The question of what material is better to build a bath from is sure to arise for every master – not only for beginners but also for those who already have sufficient experience in implementing this task. The fact is that the variety of materials for building a bathhouse is enormous, modern ones with better characteristics appear that facilitate the construction process itself and the further operation of the structure.
The right choice of materials for the construction of the bath is very important. Since it has three main functional areas – a steam room, a washing room, and a dressing room – this is what determines the materials necessary for their decoration, which are not used in other rooms. In addition, different building materials are also required for the foundation, walls, roofing, internal and external decoration of the bath.
Traditionally, saunas are cut from logs in a way that is no different from the felling of residential buildings. Brick baths are also popular, which are also more durable.
When it comes to what material to take a bath from in order to spend at a minimum, combined construction is considered the most economical, when due to the high cost of wood it is supposed to be used only in the framework of the frame and for interior and exterior cladding. For cladding, you can use a trimmed board – the material is already ready for work and quite affordable.
After reading this article, you will learn from what material it is better to build a bath and than finish it inside.
What Material Is Better to Build a Bath From What Is Required for the Foundation
Building a foundation for a bath will require materials such as concrete, large stones, and sand. Concrete mortar is mixed with large stones and sand, and the foundation pit is filled with this composition.
Concrete hardens within a month, although it becomes truly structurally strong only after 1 year. The top foundation must be covered with mineral mats. Materials such as expanded clay or slag are used to warm the foundation of the bath.
Expanded clay is a porous granule from fired low-melting clay. This material is not afraid of moisture, therefore it is used to warm not only the foundation of the bath but also ceilings and walls. When it is added to a cement-sand mortar, “warm” concrete is obtained.
A layer of expanded clay or slag on the surface of the foundation should exceed the wall thickness by 1.5-2 times. On top of it, beams and logs are installed, on which the floor is then laid.
In addition, to protect the base of the building from soil moisture along with it, it is necessary to arrange a hydraulic lock. What materials for the foundation of the bath will be required in this case? It is best to use clay mixed with sawdust since when swollen, it not only does not absorb but even repels moisture.
The drainage system is installed in the same way as the drainage of a summer shower or a summer cottage, simultaneously with the construction of the foundation.
What Material Is Needed for the Floor and Lag in a Russian Bath
In principle, from what material it is better to make the floors in the bath, everyone decides individually. They can be anything – concrete, clay and even earth – the main thing is that they do not interfere with the rapid outflow of water and do not violate the thermal insulation of the room. Typically, in small saunas floors are arranged from a grooved board laid on logs, but concrete floors are considered the best option, with the necessary slope and drain into a specially equipped pit for this. If such a floor is laid with ceramic tiles, this will greatly simplify hygienic care for it. But the floor of this material in a Russian bath will always be very cold, even in an overheated bath, its temperature will not rise above 30 ° C. Therefore if a steamed person in a very hot bath gets on such a floor, he may well have a heat stroke.
This is a pretty weighty argument in favor of the fact that the best material for floors in the bath is still wood or cork or an ordinary plant fiber mat, laid on top of a concrete surface.
You can also make wooden grilles or shields that easily arise during the cleaning and airing of the room, although this is more reminiscent of public baths and can be, rather, a temporary measure.
When deciding what material to make floors in the bathhouse, keep in mind that the wood flooring can be leaking or not leaking. In the first case, the boards are laid with gaps through which water flows, and in the second – close, and then the water flows into the drain on the floor surface due to the provided slope. Each of these methods has its pros and cons. If you make leaking floors, then the boards can simply be laid on the logs without nailing. It will be convenient to take them out of the bath from time to time and ventilate. It also facilitates cleaning and maintenance of the space under the floor. However, to take out each time, and then to bring in and stack boards is a rather laborious task. In addition, if insulation is laid between the legs, then even for ordinary cleaning it will be necessary to disassemble it.
In this sense, non-leaking floors are more convenient, since boards nailed to the logs will not require additional maintenance until they rot. Then they will need to be completely replaced.
As a material for the floor in the bath, you should choose special (floor) boards with a tongue-and-groove profile. When laying the floor in this way, the boards are laid closely with the screed using wedges or staples, the general inclination of the wooden flooring towards the drain hole is made, and on the floor, there is an opening through which the siphon is connected. It is also possible to lay a special tray along the entire length of the floor with a slope, along which additional water flow will occur. The space under non-leaking floors is usually filled with insulation, which can be ordinary foam (extruded polystyrene foam), perlite, expanded sand or expanded clay.
When arranging the underground space of the lag, it is important to treat it with an antiseptic, so that they last longer.
When choosing which material to make logs for a bath from, it is better to choose coniferous wood, since at a low temperature of the floors the resin will not be squeezed out of the pores and pockets of the tree, but if left inside, it will reliably protect it from decay. But it is better to use oak or larch wood, as it is more resistant to moisture.
In a small bathhouse, the load on the floors will not be large and the lags will not need additional support, so it is convenient to put them directly on the lower binding of the log house.
And what materials are needed for flooring in the bath? Coniferous wood can also be used here. It overwrites quite quickly, the pores in the boards become clogged, therefore, if small drops of resin appear on their surface, then they quickly disappear during operation. It can be used for floors and hardwoods, such as oak. Its wood is stronger and more durable than that of conifers, but it is slippery enough, which is very dangerous in the bathhouse.
The floor level in the steam room should be 15-20 cm higher than the floor level of the washing department – this provides better thermal insulation. In the locker room or dressing room, this difference can be 3-5 cm.
In the next section of the article, you will learn what material you can make a log house to build a bathhouse.