How do you properly install and maintain a poolside sauna in the UK?

12 June 2024

Bringing the spa experience right to your backyard has never been more exciting with the prospect of installing a poolside sauna. The invigorating combination of a refreshing dip in the pool and a rejuvenating steam in the sauna offers a luxurious wellness experience that many homeowners in the UK dream about. But the process of installing and maintaining a sauna isn't as simple as it sounds. It requires careful planning, a keen eye for design, and meticulous attention to ensure its longevity. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive guide on how you can properly install and maintain a poolside sauna in the UK.

Choosing the Right Type of Sauna

Before you commence the building process, you need to determine the type of sauna that will best suit your needs. Saunas come in various designs and operate on different heat sources. Some use traditional wood-fired heaters, while others use electric or infrared heaters. Your chosen sauna type will dictate the overall design, the materials used, and the installation process.

Traditional Finnish saunas, for instance, use a wood-burning stove or an electric heater to heat rocks to a high temperature. People typically love this sauna type due to the high heat and low humidity it offers. On the other hand, infrared saunas use infrared light to heat the body directly. They operate at a lower temperature, which may be ideal for those who find traditional saunas too hot.

Planning Your Sauna Design

Once you've chosen the type of sauna, it's time to plan the design. Your sauna's design will play a crucial role in ensuring that it not only enhances your outdoor space but also provides a good user experience. You'll need to consider factors such as size, shape, the location near the pool, and whether you want an indoor or outdoor sauna.

For those with a limited area, a compact sauna design may be a perfect fit. However, for those with more outdoor space, a larger sauna room that accommodates more people might be more desirable. When planning the location, consider the distance from the pool for quick and easy transition from hot to cold. A good quality outdoor sauna should be built with weather-resistant wood like cedar or spruce to withstand the UK's varying climates.

Installing Your Sauna

The installation process will vary depending on your chosen sauna type and design. However, there are common aspects that you need to consider. Firstly, ensure that the ground is level and stable. For saunas using electric heaters, you'll need access to a power supply. Ensure an electrician installs the necessary wiring. For wood-fired saunas, consider the smoke exhaust and ventilation.

It's also important to think about insulation. A well-insulated sauna will retain heat more effectively, providing a more efficient and enjoyable experience. Use high-quality insulation materials and ensure they're fitted correctly to prevent any heat loss.

Ensuring Proper Ventilation

Ventilation is critical for a sauna to function properly. It controls the temperature and humidity levels, replaces the air to prevent it from becoming stuffy, and protects the structure from moisture damage. Without good ventilation, the sauna could become uncomfortable and potentially harmful to your health.

The sauna heater should have enough fresh air to burn efficiently and safely, and the steamy air needs a place to escape. Therefore, ensure your sauna design includes an intake vent near the heater and an exhaust vent on the opposite side of the room.

Maintaining Your Sauna

Finally, routine maintenance is key to prolonging the life of your sauna and keeping it in good working order. Regular cleaning is essential, especially if the sauna is used often. Sweep the floors, wipe down the benches and walls with mild soap and water, and let the room dry thoroughly.

Additionally, inspect the heater and stones periodically to ensure they're in good condition. If you have a wood-burning sauna, check the chimney and stove for any blockages or signs of wear and tear. And always remember to treat the wood with a suitable protective product to preserve its quality and appearance.

Installing and maintaining a poolside sauna in the UK can be a rewarding project. Not only will it enhance your leisure time, but it also adds value to your property. So, take the time to plan, install, and maintain your sauna, and before long, you'll be enjoying the ultimate spa experience in the comfort of your home.

Exploring Health Benefits of Saunas

The health benefits of regular sauna use are considerable, making it an excellent addition to your wellness routine. Regular sauna sessions may help improve cardiovascular health, ease stress, and even boost your mood. For many, the steam room experience is a wonderful way to decompress and recharge after a hectic day.

When you immerse yourself in the radiant heat of a sauna, your body responds through perspiration. This process helps remove toxins and can enhance skin health. The hot air inside the sauna can also improve circulation and promote relaxation.

Infrared saunas, in particular, provide a unique health benefit. The infrared light penetrates the skin more deeply than traditional sauna heat. This deeper penetration increases metabolic rate and can help the body burn calories, leading to weight loss.

Remember that while saunas can provide numerous health benefits, it's essential to stay hydrated and limit the length of your sauna sessions. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to dehydration or heat exhaustion.

Choosing Between Indoor and Outdoor Saunas

When planning to build a sauna, one crucial decision you'll need to make is whether to build an indoor or outdoor sauna. This decision can significantly impact your sauna experience.

Indoor saunas are a popular choice because they offer convenience and can be used all year round, regardless of the weather outside. They can be installed in a bathroom, basement, or even a large closet. Installing an indoor sauna, however, can be a bit more complex, especially if major renovations are required.

Outdoor saunas, on the other hand, offer a unique experience. There's nothing quite like stepping out of a hot sauna into the refreshing coolness of the outdoors. They can be a freestanding structure or integrated into a pool house or shed. An outdoor sauna is usually easier to install as there's generally more space and less worry about damage to your home. However, you'll need to use weather-resistant materials like cedar or spruce to ensure your outdoor sauna can withstand the UK's diverse weather conditions.


The experience of having a poolside sauna in the UK is not only about enjoying the luxury of a personal steam room. It's also about incorporating a wellness practice that can provide considerable health benefits. Whether you opt for a traditional Finnish sauna or an infrared sauna, an indoor sauna or an outdoor one, the joy of transitioning from a refreshing pool to a relaxing sauna will certainly enhance your leisure time.

With careful planning, you can design a sauna that suits your needs and complements your outdoor space. Remember that proper ventilation, regular cleaning, and routine maintenance are crucial to prolong your sauna's life and ensure a safe and enjoyable sauna session.

So, take a leap and install a poolside sauna. Not only will it enrich your lifestyle, but it might also increase your property's value. Let the steam generator work its magic, and before long, you'll be reaping the benefits of this wonderful wellness feature.

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