Pre-cut saunas are popular for the do-it-yourselfer and it’s a great way to save some money. They also offer the most design customization. It’s also the ideal choice for those who want a permanent-type installation in their home or commercial building. With pre-cut saunas, you frame, insulate and wire your room then we send you everything to finish-out the space into a sauna. Installation times vary based on the individual and the size of the sauna, but generally these can be installed in 2-3 days. It’s important to note that unlike some saunas on the market, our benches are pre-built and our doors are pre-hung, saving you time and effort. Our pre-cut saunas come with tongue and groove wall boards for horizontal installation, saving you time by eliminating the need to add horizontal furring strips in order to mount your boards vertically. Also unlike some of our competitors, we don’t send you finger-jointed wall boards made out of less-expensive short sections. Our Western Red Cedar is Grade A and better kiln-dried for that perfect fit and finish. It’s important to note that we measure our pre-cut saunas by interior stud-to-stud measurements, so on our 6′ x 6′ pre-cut saunas just simply frame your room and leave a full 6′ x 6′.
Pre-built saunas are great for those who want a quicker set-up time and prefer to have a sauna that can be disassembled and relocated if desired. Pre-built saunas consist of prefabricated wall sections that fit together to make a freestanding sauna. Assembly times can vary depending on the sauna size and the individual, but generally take 2-3 hours. Pre-built saunas are measured from the exterior, so inside dimensions are slightly-less than the actual sauna size. Pre-built saunas normally have vertical interior wall boards. You then have your choice of an exterior made of luan or ruff-sawn plywood, or you have the option of upgrading to Western Red Cedar on the exterior for an additional charge. You can also specify which exterior walls you want in Cedar (i.e. the door wall in Cedar only is very popular), with the balance in luan or ruff-sawn plywood. The outdoor saunas in our store are essentially pre-built saunas with full Western Red Cedar exteriors, a roof kit and in some cases an upgraded sauna heater size. Barrel saunas, also categorized as pre-built, are the ideal choice for those wanting portability and ease of installation.
When building a sauna, incorporating certain design elements that will make the experience much more enjoyable. Here are some things to remember:
Ceiling Height. Heat leveling is extremely important in a sauna. A common mistake is to make the ceiling too high. 7′ is ideal and our packages default to this height. Of course we can design whatever you want. If you choose to increase ceiling height to 8′ you should probably consider raising your benching (or at least your upper bench) an additional 12″. The main reason for this is because of the difference in temperature a mere 12″ can make. Heat hangs mostly in the top half of the sauna, so it is important to make sure you get to where the heat is. If you want to exceed the recommended 7′ ceiling height, let one of our design consultants help you figure out the best way to accomplish this. Here is a diagram of how the heat levels work in a sauna:
Venting. Contrary to popular belief, vents in saunas primarily serve as a fresh air supply and exhaust. They have little to do with moisture. While preferable, it is not necessary to have a vent in a sauna. When installing, the air intake vent is installed down low, ideally under the sauna heater. The exhaust vent is then best located either in the ceiling or high on a wall at the farthest point from the intake vent. When there are no good venting options, it is also an option to leave an air space at the base of your sauna’s door when installing. All of our saunas except for our prebuilt outdoor include intake and exhaust vent grills. With outdoor saunas, it is common practice to eliminate the venting altogether, as they contribute to heat-loss.
Floor Drain. In most saunas a floor drain is not necessary. It’s a matter of preference, but in saunas that require heavy cleaning it may be a good idea. Commercial saunas are usually better candidates for this. It may be important to consult your local building codes, as in some locations this may be a requirement.
Water Spigots inside sauna. Water spigots are not recommended inside the sauna. They can sometimes create an unsafe condition depending on their proximity to the wiring inside the sauna and are against code in many areas.
Flooring. Sauna flooring can be any type of surface impermeable to water (i.e. concrete, tile, linoleum). Depending on the type of sauna you purchase, Cedar-slat “duckboard” or rubberized anti-bacterial flooring is then provided for the walk-area to go over the top of this. While both types are popular with our customers, rubberized anti-bacterial flooring is suggested in commercial saunas. Two main reasons for this are sanitation and the fact that the rubberized flooring is designed to allow water to drain out to a drain installed beneath. Just ask us what the flooring options are for your sauna.
Electrical. Always have electrical work done by a licensed electrician. They are familiar with local and national codes and can ensure everything is installed safely and neatly.
Choosing and sizing your sauna heater. The sauna heater is the heart of your sauna. When choosing the right heater, it’s important to decide what your priorities are. We have everything from basic sauna heaters to those with larger rock capacities, those that heat instantly (like the Finlandia Ever Ready AV) or those that incorporate a full steam generator (like the Tylo Combi-U) and even authentic wood-fired models. Another preference to consider is whether you want wall-mount controls which generally locate outside of your sauna door (never inside of your sauna), or heater mount controls which are adjusted inside of your sauna. Each manufacturer varies slightly, but as a general rule you generally need 1 kw of sauna heater size for every 50 cubic feet (length x width x height). If you are heating an outdoor sauna, you generally need some extra “horsepower”. Commercial saunas often use wall-mount controls with optional 24 hour timers. If you are unsure what you need let one of our sauna experts fit you with the right heater to get the job done.
Insulation. It’s important to insulate your sauna as well as you can, as this can drastically affect the heat-up time and efficiency of your sauna. R-19 is recommended for walls and R-30 for ceilings. Ceilings are where most heat is lost in a sauna so don’t be stingy. At minimum make sure your sauna has R-12 throughout. Paper-backed fiberglass batt insulation is ideal. It’s also important to staple foil vapor barrier to the interior of your wall framing after the insulation added and before you add the tongue and groove wall boards. Foil vapor barrier is provided with all of our precut sauna kits. Of course all of our pre-built saunas come with complete wall sections that are insulated and ready to go.
Lighting. All of our saunas come with lighting appropriate for the dampness and heat of a sauna. You can choose from a number of wall-mount or ceiling-mount options.
Benching. Benching and bathing capacity often dictates the size sauna you choose. As a general rule, allow 2′ – 3′ of upper bench per person. If you have the space, it’s also popular to have at least 5′ – 6′ to allow the bather to lay down.
Sauna Location. The beauty of saunas is that they can be located almost anywhere. This includes in bathrooms, unused closets, attics, garages, basements, etc. They can also be located outdoors either with our free-standing pre-built units or with our pre-cut sauna kits built under covered porches or in outdoor storage buildings. We do not recommend that you connect them directly to a shower or steam shower however. This can create a hazard, and may warp your sauna door, voiding the warranty. Wood doors cannot withstand heavy humidity on one side (from shower) and hot dry air on the other (from sauna). Let our sauna experts help you figure-out what works best. You are only limited by your imagination!
Proper care and maintenance of your sauna is important. Because the wood in most saunas is unsealed, general cleaning is best done with a soft bristle brush and a small amount of warm water. For heavily soiled areas, using warm water with a small amount of mild detergent is recommended. Also see “Sauna-Kleena” in our store, which cleans, disinfects and rejuvenates your wood. To seal high-traffic areas, see our sauna wood oil which is a product that’s safe for sealing desired areas of your sauna. Hygiene is always important. Using towels on benching is recommended. Also it’s always good to empty your water bucket at the end of each sauna session.
Adding steam to an existing shower and other steam shower basics.The Sauna Place
There are several requirements to a steam shower. First it must be enclosed and waterproof from top to bottom with tile, stone, etc. Your shower door also needs to be tight and have a full rubber seal. Even some fully-enclosed fiberglass tubs and showers are suitable for particular steam models we sell. If you have one of these consult with the manufacturer to make sure steam is an option. In general, steam showers are normal showers only with a steam option which consists of a steam head and an in-shower control added. The actual steam generator can be located some distance from the actual shower, either in a crawl-space, garage, attic or closet. Good bathroom venting just outside of the shower is also recommended to remove the excess moisture created from a steam shower session. If you are building a new shower that will incorporate steam be sure and follow recommended construction guidelines, including using the proper building materials such as the right backer-board. Ventilation and lighting are also important. It is also a good idea to incorporate a seat or bench inside the shower. If space is tight we offer wall-mount teak benches that fold-down. Installing a functioning transom window above the shower door is a common practice in new steam shower construction. When sizing your steam unit it’s important to the variables such as shower wall material (i.e. tile, glass, stone), number of exterior walls (if any), and ceiling height. Our steam shower packages offer many great options such as autoflush, in-shower speakers, chromatherapy lighting (mood lighting), remote controls units, fog-free mirrors, towel warmers, etc. Our sauna and steam experts can help fit you with the perfect package.
This is a common misconception. The humidity generated from a sauna is minimal. When water is ladled over the hot stones of a sauna heater, a burst of humidity is created. This humidity quickly dissipates though due to the high temperatures of a sauna which are generally 150° to 195° Fahrenheit (66° to 91° Celsius). A normal sauna session rarely exceeds 30% humidity, whereas the humidity in a normal bathroom after taking a shower can be two or three times as much.
Aromatherapy is a great way to enhance your sauna and steam shower experience.
With steam showers aromatherapy fragrance is generally added in two different ways. The first and most common way for residential steam showers is by simply adding a few drops of aromatherapy oil to the specially designed steamhead found with most residential units. The second and most common way for commercial steam showers is through a fragrance injection system. This method automates fragrance delivery and gives a superb experience to the steam bather.
With saunas aromatherapy fragrance is added to the water in the water bucket. The water is then sprinkled or ladled onto the hot stones of the sauna heater.
Our Italian collections (ANTUS, ELORY, QUADRO, SIRIO, and VEGA) take about 15 minutes to heat up, regardless of the size.
The JEEVES and TRADITIONAL collection takes between 20 minutes to 1 hour to heat to its top temperature, depending on the size.
The RADIANT, SOLO and SWIVEL collections take about 20 minutes to heat up.
Note: The ambient temperature, the size of the room, etc can have an effect on this time. Amba Products is unable to give an approximate time of how long a towel(s) will take to dry. This time will vary depending on numerous variables.
ANTUS, ELORY, QUADRO, SIRIO and VEGA models heat by way of a new patented technology that uses thick cables that heat up, throughout the unit (both vertical and horizontal bars).
JEEVES and TRADITIONAL models have a liquid (Glycol & Water mixture) and heating element inside the unit. The heating element heats up the liquid, in turn heating the bars.
RADIANT, SOLO and SWIVEL models use a resistance wire that heats the bars
JEEVES: Polished SS, Brushed SS, Oil Rubbed Bronze, and White
QUADRO & SIRIO: Polished SS, Brushed SS and Oil Rubbed Bronze
ANTUS, ELORY VEGA, FREESTANDING and SWIVEL: Polished SS and Brushed SS
TRADITIONAL collection is offered in 1 finish: Polished Nickel
All finishes are the same price for any model
We recommend folding your towel in half or thirds, depending on how large your towel is, and drape it over the top bar so the towel hangs down evenly on either side. This allows you to maximize the surface area contact between the towel and bars.
We do not recommend weaving the towel through the bars because this only utilizes half of the surface area of the bars.
Our Italian Towel Collections (ANTUS, ELORY, QUADRO, SIRIO, and VEGA) come with a Digital Heat Controller (except Q2016 & S2121) that has a built in on/off button. The Q2016 and S2121 will come with a simple push button on/off switch
The JEEVES and TRADITIONAL Collections do not come with a built-in switch. We offer separate switches/timers that allow you to place it in the most convenient position for your application. It also enables you to match the switch to the other fittings and décor of the room. These units work with our 7day/24hr programmable timer (ATW-T24) or the simple rocker pilot switch (ATW-S-W/A). We have a double-gang faceplate (JEEVES ONLY) that allows you to install the switch or timer next to the unit.
The RADIANT, SOLO and SWIVEL collections come with integrated on/off switches on the unit.
Yes, but not all towel warmer collections.
The ANTUS, ELORY, SIRIO, QUADRO, VEGA & RADIANT towel warmers can be mounted in any direction you desire (upside down or sideways).
The JEEVES, TRADITIONAL and SWIVEL collections must ONLY be mounted right side up, or else the unit will not function properly and could become extremely hot. If installed incorrectly, serious harm could occur!
What is the difference between an electric and a hydronic towel warmer?The Sauna Place
An ELECTRIC towel warmer is heated by an electrical heating system (see ‘how do our towel warmers work?’ above for difference in the heating process) that heats the bars. Electric units can be installed anywhere there is an electrical source. They are very simpler to install, and can be used all year round. All models offered come standard in the electric version.
A HYDRONIC unit is heated by hot water via a radiator system or boiler. The hydronic unit is controlled by a valve that lets the hot water flow through the towel warmer, heating it and consequently the towels. The down side of the hydronic system is that when the radiator system or boiler is not in use the towel warmers cannot be used. Please see the custom section below for more details on hydronic units.
Towel warmers have a variety of uses and applications. They are primarily used to heat towels and bathrobes so they are warm when drying off after a shower or leaving the pool/beach/spa.
After a towel is used, the towel warmer will dry it out. This helps to prevent them from giving off that musty/moldy smell they can produce when not dried properly. It also reduces laundry loads and water consumption, as the towels won’t need to be washed as frequently.
No! Towel warmers can be used in almost any type of application. We offer an expansive collection of towel warmers that can double as space heaters.
They can be used in Mud rooms, Saunas, Spas, Pool Houses, Kitchens, Garages, Basements, on Boats, or in any room that may need additional heat.
In some cases, they may also act as the sole source of heat in a room; for example – a finished basement where dropping the ceiling to add central heating/air is not possible or too costly.
They can be used to dry women’s delicates that cannot be tumble dried (with our digital heat controller accessory).
Dry wet boots, jackets, gloves or shoes by hanging them on robe hooks.
Help bathrooms stay warm, dry, mold, mildew and humidity free. Some models also double as radiators or space heaters.
Can a Towel Warmer be left on constantly? Do they consume a lot of energy? Are they safe to use?The Sauna Place
The JEEVES units have a built in thermostat and internal thermal cutout for optimal energy consumption and safety. Once the unit reaches the ideal operating temperature, it then cycles itself to maintain this temperature. This allows them to be left on continuously, only drawing power to maintain the ideal temperature range. If for any reason it overheats, there is an internal safety cutout that will shut off the unit. A switch should always be added so the units can be switched off when not in use.
The ANTUS, ELORY, QUADRO, SIRIO & VEGA models come equipped with the Digital Heat Controller (except the Quadro Q 2016 and Sirio S2121). The Digital Heat Controller allows the user to adjust the unit within 9 settings, with level 9 being the highest. If the towel warmer is going to be turned on continuously with a towel, we recommend setting it on no higher than level 7. If you have it on a programmable timer for only a couple hours at a time, any setting can be used. The programmable timer will also help reduce power consumption.
For all other collections, once the units reach their top temperature, they will remain at that temperature and won’t fluctuate. You may add a timer to the units to better control energy consumption while still maintaining full use of the towel warmer (see accessories section below for more information on these items).
The units should be installed by a certified electrician according to the local electrical code. Most wiring in bathrooms today are already GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) equipped, which is an inexpensive electrical device that prevents the risk of electrocution.
The concern with installing a towel warmer outdoors is the exposure to the elements, notably rain, snow, condensation or ice. If there is a possibility that water can get behind the faceplate and into the electrical wiring it can cause the unit to short circuit. If the unit is properly installed in a covered location, it could be protected and not face any problems, but there is always a risk.
If the unit is wired in a covered pool area, we recommend using outdoor weather-proof wire connectors such as those by Ideal Industries (www.idealindustries.com) and sealing the faceplate with silicone and/or the use of a single-gang box gasket.
If you are within a close proximity to the beach, or salty water/air, we strongly recommend protecting your towel warmer from these conditions. Frequently cleaning the unit to remove any salt residue or buildup is highly recommended to preserve the look and finish.
We do have a FREESTANDING towel warmer, the SOLO, which comes with a cord and plug that can be used outdoors when wanted, and then brought indoors when it is no longer needed.
JEEVES Collection: If the towel warmer is too cold for your liking, you can leave it on for longer periods of time. Do not use 15/30/60min timers, as they will not allow sufficient time for the unit to heat to its top temperature. If the unit has been on for at least an hour and is cold to the touch (i.e. little to no heat) you should contact our customer service department for troubleshooting. The Jeeves units are supposed to heat to 145°F – 154°F with an internal security cut-off at 158°F; this unit is equipped with an internal thermostat that is not adjustable. You should be able to grab and hold onto the bars without burning the skin, while still feeling very hot to the touch.
Italian Collection (ELORY, QUADRO, SIRIO, VEGA, and ANTUS): If the towel warmer is too hot for your preference, the Digital Heat Controller (standard on all models except Q 2016/S2121; see accessories below) allows you to adjust the heat level with 9 settings. These collections top temperature ranges between 131° – 167°F. If the units do not heat at all, you should contact the customer service department for troubleshooting.
RADIANT and SOLO Collections: These collections heat up to a top temperature of 149°F. It is not possible to adjust the temperature settings.
SWIVEL Collection: These units heat up to a top temperature of 136°F, and it is not possible to adjust the temperature setting.
H20: Water level has not been satisfied for more than 5 minutes. When this error code appears, all functions of the generator will stop and can be reset by pressing the ON/OFF control button
Prr1 (flashing) Room temperature exceeds 125°F (51.7°C) but is less then 137°F (58.3°C). This will cause the heater to be deactivated. Normal operation will resume when the temperature falls to the correct range (less than 120°F (49.0°C)
Prr2 (flashing) Room temperature is out of range when greater than 137°F (58.3°C). When this error is displayed all function of the generator will stop and can be reset by pressing the ON/OFF control button.
Err1 Will be displayed when the voltage supplied to the generator is too low (also refer to Green LED) All functions of the generator stops.
Err2 Will be displayed when a control button is pressed for more than 5 minutes and all functions of the generator stops. This can be cleared automatically if the key is released.
Errb Will be displayed when a slaved/secondary generator has not detected water in the tank for more than 5 minutes (also refer to Yellow LED). This can be cleared by pressing the ON/OFF control button to reset the generators.
Err7 Will be displayed when programmed settings cannot be saved. All functions of the steam generator will stop. This can be cleared by pressing the ON/OFF control button. The error indicates that the pc board must be replaced.