membership, having an in-home sauna is more sanitary in the cold weather months. Especially when the flu, along with colds, are going around. Moreover, on cold, wet days, it is much easier to remain indoors and make use of your sauna. Before you begin shelling out the funds to build a sauna here is a few things to keep in mind.

  • Survey Your Space
  • Flooring Choice
  • Ventilation
  • Insulation
  • Vapor barrier
  • Cedar Planks

Surveying Your Space, Flooring Choices, And Ventilation

It is always important to survey the space that you will be building the sauna and home gym in. Sketching your idea down on graphing paper and blocking out the area in the basement helps to give you an excellent visual of the space and what you want to build there. The basement may need to be reshuffled a bit to create a space that will be large enough for a sauna and home gym while leaving extra space for an entertainment and living area. Don’t forget to include the ceiling height so that you will have enough headroom for the equipment that you will be including in the space. 

Because the majority of unfinished basements have raw concrete slabs as the floor or have tile covering the concrete. It is important to install a floor that will have some give to it as well as support. Especially since having a heavyweight drop on a tile floor will crack it. The least expensive flooring option is a rubber floor that locks together and is commonly found in professional gyms. Since a rubber floor isn’t attractive, you will want to get something that is functional and looks great.  While it is a little more expensive, carpeting offers a nice bounce and support. No matter what type of flooring you choose, having the right flooring will keep you comfortable and will help muffle the noise.

Ventilation is an important factor in any gym. Especially for a gym in the basement, where it is less common to have windows. If the ceiling is high enough make sure that you install several ceiling fans to cover the space. If there isn’t enough headspace for ceiling fans, then several freestanding ones will work just as well. The fans will help move the air around and keep you cool during your workouts. They will also stop “gym stink” from developing in the space.

Building The Sauna

The size of your sauna will depend on the size of the space and the number of family members that will be most likely to use it. Keep that in mind when planning your budget. If money and budget aren’t a problem, then you can have a custom sauna built in a portion of the basement. When creating a custom sauna make sure that you talk with a professional to consider all of your options. Without missing any of the important steps.

Insulation, Vapor Barrier, And Cedar Planks

When building your sauna, it is important to make sure that the walls are adequately insulated. For interior walls and the ceiling  R11 insulation works well and R19 insulation for the exterior walls. Having proper insulation will keep the generated heat inside the sauna, which will save money and energy while it is working to maintain temperature.

Adding a vapor barrier over the insulation is important to have. This prevents the steam from making its way out of the sauna and into the walls where it can cause water damage. Reflective foil is a good choice to use for this. Since it serves as a vapor barrier and reflects the heat back into the sauna.

Cedar planks are used in saunas and on benches because it resists moisture, insects, and mold. Besides being soft to the touch, the cedar is also strong and resilient. When warm cedar releases a relaxing scent. If you are installing a custom sauna, consider using cedar as the material for it. While it’s not cheap cedar is the perfect wood to include in your sauna.

Sauna Kits

If you are on a limited budget or are working with a smaller space, then a sauna kit is a better choice to use. The kits come assembled and are ready to set into position as well as be hooked up to the requisite utilities. They come with varying amenities as well as coming in different styles and sizes. Just like with building a custom sauna it is important to speak with a professional before installing a sauna kit yourself. It is important to make sure that the available space will support the unit that you have chosen and that the water and electric lines are correctly positioned for installation.

Lotz Of Logic

Including a sauna and gym in the basement is excellent usage for a space that might not have anything else in it. People often include mirrors in their gyms as a way to make the area feel large. Like in any space in your home, with proper planning and preparation, space can be enjoyed by everyone for many years. People also install benches in their showers along with a steam feature and sometimes use it as a mini sauna. And if you are an empty nester than a sauna and home gym is a great idea.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on building a sauna, give me a call. My team and I have been serving Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Glenview, Northbrook, and all of Chicago area for 30+ years.

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