Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Finnish Sauna and an infrared sauna?

The Finnish sauna utilises heat stored in stones to warm the whole space up to 100 degrees and has some steam. An infrared sauna uses the waves to directly heat up your body tissue (not the room) up to around 60 degrees, with no steam. A Turkish sauna or steam room is much wetter and heated to around 40-50 degrees. We find heating our sauna to a temperature of between 60-80 degrees is a comfortable range.

Can I build the sauna myself?

Two competent people can put the unit together on solid/even ground over the period of a couple of days. We can provide all the screws, nails, oil, driver bits and tool list with your purchase.  However you must use a registered electrician to wire the sauna in. However, we recommend that we build the sauna, follow this link.

Do I need planning consent?

In most cases no, the sauna is a free standing unit, with no fixed foundations and is less than 10m2. However please check with your local planning authority and ensure you follow the relevant rules.

What is Thermowood?

Heat and steam treated Nordic Spruce. Wood that has been heated up in a kiln to 210 degrees to remove moisture and sap. This ensures your sauna will be around for other generations to enjoy. Our timber has superior insulation qualities when compared with pine and cedar.

Are saunas safe for everyone?

Although studies suggest sauna can help with blood pressure and prevent stroke, it is best avoided if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, unstable angina pectoris, advanced heart failure, recent myocardial infarction, or severe aortic stenosis. Other  medical conditions, kidney disease, liver failure, pregnancy, or trying to conceive. Many places won’t allow children under a certain age to use the sauna, so best seek guidance. Don’t use if you are feeling sick, pass out easily, get cramps, suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Finally avoid if you are taking medication to prevent you from sweating. 

Why don’t you have a showroom?

We think the our saunas look better displayed in a garden setting, allowing you to visualise the product in your own space. We are a small business and believe in a personal approach.

Can I make an appointment to have a look at the sauna?

Yes, follow this contact link and we’ll be in touch. We are located in 5 minutes north of central Christchurch and have easy parking outside.

Are your prices competitive?

The St Albans barrel sauna is big and has great extra features. Features include a tiled roof with protective guttering, the soothing LED under lit benches, premium 6kw or 9kw Huum heaters, outdoor porch seating and adjustable vents. Compared to other similar products, the St Albans is very generous in size, allowing 6-8 people to enjoy the experience! Our Barrel Saunas are also made out of 45mm thick timber, have a solid, level floor, wider seats and extra trim, something our competitors leave out. Our saunas and tubs are made in Scandinavia by people who know and use the products themselves.

Are sauna expensive to run?

No! They compare very favourably to spas and hot tubs, as the sauna is only using power when it’s needed – modern spas, although well insulated are generally kept running all the time. Allowing 1.5 hours for the sauna to warm up and to be used, the cost would be approximately $2.25.

Here’s the maths – 1.5 hours x 6kw = 9 Kwh, so 9 Kwh x 25 cents = $2.25 – based on the assumptions of a 6 Kw Huum heater using 9 Kwh at 25 cents a Kwh.

We’ve been using our demonstration sauna for over a year, almost every other day and have noticed monthly charges increasing by $30-$40.

What sort of maintenance is involved? 

It’s advisable to allow the sauna to air out after use, opening the vents, occasionally wipe the seats and floor down with a soapy mop or cloth. It is advisable to wipe down the timber every few months and apply a fresh coat of oil on a yearly basis. Unlike a spa pool, there are no nasty chemicals or filters to change.

I’m interested, but prefer a spa pool. What’s the main difference?

Barrel Saunas are much larger, with about 2.5 times more timber. Both produce soothing warm, although saunas are much hotter and make steam. There are fewer moving parts to go wrong, no slippery steps with a level floor and no harsh chemicals that can upset the skin. A spa pool is generally plugged in 24/7 as it takes a long time to heat up. A Barrel Sauna heats up fast and only uses power when it’s being used. Many people actually turn off the heater, 5 minutes before the end of the session.