Here are various different types of woods available for use in the infrared saunas. Most commonly you will find cedar and hemlock with a few companies using pine and basswood. The industry standard thickness of the wood tends to be 57mm while there are some companies that still use 3mm.
At Enlighten Sauna, our saunas are all built using only Grade A lumber at 8mm. Please see below to see the lumber process from start to finish.
At Enlighten Sauna we build out of either Grade A Western Red Canadian Cedar or Grade A Canadian Hemlock. See which one is best for you in our FAQ section.
Safe and Non-toxic materials
We guarantee at Enlighten Sauna that all products we build are made from nontoxic materials. Environmental Report states we are one of the only companies on the market who can make this statement. We only use nontoxic glue in our product and components.
Why is wood important?
A sauna is a heatgenerating product, and because of such nature, wood selection is extremely important in sauna building. Enlighten Sauna features:
- The highest quality Grade A Canadian Western Red Cedar or Grade A Canadian Hemlock
- We directly control the entire process from raw material and selection to the finished sauna in our own lumber mill.
- Wall Construction is a major component in determining quality and value in a far infrared sauna. This is where many manufacturers 'cut corners' again.
- At Enlighten Sauna, we only use the finest quality, hand picked centercut wood. With these big differences in wood selection, even though Enlighten Saunas and other saunas can look similar, over the years you will see dramatic differences thin walls, (both the inside and outside walls) of the infrared sauna cabin are one of the most common shortcomings of inexpensive saunas. They just won't hold up to the hot and cold temperature swings (70 – 140 degrees F). The majority of sauna manufacturers have inner and outer walls that are only 35mm thick. Thin walls are more likely to warp, bow and split with sauna use over time.
- Infrared Saunas with thin walls don't hold the heat in the sauna cabin well. They are more expensive to operate and more prone to damage. Enlighten Saunas' manufacturing process and high quality construction begins with selecting the proper raw materials.
Our Canadian office directly purchases the best quality raw Canadian Hemlock and Western Red Cedar wood from British Columbia, Canada.
- Low shrinkage factor and superior to all other coniferous woods in its resistance to warping, twisting and checking. With its low density and high proportion of air spaces, Canadian Cedar is the best thermal insulator among the woods commonly used for sauna construction. Excellent durability. Non outgassing when properly kiln dried and treated to remove volatile oils. Best heat retention and durability for outdoor locations.
- We then ship the raw lumber to our 200,000 squarefoot factory.
- We choose only the finest centercut parts which are then freshair dried for 4 weeks to preserve the beauty and natural elements of the wood.
- Each piece of lumber is visually inspect and handpick to select clear & vertical grain (avoiding the flat grain).
Saunaguru Drying Process
- Very few companies in the industry have the abilities to choose the finest lumber as we do.
- When the lumber arrives at the factory, the lumber is first sorted by length, size, grade, & grain.
- We then begin the initial drying phase before milling begins.
- To prevent any collapsing of the wood, the lumber sits in the yard for a minimum of three weeks.
- If collapsing occurs, it can cause defects in the surface of the lumber.
Air Drying Lumber
- The lumber is then ripped to various sizes for sauna panels.
- These various sizes are then Air Dried further this usually takes upwards of three weeks to avoid shrinkage.
- Shrinkage causes changes to the lumber, and can result in poor fitting panels.
- We avoid any poorly dried lumber by only choosing the best air dried pieces to be used for production.
Kiln Dry Before Molding
- After air dry, the blanks are then placed in our high quality kilns. The most important step before production is the Kiln Drying to reach the best moisture content.
- Many companies have problems as they only air dry their lumber and it reaches a moisture content of only 20% which is too high for stability. Too high of moisture content results in mold, rot, and a shorter life span.
- Our lumber is dried to 6 - 8% to avoid any such issues.
In essence, at Enlighten Sauna, your health and well being is our priority and we take it very seriously. We strive to deliver not only a product that is made with superior craftsmanship, but most importantly, we ensure that each sauna meets or exceeds all product safety standards.