Far Infrared Sauna Heaters , Portable infrared saunas , steam sauna ,Canadian Red Cedar ,Aspen,Basswood ,Canadian Western Hemlock,inspection,quality control,assurance,testing ,sourcing ,qc checklist , Sauna manufacturing facility

ou don’t want a sauna with toxic wood, softwood not suitable for structural integrity, woods with knots, or wood that absorbs heat making the sauna uncomfortable.

There are many wood options available when purchasing a far infrared sauna. The wood your sauna is made from contributes to the quality and longevity of your investment. Below are characteristics of the various wood types used to build most infrared saunas on the market. This will help guide you towards the right wood choice for you.

Canadian Red Cedar is a common wood for traditional saunas but in a far-infrared environment, we must kiln dry the wood to burn away resins and oils that can outgas. In a properly constructed far infrared sauna the cedar wood should not have the cedar fragrance that we associate with a cedar chest or cedar closet. The cedar fragrance contains things like cedrene and terpineol both of which can be sensitizing to the human body and cause a reaction over time. The primary focus of the far-infrared technology is to eliminate toxins from the body, so we don’t want to introduce new toxins into the far infrared sauna environment. Most sauna companies are phasing out the use of Cedar in a far-infrared sauna. Those of us who do use cedar it is simply out of tradition for people who are accustomed to steam or hot rock style saunas. Cedar is a beautiful traditional wood that makes gorgeous furniture but can be susceptible to scarring or indentation due to its soft nature. Cedar far infrared sauna kits can extend the life of your sauna when used outdoors as it is very durable in regard to decay resistance, and has some resistance to insect attack.

Aspen is hypoallergenic and wears without splintering. This soft sapwood has the lowest crushing strength of 4,250lbs of force which can lead to problems in the shipping process as it does not hold up well to pressure and your sauna could arrive irreparably dented. Aspen is best used in an indoor dry sauna environment as it deteriorates in wet conditions and is susceptible to rot with heavy use. Aspen is not suitable for steam or outdoor use.

Basswood can grow to 90 feet tall with a trunk 3 feet in diameter. Weighing about 26 pounds per cubic foot air-dried, the wood has a tan color, and in some cases may be nearly white. This sapwood characteristic fine-grain is one reason basswood has always been the carver’s wood of choice. A sharp knife or gouge slides through Basswood it as if cutting butter. Native Americans centuries ago used basswood for carving masks. Its tough fibers were also used for cord, rope, and thread. The Basswood’s featureless whitish wood won’t split or chip ahead while carving and takes color readily. Basswood is a hypoallergenic wood free of knots. Basswood won’t warp or bend with temperature changes. It must be dried to a maximum moisture content of 8 percent to protect the integrity of the structure. Basswood’s low-hardness rating makes it ideal for hand tools. Basswood won’t take stain. Today Basswood is used to produce boxes, yardsticks, crates, toys & hidden furniture parts. Due to its soft nature, it is not recommended for structures like a sauna.

Canadian Western Hemlock
Thriving in the deep, damp forests of the Pacific Northwest, and making up nearly 60% of the mature coastal forests of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, found as far east as Montana and as far south as San Francisco. Hemlock is the most beautiful of all other conifers. It ranges in color from a creamy white to a yellowish-brown with little variance between the sapwood and hardwood. It resembles pine but its wood is harder, stronger, resin-free with straight fine-grain that sands to a silky, reflective smoothness making it popular for paneling, flooring, doors, cabinets, and furniture. Hemlock trees 500 years old can be 200 feet tall with an 8-foot diameter.

Hemlock is the ideal construction species not only for saunas but for building much of America. Since the 1940s housing boom Hemlock lumber has been used in most wood-frame housing because of its resistance to termites, its firm hold of nails and screws, and hemlock’s ability to get stronger with time. It is one of the lumber industry’s few resources of large, clear timber that has the ability to get harder over time. The strong nature of hemlock makes it resistant to surface scarring making it an ideal wood for furniture products that must be shipped.

Hemlock has no resin, has no fragrance, and is available in very large, knot-free dimensions. It weighs about 29 pounds per cubic foot air-dry. Western Hemlock unlike Douglas fir, won’t easily splinter when machined against the grain. This all-purpose wood grips screws and accepts all glues, paint, stain, or clear finish with more satisfying results than many of the woods we have discussed.

Western hemlock’s hypoallergenic properties, attractiveness, wear resistance, ease of machining, and finishing qualities make it ideal for far infrared sauna construction. At Celebration Saunas we use the clearest hemlock wood; B & BTR SEL, C SEL, D SEL (Western Wood Products Assoc., USA finish grades) or Canadian grades No. 2 CLR & BTR, No. 3 CLR, and No. 4 CLR. Our wood is kiln-dried to 8% moisture. The low cost of hemlock, due to its prevalent availability and common building use, helps to make receiving the benefits of far infrared affordable and available to those who need it most.

As we narrow down the woods based on important properties specific to sauna use we find that Hemlock is the ideal choice for both its hypoallergenic properties, appropriate balance of weight and strength, and minimal shrinkage. Other far infrared sauna companies choose different woods such as Basswood or Aspen but these woods are very soft often poorly hold nails and are more suitable for carving not for a long-lasting sauna cabin construction.

Avoid choosing a sauna made from knotty woods or woods known to expand significantly when exposed to water and moisture. Careful not to use woods that will absorb so much heat that the wood feels uncomfortably hot as the sauna temperature rises. Oak, hickory, magnolia, birch, elm, eucalyptus, and sycamore are poor choices for sauna construction.

No stain! No oil! No chemicals! Whatever wood you select for a sauna room be sure you leave it raw & natural. Any stain, chemicals or oils applied to the interior wood can cause harmful toxins to be released into the sauna room.

The primary focus of getting into an infrared sauna is detoxification. We don’t want to use wood that will outgas toxins or allergens during the heating and cooling of the sauna. We want a wood that is hypoallergenic, durable enough to hold up over time, that maintains a comfortable temperature for a luxurious spa experience in the privacy of your home.

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