Suomi, sauna and sisu

December 31, 2016 Koivisto 2 Comments

The last post of this year is dedicated to maybe the most important place for the finns - sauna. It's about Finnish mentality "sisu", which got us this far with the renovation. But mostly it's about Tobi's carpenter skills, which is the main reason for our stunning sauna. In a country with 5 million inhabitants, there is over 3 million saunas. That tells something about the importance of sauna in Finland. When the settlers were moving into a new area, they built first a sauna and lived there so long as the making of the whole house lasted. Sauna was not only the place for washing, but the place for giving birth and the place, where the dead loved ones were washed the last time. Sauna was for us also something considered as self-evident. We already wrote a little about our sauna in the post Smokey sauna and almost ready restroom and now it's time to show it all.
We continued with the walls by attaching the painted spruce panels with a nail gun. Underneath the wood is an aluminium foil, which protecs the building from the steam. Under the foil is an isolation, that the warmth will stay in the sauna.
The best part was to build the sauna benches. We started it by building bench structures and legs out of pine. We painted them transparent black with Tikkurila's Saunasupi, so they would blend to the black walls.
Because of the size of the room and the places of the door and the sauna stove, we came up with a solution, where the upper bench has the shape of u. The structure of the benches were attached into the framework of the wall. Between wall and the bench structure needs to be air, that the wood will stay dry and clean. This was created by attaching little pieces of wood to the structure. Now there is about 5mm gap between the bench and the wall.
We chose aspen for the benches, because of the quality, the bright color and we wanted to use Finnish wood. The almost white wood creates nice contrast with the black walls. First Tobi attached the front parts of the benches.
Next part was to build the sitting parts for the benches. Tobi made them removable, that they will be easier to clean. First the aspen boards were placed to the bench structure. The gaps were done by placing 10mm thick pieces of wood between them. Then the boards were screwed together with black wooden parts underneath the bench.
The finishing look for the sauna was created with the backrest. We wanted it a little slanted, that it would be ergonomic to lean. The backrest was attached to the panels with black wooden parts. Then we tested how the sauna benches work. It was easy to remove the seats and put them back again. Yippee!
Last step was to make the stools. Susanna tested carpenter work by making one of the stools. It was lot of fun for her, but not for Tobi's nerves. We decided, that further on Tobi can mainly focus on the big scale wood work.
We had some struggles along the way. For example the chimney needed to be planned at the very last moment again. We had doubts about the fireplace, would it give enough heat to the big sauna? But all troubles were gone the moment, when we tested heating first time. All worked better than we expected. Also the look turned out the way we wanted. In the warm light and darkness is good to relax and enjoy. We got the Rento bucket (saunakiulu) as a Christmas present and it's like made for here. With our new beautiful sauna we are ready for the new year.


  1. Oider, da habt ihr euch aber was rausgelassen...

    1. Danke Christoph. Wenn du nochmal kommst, saunieren wir! ;)